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Apple Faces Slower Consumer Demand in China That May Hurt iPhone Sales, Goldman Sachs Says

9:00 AM, Oct 15, 2018 — Slowing consumer demand in China could affect Apple (AAPL) this fall, but not enough for Goldman Sachs to lower its iPhone shipments estimate, the bank said in a note to clients on Monday.

Macro indicators in the Asian nation have weakened “substantially” as the country’s PMI dropped to a 50.8 print in September from a 51.3 in August, the bank’s analysts said. Auto sales fell 12% year-over-year last month versus a year-over-year decline in August, and Golden Week indications are “lackluster,” Goldman said.

“We also believe that smartphone unit volume deteriorated by 15% year-over-year in the third quarter, which is unheard of in a typically seasonally strong third quarter,” the analysts said. “Though most of the smartphone
weakness was in the mid and lower range, we find it hard to believe that this general environment is going to be helpful to Apple unless things improve late in the year.”

Apple shares were down 0.3% in pre-bell trading on Monday.

It’s not all bad news, however, as iPhone conversion trends are positive in China and elsewhere, the bank said. Apple’s flagship product didn’t even compete in the rapidly growing segment last year, there’s upside potential this year as the Xs Max and CR are in the 6-inch-plus screen-size category, Goldman said.

The bank reiterated its December quarter iPhone shipments estimate of 80 million and retained its $240 12-month price target, though much of that forecast was based on Chinese demand for phones with larger screen sizes.

“Should weak consumer demand persist and impact the higher end of the market, Apple’s potential to beat and raise (fiscal fourth quarter) earnings is likely reduced,” Goldman said.

Companies: Apple Inc.
Price: 221.40 Price Change: -0.71 Percent Change: -0.32

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Oil Caps Volatile Session With Slim Friday Gains While Gold Climbs Amid Global Economic Uncertainty, Corn Firms as Trump Pushes Year-Round E15

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher, as fears of disruptions to global oil supplies helped offset growth worries. An uptick in crude’s prices came on the heels of the news that Hurricane Michael made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a category 4 storm. Following hurricane warnings, offshore producers including Anadarko Petroleum, BHP Billiton, BP and Chevron reportedly evacuated workers from 13 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf — this is expected to cut oil production in the Gulf by about 40%. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Iran’s economy would contract over the next two years due to reduced oil production as US sanctions targeting Iran’s crude oil exports come into force on Nov. 4. However, it forecast increased growth in Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich neighbors in the Gulf on the back of higher oil production. Back home, the Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported that commercial crude inventories in the US increased by 6.0 million barrels from the previous week. This compares with the week earlier build of 8 million barrels and the American Petroleum Institute’s report Wednesday looking for a major build of 9.75 million barrels. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said late Friday the number of oil rigs operating in the US rose by eight to 869, the biggest advance in 10 weeks.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for November delivery was down 3.8%, settling at $71.34 per barrel at the close of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline declined during the week, edging 6.8% lower and settling at $1.940 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 2.7% this week but was down Friday at $3.088 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 1.2% this week, from an increase of 0.97% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower as equities recovered from sharp selling, settling at $1.222 but eventually ended the week up 1.2%. The yellow metal slipped lower on Tuesday to a one-week low as the US dollar hit a seven-week high; gold, however, edged higher mid-week, benefitting from its safe- haven status as traders shunned equities amid mounting concerns over a budget showdown between Italy and the EU and on worries about a slowing Chinese economy. Concerns over Italy’s budget have eased somewhat following a statement from the country’s finance minister, reassuring traders that the government will do all it can to restore market confidence. Meanwhile, China’s currency slipped past a psychological bulwark as the IMF lowered its forecast for Chinese economic growth in 2019 to 6.2% from 6.4%, citing “negative effect of recent tariff actions.”

On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session higher at $2.8005, and rose 2.01% for the week.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed. Sugar had a weekly increase of 3.9% and settled at a price of $0.1312 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.165 per pound at Friday’s close, up 6.7% for the week; and cocoa climbed 6.3% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,160 per tonne. Among grains, wheat fell 1% and settled at $5.17 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session, while soybeans slipped 0.2% for the week, closing at $8.68 per bushel on Friday. Meanwhile corn was up 1.4% in the week and settled at $3.74 per bushel in Friday’s session, following President Donald Trump’s directive to allow the year-round sale of a higher concentration of ethanol in gasoline — a move that would benefit corn farmers, who have been affected by a slump in corn prices as a result of the US-China trade war. Trump is pushing to make available E15, or gasoline with 15% ethanol, throughout the year, hoping that it will expand biofuels and in turn, help farmers by spurring sales of ethanol. E15 had been banned in summer months due to smog concerns.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 1.1% for the week, compared with an increase of 1.63% 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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Microsoft Makes Strategic Investment in Grab; Company Will Use Cloud Platform, AI to Expand in Southeast Asia

9:48 AM, Oct 9, 2018 — Microsoft (MSFT) is taking a stake in Southeast Asia’s online-to-offline retail segment, signing a partnership with Grab, one of the regions bigger players in the O2O industry.

