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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude and Copper End Week Lower on China’s Lackluster Refinery and Industrial Data; Gold Declines Ahead of Expected Fed Interest Rate Hike

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session lower to end the week in the negative, as refinery data from China last month showed a slowdown from the previous two months and raised demand concerns. Industrial data from China showed November refinery throughput reached 12.28 million barrels per day (bpd), up 2.9% from the same month last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, adding that was below the 12.43 million bpd in October and a record of 12.49 million bpd in September. Meanwhile, a report from the International Energy Agency on Thursday said that total global oil supply in November fell by 360,000 barrels a day as a result of outages in the North Sea and Canada, as well as a decline in Russian output. The agency expects oil demand growth next year to remain unchanged at 1.4 million barrels a day but expects a supply deficit in the second quarter of the year. In November, the agency had predicted a surplus for the entire year. Back home, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration showed crude oil stockpiles in the US dropped by about 1.21 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 7, falling for the second successive week after 10 successive weeks of increases. The decline, however, was almost three times lower than the expected level. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute report that US crude inventories in the US fell by 10.2 million barrels in the week. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by four to 873. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US also fell by four to 1,071 as gas rigs were flat at 198.

Light, sweet crude oil for January delivery had a weekly decline of 1.76%, settling at $51.20 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline fell during the week, down 2.05% and settling at $1.43 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas for March delivery sank 14.18% this week at $3.61 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 1.00% lower this week, compared with a gain of 2.07% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower, settling at $1,241.40 and ultimately ending the week down 0.95% as the US dollar gained in strength against most major currencies, riding on somewhat encouraging US retail sales data. According to a report from the Commerce Department, retail sales growth in November was slightly weaker than expected due to a steep drop in sales by gas stations, although underlying retail sales growth remained strong. The report said retail sales edged up by 0.2% in November after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.1% in October. Besides the retail sales data, a likely 25-basis points hike in US interest rates next week supported the dollar’s uptick. The Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to announce its monetary policy Dec. 19, is widely expected to raise interest rates for the fourth time this year. However, contrary to earlier indications and expectations, the central bank is unlikely to keep hiking rates in the coming year. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said that he hopes the Fed “won’t be raising interest rates anymore.” On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session down at $2.76 per pound, but managed to squeeze through a gain of 0.33% for the week, even as downbeat economic data from China weighed on industrial metals as a whole. China reported that industrial production for November was 5.4% — the slowest growth pace since early 2016. Forecasts were for 5.9%. It also said that its retail sales for the same month were up 8.1% — the slowest pace of growth since early 2003. Expectations were for 8.8%. The impact of the lackluster industrial data, however, was mitigated by China’s announcement it would rescind retaliatory tariffs on imported US autos.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed. Sugar had a weekly increase of 0.24% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.02 per pound at Friday’s close, down 1.83% for the week; and cocoa rose 4.79% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,237 per tonne. Among grains, wheat fell 0.33% and settled at $5.30 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and corn was down 0.13% in the week and settled at $3.85 per bushel Friday. Meanwhile, soybeans fell 1.59% for the week, closing at $9.14 per bushel on Friday. The ongoing trade discussions between the US and China continue to weigh on prices of agricultural products, and traders are keeping an eye on the developments. On Wednesday, China made good on its pledge to increase soybean imports. The US Department of Agriculture reported that private exporters sold 1.13 million tonnes of beans to China. This is the first major purchase of US soybeans since Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping struck a trade war truce earlier this month. However, traders were expecting the country to buy between 3 million and 5 million tonnes. There is still some uncertainty if China will buy more in the near future.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 0.11% higher for the week, a slight improvement from the 0.03% increase in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER  

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

Costco Wholesale Shares Slump After Mixed Quarter, RBC Says to Buy on Pullback

10:16 AM, Dec 14, 2018 — Costco Wholesale (COST) shares were sinking Friday after the members-only retailer reported mixed results for its fiscal first quarter, but RBC Capital Markets said they’d be buyers of the stock on a pullback amid “healthy” growth in store traffic.

Late Thursday, Costco said sales rose 10% to $34.3 billion, but that was short of the consensus on Capital IQ for $34.6 billion. Net income rose to $1.73 per diluted share from $1.45 a share in the same period of last year. The Street’s expectation was for $1.62.

Gross margins were “a drag,” RBC analyst Scot Ciccarelli said in a note Friday, but the sales were “robust.” Shares of the retailer were down more than 6% in morning trading.

