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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends Week in the Red as 2020 Oil Demand Outlook Worsens; Gold Logs Best Week in Two Months as Equities Slump

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher, supported by expectations of more output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies. Russia had said that it extended an output reduction deal with OPEC, while Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the organization, plans to maintain its crude oil exports below 7 million barrels per day (bpd) in August and September. However, crude ultimately ended the week lower, weighed by the report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that demand growth for oil was at its lowest since 2008. The worsening of the trade relationship between the US and China led the IEA to cut its estimates for oil demand growth in 2019 and 2020 by 0.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) to 1.1 mb/d and 1.3 mb/d, respectively. The IEA said its revised outlook takes into account the International Monetary Fund’s recent lowering of the economic outlook, while noting the health of the global economy had become “even more uncertain.”  Meanwhile, US inventories of the hydrocarbon commodity rose by 2.4 million barrels to 438.9 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 2, according to data published by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.  This was a surprise gain, as the American Petroleum Institute had forecast a drop of 3.4 million barrels on Tuesday. It also contrasted with an 8.5 million-barrel decline in US inventories of crude oil seen the week earlier. Finally, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by six to 764 during the week that ended Aug. 9, the lowest level since Feb. 2, 2018, according to data compiled by energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). The combined oil and gas rig count in the US was down by eight to 942 as gas rigs fell by two to 169.

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery fell 1.40% for the week, settling at $52.54 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was down 5.77% over the last five days and settled at $1.65 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged a decrease of 0.84% this week, ending Friday at $2.13 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 1.44% this week, compared with a decline of 2.64% in the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session slightly weaker but managed to stay at $1,509.50 — above the psychologically important level of $1,500.  It also closed the week 3.89% higher — at its best level since a 4.14% rise on June 21, according to FactSet data. The yellow metal began the week in positive territory, benefitting from its safe-haven status as US equities saw their worst day of the year on Monday, following the worsening of the Sino-US trade war, when the benchmark indexes declined some 3%. Meanwhile, copper prices ended the week up 0.97% but closed Friday lower at $2.61 per pound. This was a modest comeback from Monday, when the red metal slumped to the lowest level since June 2017. The protracted trade war between China and the US has dampened demand and pushed prices ever lower for copper — which some analysts consider a barometer of the global economy because it is used in home and commercial construction.

Agriculture commodities, particularly grains, were higher ahead of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) monthly supply and demand report, which will be released Aug. 12. Soybeans logged mild gains despite being pressured by trade war woes.  Earlier this week, China said it will stop ordering US farm goods — including soybeans — due to the 10% tariff hike the US will impose on $300 billion of Chinese exports in September. The East Asian country also said it may place tariffs on American farm products. Meanwhile, worries about the condition of US corn has helped support prices for the grain, following news of unfavorable weather conditions, especially flooding in the spring. These have led to the late planting of the corn crop. Among grains, soybeans were up 2.64% for the week, and closed Friday in the green at $8.92 per bushel; corn for September delivery rose 1.89% in the week and settled at $4.18 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat jumped 1.83% and settled at $5.00 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Other commodities were lower: coffee was around $0.97 per pound at Friday’s close, down 0.97 for the week; cocoa was down 2.55% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,242 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly decline of 1.08% and settled at a price of $0.12 per pound on Friday.

Copyright © 2019 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

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

Justin Hillstrom is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following: USCIUSOUSLUSOUUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGA, 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.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total ReturnSM (SDCITR) is an index designed to reflect the performance of a portfolio of 14 commodity futures. The index is reformulated each month from 27 possible futures contracts. The 14 selected contracts are equally weighted and represent six sectors: Energy (WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoil, RBOB gasoline), Precious Metals (gold, silver, platinum), Industrial Metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc), Grains (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, wheat), Livestock (live cattle, feeder cattle, lean hogs) and Softs (coffee, cocoa, cotton and sugar). One Cannot invest directly in an index.

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.

We advise you to consider a fund’s objectives, strategies, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The Prospectus contains this and other information. Download a copy of a fund’s Prospectus by clicking the following: SDCI. Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.

USO002028 Ex. 9/30/2019

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Target - $TGT

Target Seen as ‘Survivor’ in Retail Due to Moderating Margins in Near Term, Morgan Stanley Says

3:03 PM, Aug 5, 2019 — Target (TGT) appears to be setting itself up to be a “survivor” in the retail sector as erosion in its margins is seen moderating in the near term, Morgan Stanley said Monday.

