July 26th, 2012

Managed Futures -Longboard Asset Management has announced the launch of the Longboard Managed Futures Strategy Fund (WAVIX), an investment product offering our managed futures strategy in a mutual fund package. Unlike the fund of funds structure, our goal is to offer direct access to portfolio manager talent at relatively lower costs and with greater transparency when compared to fund of funds or private placement opportunities.

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May 16th, 2012

Managed Futures – The returns on this commodity-trading strategy don’t look good — they look spectacular. The average managed-futures program, as measured by the Barclay CTA Index, was up 14% last year — beating the stock market by a staggering 51 percentage points. Run by commodity-trading advisers, or CTAs, these funds manage an estimated $199 billion and may traffic in anything from corn, cotton and crude oil to interest rates, currencies and stock indexes. They often use technical analysis and mathematical formulas to trade on price patterns.

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May 9th, 2012

Managed Futures – Ryo Ishiyama, a former Deutsche Securities Inc. banker, plans to start a hedge fund investing in global commodities futures as early as July using a strategy he employed on his own personal investments.

The hedge fund will employ a so-called CTA strategy that uses computer systems to invest in exchange-traded futures around the world, said Ishiyama, 32, who set up Tokyo-based Steinberg Capital Co. in October 2011. The fund will have 300 million yen ($3.8 million) initially, 200 million yen of which is Ishiyama’s own money. He plans to raise the fund’s maximum capacity of 1 billion yen in about a year, he said.

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May 8th, 2012

Managed futures funds take advantage of trends in various options, futures, and currency markets to weather choppy markets, writes Dave Kavanagh. He also explains how his managed futures fund-of-funds can also capitalize on both sides of the market, by going long as well as short.

Listen to the complete interview here.

Kate Stalter: Today, I am pleased to be speaking with Dave Kavanagh of the Grant Park Fund (GPFAX).

Dave, we spoke back in January, when the first-quarter rally in the equity markets was just beginning to get under way. We’re four months into the year right now. How would you characterize the place of managed futures in a portfolio at this juncture?

Dave Kavanagh: Well, if investors have been patient, they’ll stick with the allocation to managed futures. I think it’s done what it’s supposed to have done in, the sense that when we look at a program, one of the things that we try to insist on, or at least try to capture, in times of economic stress—especially in the equity markets—is that we offer protection.

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April 30th, 2012

S&P 500 Futures – The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) declined, halting a four-month advance, after a report showed that business activity expanded at the slowest pace since November 2009 and Spain’s economy entered into a recession.

Bank of America Corp., Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Monsanto Co. (MON) retreated at least 1.7 percent. Humana Inc. (HUM) tumbled 8.1 percent as profit at the provider of U.S.-backed Medicare insurance missed analysts’ projections. NYSE Euronext (NYX) slumped 4.9 percent amid a 44 percent decline in earnings. Barnes & Noble Inc. soared a record 52 percent after Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said it plans to invest $300 million in a venture with the bookstore chain.

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April 30th, 2012

Unleaded gasoline capped the first monthly drop since November as reports showing weakness in Europe’s economy added to concern that global demand will slow.

Gasoline futures fell with crude, which declined for the first time in seven days, after Spain’s gross domestic product dropped in the first quarter and Italy’s inflation remained at a six-month high. The euro weakened against the dollar, reducing the appeal of commodities as an investment alternative.

“Gasoline is being dragged down by crude oil prices,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “There’s quite a bit of concern about Spain and Italy. The anticipation is that the economies there will slow and reduce oil demand.”

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April 30th, 2012

Crude oil fell as Spain’s economy contracted in the first quarter, putting the country into its second recession since 2009 and bolstering concern that fuel demand in the euro region will contract.

Crude oil futures dropped as much as 1 percent after the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said today that gross domestic product shrank 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year, the same as in the previous quarter. The decline in crude prices accelerated as the dollar rose against the euro on an increase in U.S. consumer spending.

“Concerns about Europe have been weighing on the market for a long time,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at futures brokerage PFGBest in Chicago. “Today’s Spanish headlines are worrisome. The personal spending numbers here are a positive economic signal which pushed the dollar higher and as a result hit commodities.”

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April 30, 2012

Managed Futures – Smaller managed futures funds able to exploit niche commodity markets and the most volatile conditions are increasingly likely to win assets from investors disappointed with returns from the big trend-followers that dominate the industry.

Managed futures, or commodity trading advisers (CTAs), attracted a wave of assets in 2009 after performing well during the 2008 financial crisis.

Mainstream institutional money flooded into some of the best-known trend-followers, so that 60 percent of total CTA assets are now with the top 10 players.

But since 2009, industry performance has been patchy as traditional trend-following models have struggled in range-bound markets in which it is hard to gain traction.

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April 30th, 2012

Sugar Futures – The price of raw sugar traded in New York may fall below 19 cents a pound “very soon,” prompting processors in top producer Brazil to make ethanol rather than the sweetener, Marex Spectron Group said.

Sugar futures have fallen 8.4 percent on ICE Futures U.S. in New York this year, as supplies outpace demand by 6 million metric tons, up from a previous forecast of 5.2 million tons, according to the International Sugar Organization in London. The price was at 21.34 cents a pound by 6:28 a.m. Below 19 cents a pound, millers in Brazil would favor production of the biofuel, Marex Spectron said, referring to the variety used in flex fuel cars.

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April 30th, 2012

Corn Futures – Speculators reduced bullish bets on corn by more than any other commodity, just before the U.S. reported its single biggest export sale in 18 years and prices had their largest two-day rally in almost a month.

Money managers cut corn wagers by 30 percent to 103,079 futures and options in the week ended April 24, the biggest decline since June 2010, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The drop of 43,511 contracts was larger than for any of the 18 raw materials tracked by Bloomberg. Holdings across all the commodities fell for a fifth week, the longest slide since June 2010, the data show.

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