Sugar Games: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a High-Stakes Investing Gamble

March 11, 2016

By David Brough LONDON — A handful of the world’s biggest merchants play a tense, high stakes game every few weeks and a well-connected newcomer from Asia just sat down at the table. The stakes are in sugar often worth hundreds of millions of dollars; the occasion is the expiry of futures contracts. Five leading American and European trade houses — Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, ED&F Man, Sucden, and Bunge —…


Gold Prices Plunge: Here Are 5 Ways to Buy It At a Bargain

February 16, 2016

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesA gold bust of Mao Zedong, former leader of China, right, is displayed for sale at a department store specializing in precious metals and stones in Beijing, China. The bull market in gold since 1999 has made many gold investors rich. But Monday’s big plunge in the price of gold — prices dropped more than $100 in a single day, sending gold below $1,400 per ounce…


Gold Is Cheap Again: 5 Ways to Get It Into Your Portfolio

February 2, 2016

(Getty Images)More than nearly any other investment, gold inspires strong opinions among investors. On one hand, superinvestor Warren Buffett has said that buying gold merely locks up your money in an asset that in his words is “neither of much use nor procreative.” On the other side of the coin you have advocates arguing that gold is the best choice to preserve purchasing power when central banks are pouring huge…


JPMorgan Reaches $546M Settlement with MF Global Trustee

January 27, 2016

Mark Lennihan/AP NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a deal that will return $546 million to former customers of trading firm MF Global Holdings Ltd., which collapsed in 2011 with $1.6 billion missing from its accounts. MF Global failed in October after a calamitous bet on European debt spooked its investors, partners and clients. The bankruptcy was the eighth-largest in the U.S. and the largest on Wall Street…


16 Big Bubbles That Are Getting Ready to Pop

January 21, 2016

Alamy With stocks hovering around all-time highs, many are wondering if equities are the next great bubble getting ready to burst. But stocks aren’t the only things that look frothy: There are a lot of other asset classes that sure look like bubbles. We’ve compiled a list of the assets that analysts now believe are flashing the warning signs of over-inflation. If you think we reached the peak of bubble-calls…


Midwest’s Drought-Busting Rains Shift Farm-Economy Prospects

January 18, 2016

Seth Perlman/APBy Karl Plume and Sam Nelson CHICAGO — Torrential downpours across a broad swath of the U.S. Midwest this week are easing the worst drought in more than 50 years, flooding streams, snarling river transportation, stalling corn plantings — and changing the outlook for the American farm economy in 2013. The Army Corps of Engineers is closing locks along a 150-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from roughly Davenport…


Monsanto Raises Profit Forecast on Strong Corn Sales

January 15, 2016

Dan Gill/APBy Carey Gillam Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, raised its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday after reporting a better-than-expected second quarter driven by strength in its global corn business. Its shares rose nearly 2 percent in premarket trading after the company, a leading developer of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops, said it expects to sell a record amount of corn this year. Monsanto Co. (MON) said…


DuPont Profit Rises on Strong Demand for Chemicals, Seeds

January 12, 2016

Getty Images Chemicals maker DuPont’s quarterly profit more than doubled as the worst dry spell in decades encouraged U.S. farmers to buy its drought-hardy seeds and crop-protection products to boost yields. Strong wheat, corn and soybean prices also spurred agricultural sales in the Americas, helping DuPont beat estimates for the quarter despite an ongoing decline in demand for its once-lucrative titanium dioxide paint pigment. The Wilmington, Del.-based company’s shares traded…


U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Rise to Highest Level Since 1990

January 9, 2016

Damian Dovarganes/APBy Robert Gibbons NEW YORK — Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday as U.S. crude oil inventories grew to their highest level since 1990 and weak economic data stoked worries about U.S. energy demand. U.S. crude stocks rose 2.71 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. The rise was slightly more than the build of 2.2 million barrels expected in…


U.S. Mint Suspends Some Gold Coin Sales After Demand Surge

January 6, 2016

Scott Olson/Getty Images NEW YORK — The U.S. Mint said it has suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as surging demand after bullion’s plunge to two-year lows depleted the government’s inventory. This marks the first time it has stopped selling gold product since November 2009, dealers said. A spokesman for the Mint did not return calls seeking confirmation of that milestone. The U.S. Mint, one…