“Costco’s email marketing strategy along with service offerings such as Hot Buys and Buyer’s Picks continue to buoy comps (both online and in-store),” the analyst said. “We continue to expect growth in both channels to remain robust.”

Comparable sales in the 12 weeks through Nov. 25 excluding the effects of foreign exchange and gasoline prices as well as an accounting change, rose 7.5% for the total company and were up about 26% for e-commcerce. RBC said gross margins on total revenue were down 50 basis points year-on-year to about 12.7% against the bank’s 13.2% estimate, “primarily driven by Costco’s ongoing investments in its value proposition.” Traffic was up 5.2% in the US and 4.9% globally, Ciccarelli said.

Still, the analyst lowered his price target on Costco’s stock to $247 from $254, while keeping an outperform rating, after cutting his full-year 2019 earnings estimate amid “slightly more margin pressure than anticipated.” RBC is projecting EPS of $7.65, down from $7.70 seen earlier, while keeping views for 2020 and 2021 at $8.35 and $9.10.

While margins are often volatile and “came in a touch below expectations, Costco always invests in price/value,” Ciccarelli said. “This has allowed it to build a massive competitive barrier and drive some of the highest comp growth in retail, despite its massive size. We would be aggressive buyers on a pullback.”

Companies: Costco Wholesale Corporation
Price: 211.99 Price Change: -14.52 Percent Change: -6.41

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Microsoft to Develop Retirement Savings Platform With BlackRock Investment Products

1:16 PM, Dec 13, 2018 — Microsoft (MSFT) and asset manager BlackRock (BLK) said they will develop a platform to improve retirement savings and investment habits as US workers live longer and responsibilities for pensions shift from companies to individuals.

In a statement Thursday, the companies said they will bring together New York-based BlackRock’s investment products and Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft technologies. The platform will let people engage more regularly with their assets to get an idea of how their contributions will turn into long-term retirement income.

“Retirement systems worldwide are under stress and providing financial security to retirees has become one of the most defining societal challenges of our time,” Laurence Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, said in the statement. “BlackRock has a tremendous responsibility to help solve this challenge, and we recognize the need to act now.”

BlackRock, which reported an 8% growth in third quarter assets under management to $6.4 trillion, said it will offer the new platform alongside “next generation investment products that it will design and manage.” The new products will be made available to US workers through their employers’ workplace savings plan, BlackRock said.

In a survey conducted between July and August of almost 5,000 adults ranging from ages 18 to 74, 47% said they haven’t put away any money for retirement, the Association of Young Americans and aging advocacy group AARP. That includes 44% of Baby Boomers, the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964.

“Millions of Americans are struggling to achieve their financial goals for retirement,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said in the statement that didn’t give details about when the platform would become available. “Together with BlackRock we will apply the power of the cloud and AI to introduce new solutions that address this important challenge and reimagine retirement planning.”

Companies: Microsoft Corporation
Price: 108.99 Price Change: -0.09 Percent Change: -0.08

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Stitch Fix Shares Sink as Growth in Expenses Overshadow First Quarter Earnings Beat

8:19 AM, Dec 11, 2018 — Shares of Stitch Fix (SFIX), an online personal styling service, traded sharply lower early on Tuesday as investors appeared to be looking past the company’s earnings and revenue beat in the fiscal first quarter, as selling expenses surged.

Group revenue rose to $366.2 million during the three months that ended October 27, up 23.9% from $295.6 million a year ago, the company, which offers a subscription-based service, said in its earnings report. That result was ahead of the $358.1 million average analyst estimate compiled by Capital IQ.

Earnings per share also rose, advancing to $0.10, from $0.04, with analysts expecting an income of $0.04 per share.

“We grew our active client count to 2.9 million, an increase of 22% year over year,” Chief Operating Officer Mike Smith said in the statement. “This quarter, we added new brands to the platform across Women’s, Men’s and Kids, including Michael Kors, Madewell, The North Face, Bonobos, and Converse. In Men’s, we launched expanded sizing.”

The growth, however, may have come at a price. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose by 29.1% to $154.3 million in the first quarter, from $119.5 million a year ago, driven by the company’s investment in “talent” as it expanded its data science and engineering teams and the associated stock-based compensation related to these investments.

The company reported an increase in advertising expense in three months to $38.9 million from $28.2 million. Although gross margin was higher at 45.1% versus 43.7%, the improvement was primarily driven by the decrease in inventory reserve and, to a lesser extent, reduced clearance.

At the time of writing, shares of Stitch Fix were down more than 15% in pre-market trade.