The companies have signed a five-year agreement in which Grab will use Microsoft’s Azure as its cloud platform while Microsoft will make an undisclosed strategic investment in Grab. The agreement will be for five years and the firms will collaborate on a “range” of technology projects including big data, artificial intelligence and mobility solutions, according to a joint statement.

Grab will use Microsoft products to improve passenger security and safety using mobile facial recognition as a replacement for checking IDs to help drivers and passengers identify each other, and to improve fraud detection and better predict fraudulent transactions on Grab’s platform, the companies said.

Passengers also will be able to take a photo of their location and have it translated into an actual address for the driver using Microsoft technology.

“The companies plan to leverage Microsoft’s natural language processing capabilities to provide customers with contextualized real-time translations and create an AI chatbot so Grab users can engage in interactive experiences,” the statement said. “Microsoft’s machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab’s advanced “recommendation engine” that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.”

Grab will pilot Microsoft’s Kaizala app, which is designed to improve efficiency and efficacy for customer service teams. The companies also will collaborate on deployment of in-car entertainment and productivity solutions across Southeast Asia, the statement said.

Ming Maa, the president of Grab, said the “deep collaboration” with Microsoft to transform the delivery of services and solutions in the region. The partnership presents opportunities to innovate in the industry and the region, said Peggy Johnson, the executive vice president at Microsoft.

Companies: Microsoft Corporation
Price: 110.40 Price Change: -0.45 Percent Change: -0.41

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Extends Weekly Gains on Supply Concerns Ahead of US Sanctions on Iran; Gold Rises as Dollar Weakens Following Sept Payrolls Report

(MT Newswires) -Crude ended Friday’s session higher, as the oil market grappled with the spare capacity needed to replace Iranian barrels next month. Although Russia and Saudi Arabia reportedly made a secret pact in September to increase output until December to partially make up for the loss of Iranian oil, it is feared that with little spare capacity at their disposal, OPEC and major non-OPEC producers may not be able to offset the likely drop in supply from early November. These supply concerns outweighed a surge in US inventories that was above what analysts had forecast in a weekly survey. The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that crude supplies in the US surged by almost 8 million barrels last week, the biggest jump since March 2017. The increase was four times the level of expectations in a Reuters’ survey of analysts. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute’s report last Tuesday that US commercial crude inventories rose by 907,000 barrels to 400.9 million. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said late Friday the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by two to 861. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US also slipped by two 1,052 as gas rigs were flat at 189.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for November delivery was up 1.09%, settling at $74.34 per barrel at the close of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline declined during the week, edging 0.15% lower and settling at $2.09 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 5.03% this week but was down Friday at $3.14 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 0.97% this week, from an increase of 1.04% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session higher, settling at $1,205.60 and eventually ending the week up 0.95%. The yellow metal bounced back from losses earlier in the week as the dollar weakened a bit after data showed the US economy saw a less-than-expected addition in employment in September.  The US Labor Department said that nonfarm payroll employment climbed by 134,000 jobs in September, while economists had expected an increase of about 185,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in September from 3.9% in August. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to edge down to 3.8%.  On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session lower at $2.76, and fell 1.48% for the week.  The red metal’s prices were pressured by news that the Chinese manufacturing sector had slowed down in September on weaker domestic and international demand, showing the initial effects of US tariffs on China’s economy. The official China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing’s monthly purchasing managers index revealed that manufacturing activity decelerated to 50.8 from August’s 51.3.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed. Sugar had a weekly increase of 12.68% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.09 per pound at Friday’s close, up 6.54% for the week; and cocoa fell 0.78% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,024 per tonne.  Among grains, wheat fell 2.45% and settled at $5.21 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session, while corn was up 3.23% in the week and settled at $3.68 per bushel in Friday’s session, hitting a two-month high as a forecast for rains sparked concerns over harvest delays. Heavy rains are expected across much of the western and central Midwest over the next week, likely affecting mature corn in major producing states including Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. Meanwhile, soybeans rose 2.96% for the week, closing at $8.69 per bushel on Friday, following the Commerce Department’s report on the US trade deficit, reflecting an increase in imports and a decrease in exports. The data said the trade deficit widened to $53.2 billion in August from a revised $50.0 billion in July. Exports slipped 0.8% to $209.4 billion in August. Soybeans are among exported products that saw the sharpest decline, with shipments falling 28% due to retaliatory foreign tariffs on US crops.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 1.63% for the week, compared with an increase of 1.00% 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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Nike, Lululemon, Tiffany Dabbling in `Experiential Retailing’ With Success to Reach Millennials