The firm lifted its rating on the Minneapolis-based big-box retailer to equal-weight from underweight. “We think the risk that TGT misses its margin is appropriately reflected in the stock’s relatively inexpensive valuation (around 6.7 times 2020 EV/Ebitda and about 11.5 times 2020 P/E),” analyst Simeon Gutman said in a note.

Morgan Stanley left its $67 price target steady.

Target shares were 1.3% lower amid a broad market selloff.

Gutman said the previous underweight rating was based in their view that Target had “underinvested in its supply chain (thus over earning), and its omnichannel shift would demand additional investments and result in ongoing EBIT margin pressure over time.”

Morgan Stanley said Target’s gross margin has fallen 60 basis points since 2017 because of shipping-related costs as e-commerce sales rose to 7.1% of total revenue at the end of last year.

“Now, there are signs TGT’s shipping-related deleverage is narrowing, particularly as it invests in fulfillment options like Drive Up which promote higher traffic and reduce costs,” Gutman said. “Hence, we think TGT may be past the worst of its gross margin decline.”

The analyst said Target’s sales growth has been “reinvigorated,” and they expect it remain healthy.

“The drivers have been strong merchandising, greater private-brand penetration, store refreshes and the Toys ‘R Us bankruptcy which allowed TGT to gain share in key Toy and Baby categories,” Morgan Stanley said. “Many of these initiatives (and) benefits are slated to carry over into 2019 and could support a degree of expense leverage despite wage headwinds from TGT’s move to a $15 nationwide minimum wage by 2020.”

Companies: Target Corporation
Price: 80.50 Price Change: -1.02 Percent Change: -1.26

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude, Agri Commodities Slump as US-Sino Trade War Sparks Anew; Gold Climbs to Six-Year High on Safe Haven Appeal

Crude ended Friday’s session higher, regaining ground after seeing its biggest one-day decline in more than four years, but ultimately ended the week in the red amid worsening trade relations between the world’s two largest economies.  Earlier this week, crude prices were on the uptick; according to Action Economics, expectations for a Federal Reserve rate cut on Wednesday have supported prices, with hopes that extra stimulus will bump up economic activity, and therefore oil demand. However, the positive sentiment following the Federal Reserve’s 25 basis-point rate cut collapsed after US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he is putting 10% tariffs on an additional $300 million of Chinese imports. The move has further dampened the outlook for global growth and sent markets in Europe and Asia lower.

Meanwhile, US inventories of the hydrocarbon commodity fell by more than expected last week.  Stockpiles of crude oil contracted by 8.5 million barrels to 436.5 million barrels in the week ended July 26, according to data published by the Energy Information Administration. This was a larger decline than the American Petroleum Institute’s projection, released on Tuesday, for a weekly drop of 6 million barrels but it was lower than the 10.8 million barrel decline seen the prior week. Finally, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by six to 770 during the week that ended Aug. 2, the lowest level since Feb. 2, 2018, according to data compiled by energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE).

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery fell 1.55% for the week, settling at $53.95 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was down 2.92% during the week and settled at $1.75 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas decreased 0.70% this week, ending Friday at $2.20 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 2.64% this week, compared with a decline of 0.51% in the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session higher at $1,432.40, hitting fresh six-year highs as the U.S. dollar weakened and investors looked for a safe haven from weaker stock markets and economic turmoil as the United States expanded its trade war on China. The gains come a day after sharp losses for the yellow metal, which had been weighed earlier in the week by the Fed’s widely expected interest rate cut. The yellow metal closed the week in positive territory, up 2.43%. Meanwhile, copper prices ended the week down 4.59% and closed Friday lower — hovering near its lowest price for the year so far at $2.67 per pound, as renewed trade tensions weighed on industrial metals. Supply issues also resurfaced, following a Reuters report that said Chile’s state-run Codelco will further delay the reactivation of its smelter until the end of October this year. Sources told Reuters that the world’s top copper producer has missed the previous reactivation target of April.

Agriculture commodities were once again in focus as the renewed US-Sino trade war centered on China’s purchase of US agricultural products. On Thursday, a day after the two countries’ trade talks ended in Shanghai, China’s Ministry of Commerce said some Chinese companies have already applied to lift additional tariffs on U.S. produce. The ministry noted that the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council is handling the applications. MOC spokesperson Gao Feng also said that state-owned and private companies have commenced deals to buy products like soybeans, cotton, pork and sorghum. However, by late Thursday Trump announced the additional tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, claiming that China had pledged to increase purchases of US agricultural products, but did not. He also alleged Beijing reneged on a promise to stop the sale of Fentanyl to the US.