Companies: Stitch Fix, Inc.
Price: 21.65 Price Change: -4.32 Percent Change: -16.63

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends Week Higher as OPEC, Other Oil Producers Agree to Cut Production; Gold Logs Biggest Weekly Gain Since August

(MT Newswires) – Crude oil ended Friday’s session higher, with the week starting off with modest losses ahead of the scheduled meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key producers. There was some uncertainty as Russia appeared reluctant to cut back production, fueling concerns that global supplies will well outstrip demand in 2019. Additionally, US President Donald Trump has been pressuring the organization to keep prices low, tweeting, “Hopefully Opec will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” On Friday, crude prices turned higher following news that OPEC and other oil producers ended their two-day meeting in Vienna with an agreement to cut their output by 1.2 million barrels in an effort to reduce the market oversupply that has hurt prices and producers’ revenue in recent weeks. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh confirmed the size of the cut at the meeting of the 25 countries that account for nearly half of global oil supplies. If the group fully implements the plan, current global oil production would decrease by about 1.2%. Back home, the Energy Information Administration reported that crude stockpiles in the US dropped sharply last week for the first time in 11 weeks, announcing a drawdown of 7.3 million barrels in the week to Nov. 30, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of just 942,000 barrels. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute report that US crude oil inventories surged by 5.4 million barrels to 448 million barrels last week. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US dropped to 877 last week, the lowest since Nov. 2.

Light, sweet crude oil for January delivery had a weekly uptick of 3.25%, settling at $52.61 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline rose during the week, up 5.33% and settled at $1.49 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas for January delivery fell 2.84% for the week and was up Friday at $4.49 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 2.07% higher for the week, compared with a gain of 0.23% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session higher, settling at $1,252.60 — the highest settlement price since July. It ended the week up 2.10% — the biggest weekly gain since August. As with most commodities, the yellow metal logged gains after the announced trade truce between the US and China earlier in the week. Gold’s gains solidified after the US dollar slipped against major currencies amid speculation the Federal Reserve will pause its interest rate hike agenda in the coming year. Chances of the Fed pausing monetary tightening in the foreseeable future have increased following the release of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report that showed a much-less-than-expected addition in US employment in the month of November. Traders are now looking ahead to the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, to be held Dec. 18-19.

On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session up at $2.76 per pound, getting some lift from the US dollar’s decline but ultimately ended the week down 1.45% — the third weekly decline in a row. The US-China trade dispute continues to weigh on industrial metals, despite the announced trade truce earlier in the week. There is skepticism about the truce between the two countries, which was compounded by the arrest of a Chinese executive in Canada reportedly at the behest of US officials. Huawei Technologies’ Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada and may be extradited to the US on suspicions of breaching the trade embargo on Iran. Meng is the daughter of the founder of the smartphone and telecoms equipment maker, who’s also a former high-ranking official in the Chinese military.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly higher, lifted by developments in the trade dispute between the US and China — despite doubts that a concrete deal could be signed soon. Grains were the biggest gainers for the week — wheat increased 3.15% and settled at $5.31 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; corn was up 2.26% in the week and settled at $3.86 per bushel in Friday’s session; and soybeans rose 2.55% for the week, closing at $9.17 per bushel on Friday. Traders are now waiting for China to renew its purchase of US soybeans and other agricultural products — the real confirmation that the trade negotiations have made progress. However, soybeans could see more pressure in the weeks ahead on expectations that Argentina could raise its soybean exports to China to 14 million tonnes this season, should the US-China trade war continue. Additionally, Brazil’s soybean output is forecast to reach record levels, which would in turn reduce China’s need for US-sourced soybeans. In other agriculture commodities, sugar had a weekly decline of 0.16% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.04 per pound at Friday’s close, down 3.30% for the week; and cocoa rose 3.00% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,225 per tonne.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 0.03% higher for the week, a smaller gain from the 0.22% increase in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

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Philip Morris Parent Altria Acquires 45% Stake in Cannabis Company Cronos to Get Foothold in Industry

9:37 AM, Dec 7, 2018 — Altria Group (MO), whose subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA and Ste. Michelle Wines, said Friday it will acquire a 45% equity stake in cannabinoid company Cronos Group (CRON) valued at about $1.8 billion.

The investment gets Altria’s foot in the door of the “emerging” global cannabis sector, which it believes will grow rapidly in the next decade, and creates new growth opportunities in a category adjacent to its core tobacco business, the company said.

