“Death and Taxes”… and Food (YahooFinance.com)
Despite consequences from the fiscal cliff, the European debt crisis, the Middle East conflict and even a slowing global economy, one certainty is that people “gotta” eat. For that reason, among others, Goldman Sachs’ Jeffrey Currie, the investment firm’s head of commodity research, recommended that investors be “overweight” in these agricultural commodities (a solid prediction but a wonderful pun). Hedge funds and money managers alike seem to be of the same opinion, as U.S. government data reflects a 20% rise in net-long futures and options contracts on these commodities since Nov. 13 alone. Individual investors may want to follow suit.
“Futures” Bright This Morning (Reuters)
With European indexes leading the way, U.S. stock futures should open higher this morning with the S&P 500 (up .1%), Nasdaq 100 (ahead .1%) and Dow Jones (rising .2%) leading the way. Futures performance may be driven by investor confidence growing in Europe, pushing indexes higher (and some to year-to-date highs) or faith that the United States will reach some sort of fiscal cliff accord before year’s end.
Emerging Emerging-Markets (Bloomberg)
Perhaps tipping its hand even more as to where it thinks the next hot spot emerging market exists, England-based Barclay’s increased its stake in South African lender Absa Group, Ltd. to 62.3%. In an even stronger signal to investors, the second-largest bank by assets in the United Kingdom is combining its African operations with ASA to boost continent-wide reach. Going forward, ASA will be renamed Barclays Africa Group Ltd. It is little wonder that Barclay’s sought to increase its presence in that region. Africa boasts 1.032 billion people and a rate of just 20% for adults holding bank accounts.