Among other grains, soybeans were down 3.25% for the week, but closed Friday in the green at $8.69 per bushel; corn for September delivery fell 3.48% in the week and settled at $4.10 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat dropped 1.01% and settled at $4.91 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Other commodities were mostly lower: coffee was around $0.98 per pound at Friday’s close, down 1.35% for the week; cocoa was down 3.14% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,320 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly increase of 0.17% and settled at a price of $0.12 per pound on Friday.

 

Copyright © 2019 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

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

Justin Hillstrom is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following: USCIUSOUSLUSOUUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGA, 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.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total ReturnSM (SDCITR) is an index designed to reflect the performance of a portfolio of 14 commodity futures. The index is reformulated each month from 27 possible futures contracts. The 14 selected contracts are equally weighted and represent six sectors: Energy (WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoil, RBOB gasoline), Precious Metals (gold, silver, platinum), Industrial Metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc), Grains (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, wheat), Livestock (live cattle, feeder cattle, lean hogs) and Softs (coffee, cocoa, cotton and sugar). One Cannot invest directly in an index.

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.

We advise you to consider a fund’s objectives, strategies, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The Prospectus contains this and other information. Download a copy of a fund’s Prospectus by clicking the following: SDCI. Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.

USO002028 Ex. 9/30/2019

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Pfizer

Pfizer’s Quarterly Results Miss Expectations; Upjohn Business to Combine With Mylan

10:28 AM, Jul 29, 2019 — Pfizer (PFE) on Monday reported second-quarter revenue that missed expectations as it also agreed to combine its off-patent Upjohn business with Mylan (MYL) in an all-stock reverse Morris trust transaction.

New York-based Pfizer said adjusted diluted earnings rose to $0.80 per share for the most recent quarter, up from $0.77 from the prior year and the Capital IQ consensus for $0.75. Revenue slid to $13.26 billion from $13.64 billion, shy of the Street’s view for $13.43 billion.

Revenue at Pfizer’s biopharmaceuticals business rose 6% operationally to $9.6 billion, driven by sales growth of its Ibrance, Eliquis and Xeljanz treatments, which was offset by declines in sales of Enbrel and Prevnar. Upjohn revenue fell 7% to $2.8 billion, led lower by a 20% operational decline in China.

US revenue under Upjohn fell 9%, pushed down by lower Viagra sales after the treatment’s December 2017 patent expiration and Lyrica, with saw volumes decline due to wholesale destocking ahead of that drug’s patent expiration.

Consumer healthcare revenue rose 1% operationally to $862 million as 4% growth in international markets offset a 2% decline in the US.

Pfizer cut its guidance for the year to reflect its anticipated Aug. 1 formation of a consumer healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the expected near-term completion of its Array BioPharma acquisition. The company now expects revenue for the year to come in at between $50.5 billion to $52.5 billion from its April view of $52 billion to $54 billion, below the Street’s view of $53.45 billion. Adjusted diluted EPS it expected to be between $2.76 from $2.86, down from $2.83 to $2.93 and below market expectations of $2.91.

Meanwhile, Pfizer said Upjohn’s combination with UK-headquartered Mylan will “transform and accelerate each business’s ability to service patients needs and expand their capabilities across more than 165 markets by bringing together two highly complementary businesses.”

Under terms of the deal, each Mylan share will be converted into one share of the new company. Pfizer will own 57% of the combined company while Mylan will own the remaining 43%. Mylan shares surged more than 14% in early trading while Pfizer slid 2.5%

The transaction will be performed through a reverse Morris trust, which will see Upjohn spun or split off to Pfizer shareholders and combined with Mylan. Pfizer said that is expected to be tax free to it and its shareholders while taxable to Mylan shareholders. The deal is expected to close in mid-2020.

Pfizer said the new company will have pro forma revenues between $19 billion to $20 billion in 2020 and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in a $7.5 billion to $8 billion range. Phased synergies of $1 billion a year are expected to be realized by 2023.

“We are creating a new champion for global health — one poised to bring world-class medicines to patients across a wide range of therapeutic areas,” said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla. “I believe that Mylan’s unique profile and strategy has made it the obvious partner of choice in creating this powerful combination.”