Under the terms of the deal, Altria will acquire the stake at a price of C$16.25 ($12.22) a share. Altria will have the right to nominate four directors, including an independent director, to serve on Cronos’ board, which will grow from five to seven directors. Altria will have a warrant to acquire additional ownership at a price of C$19 a share, exercisable over four years from the closing date of the stake acquisition, the company said in a statement.

If fully exercised, the warrant would increase Altria’s ownership in Cronos to 55%, the statement said.

“Investing in Cronos Group as our exclusive partner in the emerging global cannabis category represents an exciting new growth opportunity for Altria,” Howard Willard, Altria’s chief executive, said in the statement. “We believe that Cronos Group’s excellent management team has built capabilities necessary to compete globally, and we look forward to helping Cronos Group realize its significant growth potential.”

Mike Gorenstein, the CEO of Cronos, said the proceeds from the equity acquisition will enable the company to accelerate its global infrastructure and distribution footprint and increase research and development.

Cronos is the owner of Canadian-licensed producers Peace Naturals Project and Original BC, based in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. It operates a global medicinal cannabis brand and two recreational brands in Canada. It has production and distribution platforms on five continents, the company said.

It has no operations in the US as cannabis is still federally illegal, although through Cronos, Altria is “better positioned” should the federal government decriminalize cannabis.

Companies: Altria Group
Price: 55.63 Price Change: +1.23 Percent Change: +2.27

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UPS Rolls Out New Navigation System to Cut Fuel Consumption, Slash Costs

2:51 PM, Dec 4, 2018 — UPS (UPS) said it has integrated a new navigation tool into the handheld device its package delivery drivers carry as it seeks to reduce miles driven, fuel consumed and carbon emissions.

The system called UPSNav will also empower its employees to provide better service to customers and is a significant update to the previous navigation tool, the Atlanta-based company said on Tuesday.

“UPSNav is not a conventional navigation platform like those that guide drivers in their personal vehicles from the front door of Address A to the front door of Address B,” said Juan Perez, the company’s chief information and engineering officer. “UPS drivers make an average of 125 stops each day. They often drive to customer locations that are not visible from the main road or through traditionally available mapping technology. UPSNav was built for the heavy and complex UPS workload.”

The company in October said third-quarter fuel costs surged 36% year-over-year $867 million. It said the rising fuel costs were an unplanned headwind that were offset by a lower tax rate. In the nine months through September, the company reported fuel spending of $2.47 billion, a 32% increase from 2017.

UPSNav, which was initially launched as a pilot this fall before being rolled out to about 5,000 US-based drivers and some in Canada, furnishes drivers with all the available information on their daily deliveries as well as the most cost-effective route between stops, with the option for drivers and other staff to quickly correct maps or update them if a delivery or pickup point changes.

UPS says it has invested aggressively in its global smart logistics network, which relies on data, analytics and innovative technology to pioneer customer solutions, boost service levels and generate operational efficiencies.

Companies: United Parcel Service, Inc.
Price: 107.09 Price Change: -8.18 Percent Change: -7.10

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Groupon Plans Distribution Partnership With AMC Theatres in Continued Shift Away From Vouchers

2:20 PM, Dec 3, 2018 — Groupon (GRPN) and AMC Theatres (AMC) agreed to a distribution partnership to give users greater access to the movies through the cinema exhibitor’s network of theaters and screens across the US.

The integration is expected to be launched in the first half of next year, the Chicago-based online deal marketplace said on Monday. The companies also plan to explore longer term opportunities to work together, said Groupon, which has been moving away from its deal-a-day voucher business to bring more offerings to consumers.

“Partnering with AMC helps us bolster an already strong category for Groupon,” said Brian Fields, head of things to do. “This integration furthers our mission of becoming the daily habit in local by connecting people with more entertainment choices in their community. Going to the movies is the quintessential local experience.”

Groupon shares, which touched an 18-month low in November, was up about 2% on Monday.

Three years since bringing in Chief Executive Rich Williams, Groupon’s strategy of gradually moving to a mobile-based platform comes as revenue retreats, with third-quarter sales sliding 6.6% to $592.9 million, it said on Nov. 7.

“Email is in deep decline across e-commerce,” Williams said in a letter to shareholders last month. “At Groupon, that’s translated to email dropping from nearly 100% of our business in the early days to around 20% today. Since I took over as CEO, that’s meant a roughly $135 million annual gross profit headwind for the business.”

