Natural gas traded near the highest level in a month in New York on speculation that forecasts for a blast of wintry weather in the U.S. may boost demand for the heating fuel.

Futures for January delivery climbed as much as 0.3 percent to $3.875 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before trading at $3.847 at 9:09 a.m. London time. The December contract expired yesterday after gaining 0.8 percent to $3.818. The volume of all futures traded was about 48 percent below the 100-day average.

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Ankur Varma, third officer on the oil tanker M/V Cotton, opened his cabin door at five minutes to midnight on July 14 to find two men pointing AK-47s at him.

“They just pushed me into the cabin with the guns in my chest and they told me to stay silent,” Varma said in a phone interview from India. “They were threatening, they were showing the guns, pointing at us. They took everything — everything that we had — including clothes, toiletries, electronics.”

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S&P 500 Futures – U.S. stocks dropped, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a third day of losses, after minutes from the Federal Reserve signaled the central bank may reduce bond purchases in the coming months.

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) jumped 8.4 percent as its sales decline abated in the third quarter. Yahoo (YHOO)! Inc. advanced 2.9 percent after the owner of the largest U.S. Internet portal boosted its stock-buyback plan by $5 billion. Deere & Co. (DE) rose 2.1 percent as it forecast better-than-estimated annual earnings on rising demand for construction and forestry machinery. Lowe’s (LOW) Cos., the second-biggest home improvement retailer, slipped 6.2 percent after profit trailed analysts’ projections.

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Crude oil futures west texas intermediatefell as rising U.S. inventories overcame optimism that Janet Yellen will maintain Federal Reserve stimulus efforts. WTI’s discount to Brent grew to the steepest since March.

WTI slid 12 cents after touching a five-month low in intraday trading as the Energy Information Administration reported a 4.6 percent surge in supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the futures’ delivery point. Crude reduced losses as Yellen, the nominee for Fed chairman, said she will ensure the central bank’s asset purchases don’t end too soon.

“Rising stockpiles are going to keep the pressure on WTI,” said Chip Hodge, who oversees a $9 billion natural-resource bond portfolio as senior managing director at Manulife Asset Management in Boston. “The discount to Brent keeps widening, as a result, and I don’t see it abating anytime soon.”

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U.S. stock futures fell, signaling benchmark gauges will post their first back-to-back retreat this month, as investors weighed the strength of the economy to assess when the Federal Reserve may scale back stimulus.

Starbucks Corp. dropped 1.6 percent after saying it will pay Mondelez International Inc. $2.76 billion to settle a dispute over bagged coffee. Tesla Motors Inc. advanced 1.2 percent as co-founder Elon Musk said the company won’t recall its Model S after fires involving the electric sedan. Macy’s Inc. jumped 7.5 percent as earnings beat analysts’ estimates.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December dropped 0.5 percent to 1,755.7 at 8:46 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts lost 86 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,624.

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orange juice options

orange juice futures

Orange-juice futures may advance 4.6 percent in the next 30 days after forming a double bottom, according to technical analysis by Infinity Trading Corp.

The commodity touched $1.164 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York on Oct. 22, the lowest since Jan. 30, forming the first of a double bottom. After two days of gains, prices resumed the decline, trading at $1.171 on Oct. 29, to form another bottom. Since then, futures gained in eight of the past nine sessions, and may rally further to $1.40, the highest since Sept. 16, according to Fain Shaffer, the president of Indianapolis-based Infinity.

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commodity investing

commodity futures

Commodity hedge funds cut bullish gold bets, adding the most short contracts in four weeks, as U.S. economic growth fuels speculation the Federal Reserve will trim stimulus. Holdings across commodities dropped the most since April.

The net position in gold slid 13 percent to 87,689 futures and options in the week ended Nov. 5, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Short bets jumped 37 percent, the most since Oct. 15, and long wagers fell 4.9 percent. Combined holdings across 18 U.S.-traded commodities dropped 20 percent to 658,263 contracts as investors cut cotton positions to the lowest this year and crude-oil bets to the fewest since June.

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November 8th, 2013

Corn futures fell, extending a slump to a 38-month low, on speculation that the government will forecast a bigger crop than estimated two months ago in the U.S., the world’s top leading producer. Soybeans gained.

The 2013 corn harvest may climb to a record 14.029 billion bushels, up 1.3 percent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prediction in September and 30 percent more than 2012, a Bloomberg survey showed. The agency will update its forecasts at noon in Washington. Through yesterday, corn plunged 40 percent this year as crops recovered from drought last year.

“Corn prices will likely continue their gradual drift lower,” Chris Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said in a report. “We expect the USDA to increase corn and soybean yields, raising corn production to record levels.”

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Crude Oil Brent Falls to Four-Month Low

On November 7, 2013, in Crude Oil Futures News Report, by Infinity Trading
brent crude

brent crude oil futures

November 7th, 2013

Brent crude oil dropped to the lowest level in more than four months as the euro tumbled against the dollar after the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark rate to a record low.

The North Sea oil slipped as much as 1.3 while West Texas Intermediate traded in New York fell as much as 1 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to keep borrowing costs low for an “extended period” in comments in Frankfurt. The euro slid the most against the U.S. currency in almost two years, reducing the appeal of dollar-denominated raw materials as an investment.

“The surprising ECB rate cut has sent Brent plunging, and WTI should follow,” said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The dollar is screaming higher and that’s going to hit commodity markets.”

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November 5th, 2013

Cattle futures, trading little changed in Chicago, may rise for a second consecutive day on signs of declining U.S. beef production amid rising meat demand. Hog prices advanced.

Beef processors slaughtered 115,000 animals yesterday, 5.7 percent lower than a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Yesterday, wholesale beef rose to $2.0556 a pound, the highest since Oct. 30, according to government data. The price has climbed 5.9 percent this year. Consumers have more money to spend on meat purchases because of lower fuel costs, according to Stewart-Peterson Group in Yates City, Illinois.

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