During the month of August, the top 3 performing sectors were: energies (15.13%), softs (12.98%) and the indices (8.81%). The bottom 3 sectors were: interest rates (-0.82%), the Barclays CTA Index (0.12%) and livestock (0.56%). Financial markets continued in trend – the S&P blew past all time highs gaining over +7.0%, the Dow Jones up almost +8.0%, and the Nasdaq reached all time highs with gains of +11.0%. As for the commodity markets, grains began to make a push in the opposite direction, relieving pressure off the downside. Softs posted monumental returns with lumber climbing over 58.0%, reaching all time highs. We saw similar returns in energies as natural gas made quite the reversal, gaining over +46.0%. Metals and currencies settled down a bit as gold ended the month relatively flat and the dollar closed a little negative. The FOMC made statements on how they plan to focus on long-term monetary policy, favoring the unemployment crisis over increased inflation. They still have a target of 2%, but will allow for rates to increase accordingly since rates have been so low lately. Looking forward to the month of September, it will be interesting to see how the markets react as we move closer to the presidential election.
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Sector & Index Performance Consists of the following:
Grains: Corn, Soybean Meal, Oats, Soybeans, Soybean Oil, Wheat, Rough Rice. Livestock: Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle, Lean Hogs. Softs: Cocoa, Orange Juice, Sugar No. 11, Random Length Lumber, Coffee, Cotton No. 2. Currencies: Euro Currency, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, US Dollar, Brazilian Real, Mexican Peso, Australian dollar. Indices: S&P 500, Mini Dow, Mini Nasdaq. Interest Rates: 30-year t-bond, 10-year t-note, 5-year t-note, Eurodollars. Metals: Gold, Silver, Copper, Platinum, Palladium. Energy: Crude Oil, Reformulated Gas, Natural Gas, Heating Oil, Denatured Fuel Ethanol. S&P 500 Index – data collected from investing.com. Barclay CTA Index – data collected from barclayhedge.com. S&P GSCI Index – data collected from us.spindices.com/indices/commodities/sp-gsci.