Mylan Chairman Robert Coury will be the executive chairman of the new company while Upjohn President Michael Goettler will be CEO. Upjohn will issue $12 billion of debt near around the time of the separation with Pfizer retaining the gross debt proceeds.

Companies: Pfizer, Inc.
Price: 42.08 Price Change: -1.01 Percent Change: -2.36

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Crude Closes Week Higher on Middle East Tensions, Supply Issues; Gold Ends Lower as ECB Maintains Benchmark Rates

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East, which are threatening the free flow of oil in the region. Iran and the UK are embroiled in a tense standoff over British authorities’ seizure of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar in early July and Iran’s detention of a UK-flagged ship last week. Supply issues also came to the fore after Hurricane Barry caused some temporary disruptions earlier in the month.  Analysts are pointing to the Gulf of Mexico storm as one of the primary reasons for a decline in US crude inventories. Stockpiles dropped 10.8 million barrels in the week through July 19 to 445 million barrels, according to data published by the Energy Information Administration. That was a sharper fall than the decline of 3.1 million barrels in the previous week and the 11.0-million-barrel weekly stock draw reportedly expected by the American Petroleum Institute. Finally, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by three over the week to 776, according to data compiled by energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). The week’s tally was the lowest since the 765 rigs reported in the week ended Feb. 2, 2018.

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery rose 0.75% for the week, settling at $56.02 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was down 1.40% during the week and settled at $1.83 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged a decrease of 4.35% on the week, ending Friday at $2.23 per 1 million British thermal units.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 0.51% this week, compared with a drop of 2.36% in the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session higher at $1,414.70, recovering from Thursday’s sharp losses, but closed the week in negative territory, down 0.66%. Friday’s gains were spurred by the advanced Q2 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report, which showed that the US economy slowed sequentially in the quarter, validating the Federal Reserve’s recent view that economic stimulus may be required to “sustain” the country’s economic expansion. On Thursday, the yellow metal saw a steep decline after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to maintain interest rates at their current levels. Expectations had been for the ECB to cut benchmark rates ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week. Meanwhile, copper prices ended the week down 1.86% and closed Friday lower at $2.70 per pound, even as the resumption of US-China trade talks helped brighten the economic outlook in the base metal markets. China and the US confirmed a two-day face-to-face meeting on July 30 in Shanghai, the first meeting since the leaders of the two countries agreed to a trade war ceasefire. In the planned negotiations, the US side will be led by Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, while Vice Premier Liu He will head the other.

In agriculture commodities, European Union (EU) imports of US soybeans increased by almost 100% from July 2018 to June 2019, compared with the same period the previous year. The US is now Europe’s leading soybeans supplier and has been able to expand its market further, following the decision by the European Community (EC) in January to authorize the use of US soybeans for biofuels.  Soybeans were down 2.18% for the week, and closed Friday in the red at $9.01 per bushel. Among other grains, corn for September delivery fell 2.92% in the week and settled at $4.25 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat dropped 1.49% and settled at $4.96 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Other commodities were mixed: coffee was around $1 per pound at Friday’s close, down  6.86% for the week; cocoa was down 3.32% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,389 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly increase of 3.63% and settled at a price of $0.12 per pound on Friday.

 

Copyright © 2019 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

 

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

Justin Hillstrom is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:  USCIUSOUSLUSOUUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAor 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.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total ReturnSM (SDCITR) is an index designed to reflect the performance of a portfolio of 14 commodity futures. The index is reformulated each month from 27 possible futures contracts. The 14 selected contracts are equally weighted and represent six sectors: Energy (WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoil, RBOB gasoline), Precious Metals (gold, silver, platinum), Industrial Metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc), Grains (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, wheat), Livestock (live cattle, feeder cattle, lean hogs) and Softs (coffee, cocoa, cotton and sugar). One Cannot invest directly in an index.

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.

We advise you to consider a fund’s objectives, strategies, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The Prospectus contains this and other information. Download a copy of a fund’s Prospectus by clicking the following: SDCI. Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.

USO002023 Ex. 9/30/2019

Southwest Extends Timeline for 737 MAX Return to January, End Service to Newark Airport

10:43 AM, Jul 25, 2019 — Southwest Airlines (LUV) on Thursday said it would extended its timeline for its Boeing (BA) 737 MAX jetliners to return to service until at least early January and would consolidate service to one of New York’s three major airports.