12:11 PM, Oct 4, 2018 — Consumer brands are taking a more definitive stance toward experiential retailing — offering shoppers an experience rather than just products to buy — with positive results, Canaccord Genuity analysts Camilo Lyon and Pallav Saini said in a note to clients on Thursday.

In the second installment of their so-called Millennial Market Monitor, or M3, the analysts said the forays into experiential retailing have increased traffic and conversion and have influenced decisions about future retail openings.

Nike’s (NKE) new retail concept called Nike Live, which opened in Los Angeles over the summer, is now serving as a roadmap for new stores in New York City and Shanghai, Canaccord said.

“The Nike Live concept store in LA showcases a geographically relevant merchandise mix coupled with traffic driving initiatives like a vending machine with a free give away, and merchandise pick up lockers,” the analysts said. “The company’s 55,000-square-foot flagship store in New York boasts a Kinect-powered basketball court with adjustable hoops and digital video screens, an enclosed soccer trial area, a treadmill in front of a jumbotron that simulates outdoor runs, and a customization bar.”

Other brands are increasing the allocation of retail physical space to lounges, cafes and ares where customers can socialize or even work using the store’s wireless internet. Starbucks (SBUX) pioneered the socialization concept and WeWork created an entire business on the principle, Canaccord said.

Lululemon (LULU) has a similar space in its New York store in the Flatiron building where customers can use wireless internet or participate in special events. It also has a meditation space in its Fifth Avenue store. The company’s Queen Street store in Toronto has a small gallery where local artists and entrepreneurs can display their wares and have a cup of coffee.

The store on Fifth Avenue has a “mindfulosophy space” that’s equipped with large sofas, headphones and 12 self-guided meditation recordings that offer “patrons a chance to escape, unplug and recharge,” Canaccord siad.

Tiffany (TIF) is targeting millennials using its so-called Style Studio. Its London Covent Garden store has a fragrance vending machine and a personalization bar.

“Customers can create their own monograms (and) designs on screens and see them transferred to jewelry or other items,” the analysts said. “The company is incorporating more special events, rather than just exclusive shopping events. There is a space at the back of the store for client events, exhibitions and parties, and artwork from young artists working with international art fund Outset.”

French beauty brand L’Occitane, Birkenstock and luxury retailer Matchesfashion also have dabbled with experiential retailing, Canaccord said. Macy’s is rolling out virtual reality in its home decor and beauty products in 69 stores across the US that allows consumers to move furniture around in a simulated layout of their own homes.

“The pilot stores where this technology has been tested reported a 60% increase in “basket size,” underscoring the importance of offering an elevated customer experience,” the analysts said. “The company is also extending this technology to beauty products where customers can see how different varieties of makeup might look on them without physically applying it.”

Companies: Nike, Inc.
Price: 80.68 Price Change: -1.82 Percent Change: -2.21

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Kroger Starts Pilot Program Delivering Groceries Ordered Online to Walgreens Stores

10:48 AM, Oct 2, 2018 — Kroger (KR) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) are testing a format that would allow shoppers to order Kroger grocery items online and pick them up at Walgreens outlets participating in the trial program.

The retailers will use 13 Walgreens stores in northern Kentucky, which are near the Cincinnati headquarters of Kroger, to try out the format. The pilot will run over the next several months, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This concept brings together the best of two great brands to rethink convenience and redefine the way America shops for food,” said Rodney McMullen, the chief executive officer of Kroger.

Retailers have been branching out in looking for ways to offer more convenience to customers who are turning to online shopping for ordering and delivery services, increasingly adding grocery items available for fast shipping.

Kroger’s own brands of grocery items, including its Simple Truth organic products, will be available to buy in-store at participating Walgreens locations, the companies said.

“We continue to evolve our offerings to meet the changing needs of our customers and provide a more differentiated shopping experience,” said Stefano Pessina, chief executive of Walgreens. “We’ve been implementing new approaches to promotions, product selection and other areas to deliver greater value in our stores.”

