Money Matters - Simplified

commodities

When Commodities Attack!


You know about stocks and bonds, but there are a few other investment classes out there that most individuals don't think much about, especially as they relate to individual companies. One is foreign exchange, which I've already talked about. Another is commodities, probably the world's oldest investments. Almost every type of business relies on commodities in some way, making it important for every investor to think about the broad implications of how their companies operate.

Don't Obsess About Dividends

 

With interest rates on bonds, bank CDs, and other low-risk investments at extremely low levels, investors have really taken to the income potential provided by dividend-paying stocks. But a stock that doesn't pay a dividend isn't automatically a loser. In fact, sometimes, a company that chooses to make other uses of its free cash than returning it to shareholders via dividends is making the smartest move it can with its capital.




Tomorrow's Monster Stock?

 Stocks climbing to 10 times their original price are rare breeds -- but they're not impossible to find. Especially when you have Fools for friends.

 

U.S. markets close with slim gains

New York -- U.S. markets mustered few gains Wednesday with the dollar index extending its rise into the second trading session, climbing 0.18 percent to 80.

The dollar's gain weighed on commodities and U.S. firms that rely on exports. With no major reports on the U.S. economic calendar, Germany reported its trade surplus grew from $16.5 billion in October 2009 to $18.8 billion in October 2010.

The surplus is a reminder of the struggles of the euro, which is shared by countries with economies in decline, such as Greece and Ireland, and countries where an economic recovery has found traction, such as Germany and France.

U.S. markets open flat Wednesday

New York -- U.S. markets opened flat Wednesday with the dollar index extending its gains into the second trading session, rising 0.22 percent to 80.03.

The dollar's gain weighed on commodities and U.S. firms that rely on exports. With no major reports on the U.S. economic calendar, Germany reported its trade surplus grew from $16.5 billion in October 2009 to $18.8 billion for October 2010.

The surplus is a reminder of the struggles of the euro, which is shared by countries with economies in decline, such as Greece and Ireland, and countries where an economic recovery has found traction, such as Germany and France.

Grains climb Thursday on weak dollar

Chicago -- Grain futures closed higher on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday with the dollar's weakness supporting gold, oil and agricultural commodities.

Corn was up 15 3/4 to up 16 1/2, soybeans were up 37 to up 38 1/4, wheat was up 12 3/4 to up 13 1/2 and oats up 8 1/4.

Corn futures rose with the dollar index down 0.65 percent and the U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly Export Sales report showing this week's sales below expectations. Wheat prices rose with Egypt purchasing 175,000 metric tons from U.S. sources. Soybean futures were supported by funds, which returned as net buyers Thursday.

The prices:

Corn: Dec. 5.41 3/4, up 16; Mar 5.55 3/4, up 16 1/2; May 5.62 1/2, up 16 1/4; Jul 5.65 3/4, up 15 3/4.

The Investment That Wouldn't Die

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McDonald's intends to raise prices

Oak Brook, Ill. -- U.S. restaurant chain McDonald's said it was preparing to raise prices to cover higher costs of commodities.

McDonald's has not raised prices since late 1990, Media Post News reported Friday.

The firm said it expected commodity costs to rise up to 3 percent in 2011. The price hikes are expected in Europe and the United States, but the firm did not release details.

"We'll actively look at opportunities and with some optimism the economy will get stronger next year and we'll get price increases," Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Bucyrus Is Desirous of Global Mining Investment


After this second consecutive quarter of lackluster earnings from the king of consolidation in heavy mining equipment, Bucyrus (Nasdaq: BUCY) is desirous of the upcoming mine development spending blitz.

3 Mining Stocks Ready to Move


Investing in mining companies is one way to invest in commodities such as precious metals without actually having to buy and store those bulky items. As the price for the commodity rises, the price of mining stocks also tends to rise. Plus, as they produce more from their mines, their stock price also rises, so you get the benefit of both an inflation hedge and a growing company.