“Based on the most recent guidance from Boeing, we currently are assuming regulatory approval of MAX return to service during fourth quarter 2019,” Chief Executive Gary Kelly said in a statement. “With this in mind, we will proactively extend the MAX-related flight schedule adjustments through Jan. 5, 2020, to provide reliability of our operation and dependability for our customers booking their fall and holiday travel.”

Shares were down nearly 0.6% in early morning trading while Boeing was off by 3.9%

Kelly said in the statement that the airline would cease operations at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and consolidate its presence in the New York market at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

In an interview on CNBC, Kelly said operations at Newark had been underperforming and the company had consolidated operations in other markets where it served multiple airports, such as in Ohio and Detroit. “We have great success in some cities by focusing on one airport,” he said.

Meanwhile, Southwest reported mixed second-quarter results before the market opened. The company said it earned $1.37 per adjusted share in the quarter, up from $1.26 in prior-year quarter and ahead of the Capital IQ consensus for $1.35. Revenue rose to $5.91 billion from $5.74 billion last year. The Street had expected $5.94 billion.

“Our financial and operational performance was remarkably strong considering the impact of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which reduced operating income an estimated $175 million in the second quarter alone,” Kelly said in the statement. “We generated record revenues, strong margins and cash flows, a healthy profit-sharing accrual for our employees, and significant returns for our shareholders — all notable achievements.”

Kelly said the company has held “preliminary discussions” with Boeing over compensation for the damages due to the grounding. He added that no settlement has been reached and no amounts from Boeing were included in the results for the second quarter.

Boeing last week said it would take a $4.9 billion charge over the 737 MAX, which it said includes compensation to customers over the worldwide grounding.

The airline said the revenue per available seat mile in the just-ended quarter rose to $14.78 from $13.84 last year, while it reached a record load factor of 86.4%, up from 84.7% last year.

Companies: Southwest Airlines Company
Price: 54.21 Price Change: -0.51 Percent Change: -0.93

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Facebook to Pay $5 Billion, Submit to New Restrictions in Settlement With FTC; Resolves SEC Claims

12:48 PM, Jul 24, 2019 — Facebook (FB) will pay a record $5 billion fine and submit itself to new restrictions and a corporate structure that will hold the social-media giant accountable for users’ privacy, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission said the company will pay $100 million to settle its allegations that Facebook made misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of users’ data.

The FTC said in a statement that its agreement with Facebook settled charges that the company “violated a 2012 FTC order by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information.”

The $5 billion penalty is the largest ever imposed on a company for consumer-privacy violations and “almost 20 times greater than the largest privacy or data security penalty ever imposed worldwide,” the FTC said.

The 20-year settlement order requires Facebook to establish an independent privacy committee of the company’s board of directors to remove “unfettered control” from Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg over decisions concerning user privacy. The trade commission said members of the committee must be independent and be appointed by an independent nominating committee and can only be fired by a supermajority of the board of directors.

“Over all, these changes go beyond anything required under US law today,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “The reason I support them is that I believe they will reduce the number of mistakes we make and help us deliver stronger privacy protections for everyone.”

Facebook will also designate compliance officers to oversee the privacy program, the FTC said, adding that they must be approved by the privacy committee and only that panel can remove them. Those officers and Zuckerberg will be required to independently submit quarterly compliance certifications to the FTC, on top of annual certification of Facebook’s compliance overall with the order, the agency said.

The company will be required to conduct a privacy review of every new or modified product, service, or practice ahead of implementation, according to the regulator, adding that Facebook is required to document when the data of more than 500 users has been compromised and its efforts to address those situations. The company must then deliver that documentation to the FTC within 30 days.

“Any false certification will subject them to individual civil and criminal penalties,” the FTC said.

The SEC said that “for more than two years, Facebook’s public disclosures presented the risk of misuse of user data as merely hypothetical when Facebook knew that a third-party developer had actually misused Facebook user data.”

According to the SEC, now-defunct advertising and data analytics company Cambridge Analytics paid an academic researcher “to collect and transfer data from Facebook to create personality scores for approximately 30 million Americans.” The commission said Cambridge Analytics then used the information for its political advertising efforts.

The SEC said Facebook discovered the misuse in 2015 but did not correct its disclosure for more than two years. Instead, the company told investors its “users’ data may be improperly accessed, used or disclosed,” the regulator said. In that period, Facebook didn’t have specific policies or procedures to assess the results of their investigation to make accurate disclosures in its public filings.