Companies: Groupon, Inc.
Price: 3.17 Price Change: +0.10 Percent Change: +3.09

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Edges Lower, OPEC to Discuss Possible Output Cuts; Metals, Soft Commodities Get Lift on Hopes for US-China Trade Talks

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session lower, on pace for sharp declines this month of more than 20%. Worries about slowing growth continue, coinciding with signs of crude output increasing. On Friday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said during an interview with the TASS news agency that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key producers were comfortable with prevailing crude prices, causing markets to recalibrate odds for OPEC and non-OPEC countries to agree to an output trim at meetings that were scheduled for the sidelines of last weekend’s G20 gathering. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories in the US increased by 3.58 million barrels in the week to Nov. 23. That was the tenth straight weekly increase in inventories. The increase was also much more than the expected level. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday a crude oil inventory build of 3.5 million barrels for the week ending Nov. 23. Distillate stockpiles rose by 1.2 million barrels, but gasoline supplies declined by 2.6 million barrels. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US rose by two to 887 during the week, fluctuating within the narrow zone that’s constrained the tally in the month of November.

Light, sweet crude oil for January delivery had a weekly uptick of 0.60%, settling at $50.93 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. On Thursday, the US oil benchmark dipped below the $50 a barrel mark for the first time in a year. In other energy futures, gasoline rose during the week, up 1.86% and settling at $1.40 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 6.15% during the week and was up Friday at $4.61 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 0.23% higher for the week, from a decline of 3.65% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower, down 0.18% for the week and settling at $1,226.00 as the US dollar gained in strength against most major currencies. Focus has been on the G20 summit and the much-awaited meeting of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the summit. According to reports, Trump said he was close to doing something on trade with Beijing but was not sure if he wanted to do it. Earlier in the week, the yellow metal logged gains as traders speculated on future rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The minutes of the Fed’s November meeting suggest a rate hike in December, while indicating there may not be three increases in rates next year as projected earlier. According to the minutes, a few participants expressed uncertainty about the timing of future increases. On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session down at $2.79 per pound, but eked out gains of 0.65% for the week. Prices for the red metal also reacted to developments in the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, logging gains in the first part of the week. However, soft data from China dragged prices down in the latter half. China’s manufacturing for the month of November was flat month over month, with the Official Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index coming in at 50.0, in line with the prior month and below expectations for a reading of 50.2.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly higher, lifted by optimism that a trade deal between the US and China might be signed over the weekend. Sugar had a weekly increase of 1.18% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.08 per pound at Friday’s close, down 3.24% for the week; and cocoa rose 2.28% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,203 per tonne. Among grains, wheat increased 1.78% and settled at $5.16 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and corn was up 1.76% in the week and settled at $3.78 per bushel in Friday’s session.  Meanwhile, soybeans rose 1.42% for the week, closing at $8.95 per bushel on Friday. Hopes for an end to the trade dispute between the US and China drove the modest price increases among most of the soft commodities, particularly soybeans, which has been the hardest hit by the prolonged trade spat. On Thursday, the US Department of Agriculture reported that China had bought a mere $9 billion worth of agricultural exports this fiscal year — down 45%, mainly due to the trade war. Higher soybeans sales to other countries are not expected to offset lost demand from China even as stocks in the US swelled due to record harvests.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 0.22% higher for the week, compared with a decline of 0.87% in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER  

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

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Amazon to Allow Users Access to Apple Music on Echo Devices Next Month in Rare Mashup

11:05 AM, Nov 30, 2018 — Amazon (AMZN) will allow users of its Echo smart speaker devices ask its Alexa voice-activated home assistant to play songs from rival Apple’s (AAPL) Music platform, starting next month.

In a company blog posting Friday, the e-commerce giant said Apple Music will be available on Echo devices beginning the week of Dec. 17. Users can ask Alexa to play something from Apple Music’s collection of 50 million songs, or stream “expert-made radio stations” centered on certain music genres, eras or geographies.

“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices. “We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we’ve expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services.”

The rare tie-up between the technology giants comes as Apple Music grows to become one of the most popular music services in the US, according to Amazon.

Users are already asking the Alexa assistant to “play all kinds of music in many different languages,” the company said. “They stream tens of millions of hours per month and have set tens of millions of music alarms since the feature launched less than a year ago.”

Users will need to enable the Apple Music skill in Amazon’s Alexa app when it becomes available and link their own account, Amazon said.

Amazon’s shares were up more than 1% on Friday morning trading, but Apple’s stock was about 0.5% lower. Spotify (SPOT), which offers its own streaming music service, was down 1.8%.

Companies: Amazon.com, Inc.

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