Companies: Kroger Company (The)
Price: 28.79 Price Change: +0.04 Percent Change: +0.14

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Lockheed Martin Picks Harris as Supplier for ‘Brains’ of F-35 Jet to Cut Unit Costs by 75%

2:13 PM, Sep 27, 2018 — Lockheed Martin (LMT) has chosen Harris Corp. (HRS) to build the integrated core processor for its F-35 fighter jet, lowering unit costs by 75% while boosting computing power as it looks to build the fleet around the world.

The ICP is part of Lockheed Martin’s modernization of its F-35 to ensure the jet “remains ahead of evolving threats,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. The technology refresh also saw Harris awarded the panoramic cockpit display electronic unit and aircraft memory system, Lockheed said.

“We are aggressively pursuing cost reduction across the F-35 enterprise,” said Greg Ulmer, general manager for the F-35 program. “After conducting a thorough review and robust competition, we’re confident the next generation Integrated Core Processor will reduce costs and deliver transformational capabilities for the warfighter.”

Versions of Lockheed’s F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the US Air Force, the F/A-18 for the Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the Marine Corps, according to the company’s website. It’s also replacing “a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries,” Lockheed said.

“With production ramping up and the operational fleet growing fast, we are looking at every layer of our global supply chain to find opportunities to increase capacity, reduce production and sustainment costs, improve parts reliability and enhance capabilities,” Ulmer said in the statement.

Apart from the lowered unit costs, the company said the Harris ICP will offer an increase of 25 times in computing power to support planned enhancements in capabilities. It also offers greater software stability, higher reliability, and increased diagnostics resulting in lower sustainment costs along with an open architecture for future updates.

The ICP is the “brains of the F-35, processing data for the aircraft’s communications, sensors, electronic warfare, guidance and control, cockpit and helmet displays,” Lockheed said.

“Open systems are the future of avionics and Harris has invested substantial R&D to deliver more affordable and higher performance solutions than would have been possible using proprietary technology,” said Ed Zoiss, president of Harris Electronic Systems.

Price: 346.13 Price Change: +3.25 Percent Change: +0.95

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Sirius XM Will Acquire Pandora in All-Stock Transaction Valued at $3.5 Billion

8:53 AM, Sep 24, 2018 — Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI) said Monday it would acquire Pandora (P) in an all stock transaction valued at $3.5 billion, creating what the companies all the “world’s largest audio entertainment company.”

The companies combined will have pro-forma revenue in 2018 of more than $7 billion and long-term growth opportunities, they said in a statement. No immediate change in listener offerings will be made following the completion of the transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement, stakeholders will receive 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share they own. The implied price of Pandora common stock is $10.14 a share, a 14% premium over a 30-day volume-weighted average price. The deal will be tax free to Pandora shareholders. Sirius already owns the equivalent of 15% of Pandora in the form of convertible preferred stock.

The agreement allows Pandora and its board of directors to actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter negotiations with parties offering alternate proposals, the companies said. Pandora said it will not release information about such offers until the board has made a decision with respect to a potentially superior proposal.

“This strategic transaction builds on SiriusXM’s position as the leader in subscription radio and a critically acclaimed curator of exclusive audio programming with the addition of the largest US audio streaming platform,” the statement said. “Pandora’s powerful music platform will enable SiriusXM to significantly expand its presence beyond vehicles into the home and other mobile areas.”

Sirius XM shares fell 3.3% in pre-bell trading Monday. Pandora shares jumped 7.6%.

The companies said the mashup will capitalize on opportunities for cross promotion between Sirius’ 36 million subscribers in North America and 23 million trial listeners, and Pandora’s 70 million monthly active users, which represents the largest digital audience in the US.

Sirius said the combination will be able to leverage its content with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription services to create “unique” packages for consumers while also using its “extensive” relationships with automobile manufacturers to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.

Investments in content, technology and innovation will continue, and Sirius said it plans to expand monetization efforts through ad-supported and subscription services.

“We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution,” SiriusXM Chief Executive Jim Meyer said. “We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the US’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by both the independent directors of Pandora and by the board of directors of SiriusXM and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. It’s still subject to approval by Pandora stockholders.

Separately, SiriusXM reiterated its full-year 2018 outlook provided originally on July 25. Self-pay net subscriber additions are pegged at about 1.15 million, revenue is expected to top $5.7 billion, adjusted earnings are seen at about $2.175 billion and free cash flow is forecast at $1.5 billion.

Revenue in the third quarter is seen from $390 million to $405 million and losses before items are expected to be around $10 million to $25 million, Sirius said.