“Public companies must accurately describe the material risks to their business,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “As alleged in our complaint, Facebook presented the risk of misuse of user data as hypothetical when they know their user data has been in fact misused. Public companies must have procedures in place to make accurate disclosures about material business risks.”

Facebook neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s allegations, the regulator said.

Price: 201.60 Price Change: -0.76 Percent Change: -0.38

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United Technologies Boosts Full-Year Projections After Better-Than-Expected Second-Quarter Results

8:47 AM, Jul 23, 2019 — United Technologies (UTX) raised its outlook for the full year on Tuesday after reporting second-quarter results that came in ahead of Wall Street’s projections, with sales driven by a surge in aerospace systems.

The maker of Pratt & Whitney engines and Carrier air conditioners now sees adjusted 2019 earnings per share of $7.90 to $8.05, up from the prior projection of $7.80 to $8, it said in a statement.

The outlook for organic sales growth is now 4% to 5% from 3% to 5% seen previously. The outlook for sales was maintained at $75.5 billion to $77 billion, the Farmington, Conn.-based firm said.

“Based on a solid first half, we feel confident raising our outlook for the full year,” said Gregory Hayes, the company’s chief executive. “We remain on track to establish Otis and Carrier as independent companies in the first half of 2020.” Otis is the company’s elevator business segment.

Hayes said the merger announced with defense-sector heavyweight Raytheon (RTN) in June “will enhance our ability to provide high technology systems that meet the increasingly complex needs of our customers in rapidly growing segments of the industry.”

For the second quarter that ended on June 30, United Technologies’ sales rose to $19.6 billion from $16.7 billion a year earlier. That was just ahead of the consensus on Capital IQ for $19.58 billion. Adjusted earnings per share rose to $2.20 from $1.97, well ahead of the Street’s projection for $2.05 a share.

“We continued to see outperformance at Collins Aerospace this quarter as we made significant progress on the integration of Rockwell Collins, which more than offset softness in Carrier’s end markets,” said Hayes.

Net sales in the Collins Aerospace Systems division jumped to $6.58 billion from $3.96 billion in the same period of 2018. Pratt & Whitney sales rose to $5.15 billion from $4.74 billion, while Carrier fell to $4.96 billion from $5.04 billion a year ago. Sales in the Otis elevator segment were little changed year on year at $3.35 billion.

Companies: United Technologies Corporation
Price: 136.00 Price Change: +3.03 Percent Change: +2.28

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends Week Down Most Since May on Weakening Demand, Middle East Tensions; Gold Boosted by Renewed Hopes for Interest Rate Cut

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session lower, with prices recording their biggest weekly decline since the end of May amid falling demand for oil and mounting geopolitical risks in the Middle East. According to the BBC, the owners of Stena Impero, which was bound for Saudi Arabia, said they are unable to contact the vessel, which is now understood to be heading toward Iran. CNBC reported that a spokesperson for the UK Ministry of Defense said that the government was urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf. This comes a day after the US Navy “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it came within 1,000 yards of the US ship. Iran however, denied having lost a drone on Thursday. On the same day, several media sources reported that the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol said the agency was revising down the global oil demand forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day, from 1.2 million barrels per day. Birol warned that the agency may be forced to further cut its outlook for demand if the global economy, especially China, shows further signs of weakness, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, US crude stockpiles decreased for the fifth consecutive week, with the draw coming in sharper than expected. Commercial crude oil inventories fell 3.1 million barrels in the week through July 12 to 455.9 million and are about 4% above the five-year average for this time of year, data published by the Energy Information Administration showed. That compares with a decline of 9.5 million barrels a week earlier and is more than the 1.4 million-barrel decline reportedly expected by the American Petroleum Institute. Finally, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by five to 779 during the week that ended July 19, according to data compiled by energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). The combined oil and gas rig count in the US was down by four to 954 as gas rigs were up by two to 174, while miscellaneous were down by one.

