Commodity Prices Ease

Wall Street stocks rallied on Wednesday and European equities bounced back from their lowest level in a year as commodity prices eased. Renewed risk appetite lifted the U.S.’s broad-based S&P 500, taking it 2 percent higher in opening trades. Despite the Biden Administration commodity bans, the reversal also boosted raw materials on oil prices.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine and uncertainties about commodity prices led to rollercoaster stock trading on Tuesday. The major averages eventually finished lower, adding to the previous day's steep decline. Investors continued to eye updates from Ukraine, as well as the action in commodities markets. At the same time, the Federal Reserve still loomed heavy on the horizon, with the central bank may be planning to start begin raising interest rates next week. Here is what happened Tuesday.  The S&P 500 closed below 4,200 for the first time since last June. Nasdaq fell -0.3%, down from an earlier 2.6% rise, as it failed to bounce back from the decline of 3.6% posted the previous day. The Dow-Jones finished -0.6%. After the headlines hit, oil moved up and stocks moved down. VIX, a measure of market volatility, ticked lower, but still above 34. There has never been tightening by the Fed with the VIX over 25 according to Data Trek.

Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Today animal spirits are back and gold is again below $2000 an ounce. The big dig is that nickel prices soared leaving short sellers in China unable to meet margin calls, among them the brass at Tsingshan, a big producers of nickel, who at least had a legitimate reason for shorting. They used the London Metal Exchange. I think they can access finance in the UK. 

Bond fund manager Jeffrey Grundlach expects oil to hit $200/bbl. 

Our stocks 

* SLB, Schlumberger Ltd. on Tuesday hit $45.08, up 7.1%. Its CEO Olivier Le Peuch warned that it could become "a victim of the Russia Ukraine" invasion after hours. It fell today. The company incorporated in Curacao is majority-owned by the offspring of the two founders of the company before World War I who are French Protestants with high ethics. 

*Qualcomm raised its dividend 10% to .75. It is my largest US holding. QCOM.

*Coterra, another US holding, has a new target price of .767, up from .755, and now is rated buy rather than hold. CTRA.

*Daniel Thurecht, a fund manager, expects Vermillion Energy to rise by 20% by year-end. VET is another U.S. play.

*USSR property company Raven which we used to own in days of good relations, fell 23.75% in British trading yesterday.  

*Latin American Amazon clone MELI (Mercado Libre) got a balanced upgrade, with a target price of $1.44, down from 1.47, and a new rating of buy from hold.

Disclosure: None.

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