Companies: Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
Price: 6.75 Price Change: -0.23 Percent Change: -3.30

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Higher As Trump Puts Pressure on OPEC to Lower Crude Prices Ahead of Meeting

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher, extending gains from earlier in the week, when prices rose to a two-month high following the Energy Information Administration’s report that crude oil inventories dropped 2.057 million barrels last week, short of a 2.74-million-barrel decline expected by analysts. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute’s report last Tuesday that showed crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels last week. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes (BHGE) reported Friday that the active US rig count was down by one to 866 after last week’s jump, but still well above the year-earlier level of 744. Another factor in the uptick in crude prices is the anticipated decline in Iranian supplies as US sanctions against the Middle Eastern country take full effect in November. Traders are looking ahead to the meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies at Algeria this weekend, to discuss production increases as US sanctions restrict Iranian exports. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump called on OPEC to lower oil prices, piling up pressure on the cartel.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for October delivery rose 3.05%, settling at $70.78 per barrel at the close of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline rose during the week, up 1.91% and settled at $2.00 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 8.37% this week and was up Friday at $297 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 1.75% higher this week, from an increase of 0.10% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower, settling at $1,201.30 but ended the week 0.41% higher. The US dollar sank to a three-month low on Thursday, but by Friday the greenback moved up amid easing worries over the US-China trade war’s impact on the global economy. Traders are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week. It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will certainly hike rates by a quarter of a point next week. The focus will really be on the central bank’s views on future hikes. On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session higher at $2.86, and rallied 8.99% for the week as trade tensions between the US and China eased. Traders are also seeing signs of a sustained global deficit as well as an improved outlook for market fundamentals.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed. Sugar had a weekly decline of 2.66% and settled at a price of $0.12 on Friday; coffee was around $0.99 per pound at Friday’s close, essentially flat with the prior week; and cocoa fell 2.84% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,167.  Among grains, corn was up 1.78% in the week and settled at $3.57 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat increased 2.10% and settled at $5.21 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, soybeans rose 2.32% for the week, closing at $8.47 per bushel on Friday.  This is the biggest weekly gain in a month for soybeans after strong demand helped prices recover from a 10-year low. The US Department of Agriculture reported that weekly US soybean export sales topped 900,000 tonnes, exceeding trade expectations. However, lingering concerns over the US-China trade spat could still cap soybean prices.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 1.21% for the week, compared with a decline of 1.20% 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, UGAUHNor 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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Under Armour to Eliminate 3% of Workforce as Final Part of Restructuring, Demand Headwinds Remain

3:00 PM, Sep 20, 2018 — Under Armour (UAA) said in a statement Thursday that it will cut about 3% of its employees globally as part of a restructuring plan, but Wedbush analysts said demand headwinds will still plague the company.

The company said it expects about $200 million to $220 million pre-tax restructuring and related charges in 2018, up from a prior outlook for $190 million and $210 million in charges. About $10 million in cash severance charges were added to the total after the company decided to trim its workforce.

Job eliminations are expected to be completed by March 31, Under Armour said. The announcement represent the final component of its 2018 restructuring plan. Chief Financial Officer David Bergman said the company must make “difficult” decisions to ensure success.

“This redesign will help simplify the organization for smarter, faster execution, capture additional cost efficiencies, and shift resources to drive greater operating leverage as we move into 2019 and beyond,” Bergman said in the statement.

Shares jumped more than 5% Thursday after the layoffs were announced.

Operating losses are now forecast at $60 million, on the top end of the prior range of $50 million to $60 million, Under Armour said.

The company’s guidance for operating income, however, was raised to $140 million to $160 million versus prior expectations for $130 million to $160 million. Excluding the effect of restructuring, adjusted diluted earnings per share is now seen from $0.16 to $0.19 a share, up from the previous range of $0.14 to $0.19 per share, Under Armour said.

Wedbush analysts Christopher Svezia and Paul Nawalany said in a report that 3% of the company’s global workforce amounts to about 500 people. The analysts said their assessment of Under Armour remains unchanged despite the workforce reduction.

“Clearly the company is looking to rightsize its operating structure (up to $220 million in charges this year alone), with the final phase of the plan announced” on Thursday, Wedbush said. “However, there are still issues around product demand in North America and it remains uncertain how quickly an EBIT margin recapture story can develop. While the narrowing of the adjusted EPS outlook is encouraging, it is not a measured inflection for the brand, in our view. It is also questionable why the upper end of the range was left unchanged, possibly reflecting investments and caution around how the critical fourth quarter will unfold for the company.”

Companies: Under Armour, Inc.
Price: 19.78 Price Change: +1.02 Percent Change: +5.44

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