Light, sweet crude oil for August delivery fell 7.09% for the week, settling at $55.30 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was down 6.28% during the week and settled at $1.83 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged a decrease of 8.30% on the week, ending Friday at $2.29 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 2.36% during the week, compared with an increase of 1.48% in the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session lower at $1,428.10 but ultimately closed the week in positive territory, up 0.62%. The yellow metal benefitted from the recent dovish comments from New York Fed President John Williams, which sparked hopes for an interest-rate cut by the end of July.  Williams said in a speech Thursday that central banks should “act quickly” to cut rates when inflation and interest rates are low, but an economy is faltering. A New York Fed spokesperson later said Williams’ remarks were academic, not practical in nature. Meanwhile, copper prices ended the week up 1.91% and closed Friday higher at $2.71 per pound, following a report from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics that said the copper market had a surplus of 21,000 tonnes in the January to May period.  Meanwhile, June customs data from China showed that imports of commodities such as copper declined month over month, hinting at a further softening of demand. China reported that imports of unwrought copper fell 9.7% in June from May, and ores and concentrates sank 20.4%. Copper is widely used in manufacturing, especially in China’s export sector.

In agriculture commodities, China’s statistics bureau in a Monday release said planting area for soybeans increased in the first half, with expectations for the area to widen 8% in 2019 to 8.67 million hectares from last year. The country has been encouraging farmers to plant more soybeans, with the Ministry of Agriculture setting a goal of expanding soybean planting area to 140 million mu (mu a common measurement used in China: 1 MU is equal to 6.0703 acres) by 2020. With the government’s calls for this increase in soybean production, as well as the trade war between the US and China, market watchers expect that soybean imports will decline further this year. Data from China’s customs authority showed that the country’s soybean imports during the first half of 2019 have already fallen 14.7% year over year to 38.27 million tons.

Among grains, corn for September delivery fell 5.05% in the week and settled at $4.36 per bushel in Friday’s session; wheat rose 3.77% and settled at $5.03 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and soybeans were down 1.32% for the week, and closed Friday in the red at $9.19 per bushel. Other commodities were mixed: coffee was around $1.07 per pound at Friday’s close, up 0.52% for the week; cocoa was down 1.00% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,467 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly decline of 5.85% and settled at a price of $1.16 per pound on Friday.

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

Justin Hillstrom is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

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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.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total ReturnSM (SDCITR) is an index designed to reflect the performance of a portfolio of 14 commodity futures. The index is reformulated each month from 27 possible futures contracts. The 14 selected contracts are equally weighted and represent six sectors: Energy (WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoil, RBOB gasoline), Precious Metals (gold, silver, platinum), Industrial Metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc), Grains (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, wheat), Livestock (live cattle, feeder cattle, lean hogs) and Softs (coffee, cocoa, cotton and sugar). One Cannot invest directly in an index.

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.

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Skechers USA Shares Jump as International Sales Boost Group Revenue to Record

7:33 AM, Jul 19, 2019 — Shares of Skechers USA (SKX), the third-largest athletic footwear brand in the US, rose in early trade on Friday after the firm said soaring international sales boosted group turnover to a record in the second quarter, setting the stage for a revenue and earnings beat as well as guidance ahead of projections in the next three months.

Sales rose to $1.26 billion during the three months that ended June 30, from $1.13 billion a year ago, comfortably outpacing the $1.22 billion average analyst estimate compiled by Capital IQ.

The company said in its earnings statement late on Thursday that a 10.9% jump in total sales included a 19.8% surge in international business and 1.5% growth in domestic revenue. Higher revenue was accompanied by a net 112 fewer store locations in the quarter just ended, masking twice as many overseas outlet additions versus domestic.

Manhattan Beach, California-based Skechers reported growth in net earnings to $0.49 per diluted share, which is above the $0.29 per diluted share recorded a year earlier and handily beat the $0.33 per share forecast.

“We continued to successfully execute by growing both our international and direct to consumer businesses,” Chief Financial Officer John Vandemore said in the statement. “We are committed to investing in our global infrastructure and operational capabilities to meet consumer demand for the Skechers brand.”

The proposed plan includes the construction of the first distribution center in China, the expansion of North American distribution capabilities, the upgrade of a logistics center in Europe, and the further development of direct-to-consumer offerings in e-commerce and retail stores.

In the near term, Skechers, which has $20.0 million remaining in its share buyback program, expects sales of between $1.325 billion and $1.350 billion in the third quarter, higher than a consensus of $1.310 billion for the third quarter. Diluted earnings per share are anticipated in the range of $0.65 and $0.70 during the period, which are also ahead of the $0.64 per share market estimate.

Shares of the company traded more than 13% higher in trading before the market-open early on Friday.

Companies: Skechers U.S.A., Inc.
Price: 38.60 Price Change: +3.76 Percent Change: +10.79

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