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Walmart Leaves CVS Health’s Caremark, Managed Medicaid After Failing to Agree on Pay Rates

2:02 PM, Jan 15, 2019 — CVS Health (CVS) said Walmart (WMT) has decided to opt out of its Caremark pharmacy benefit management commercial and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks after they failed to agree on payment terms.

However, the retail pharmacy and healthcare company added that it “remains open to continuing timely good faith negotiations with Walmart in the hopes of reaching an agreement,” according to statement released on Tuesday.

“Walmart’s requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers,” said Derica Rice, president of CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit management business of CVS Health. “Based on our commitment to helping our clients and consumers manage rising pharmacy costs, we simply could not agree to their recent demands for an increase in reimbursement.”

The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based company has requested that Walmart continue to fill prescriptions as an in-network participating pharmacy through April 30 as it continued to be “hopeful that Walmart will agree to work amicably with us.”

The transition, which “must place patient care as the highest priority,” does not impact Walmart’s participation in the CVS Caremark Medicare Part D pharmacy network. Similarly, Walmart’s warehouse chain, Sam’s Club, will remain in the CVS Caremark pharmacy networks.

If the partnership unwinds, CVS said it doesn’t foresee a material impact on its 2019 financial results because less than 5% of affected CVS Caremark members use Walmart exclusively to fill their prescriptions. Moreover, the average distance that a member would need to travel to reach an in-network pharmacy, without Walmart in the network, remains virtually unchanged, according to CVS.

Members affected by this network change will be notified as CVS said it would help them identify nearby in-network pharmacies where they can fill their prescriptions.

Companies: Walmart Inc.
Price: 96.07 Price Change: +1.12 Percent Change: +1.18

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Pacific Gas & Electric Will Declare Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Amid Fallout From California Wildfires

7:58 AM, Jan 14, 2019 — Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PCG) will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a bid to resolve its liabilities from wildfires in northern California in 2017 and 2018.

The company said its committed to making investments in systems safety and working with regulators, lawmakers and other stakeholders to provide natural gas and electricity in a market that “continues to be challenged by climate change.” PG&E will file petitions to reorganize on or about Jan. 29, after the required 15-day notice period expires.

“(PG&E) doesn’t expect any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result of the Chapter 11 process,” the company said in a statement early Monday morning. ” PG&E remains committed to assisting the communities affected by wildfires in Northern California, and its restoration and rebuilding efforts will continue. The company also expects that its employees will continue to receive their pay and healthcare benefits as usual.”

Shares were down almost 44% in pre-bell trading Monday.

PG&E Interim Chief Executive John R. Simon said in the statement that management understands it needs to enhance its wildfire mitigation processes and that Chapter 11 will enable the company to resolve its potential liabilities as efficiently as possible.

Simon was named interim CEO after former CEO Geisha Williams, who was in charge of the utility since March 2017, stepped down on Sunday. Simon was executive vice president and general counsel before taking the company’s reins.

Chairman of the Board Richard Kelly said a Chapter 11 is the “only viable option” to address PG&E’s responsibilities to stakeholders.

“Our goal will be to work collaboratively to fairly balance the interests of our many constituents — including wildfire victims, customers, employees, creditors, shareholders, the financial community and business partners — while creating a sustainable foundation for the delivery of safe service to our customers in the years ahead,” he said. “The Chapter 11 process allows us to work with these many constituents in one court-supervised forum to comprehensively address our potential liabilities and to implement appropriate changes.”

Companies: Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Price: 9.89 Price Change: -7.70 Percent Change: -43.77

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude, Precious Metals End Week Higher on Positive US-China Trade Developments

(MT Newswires) – Crude prices ended the week higher, as investors increasingly see efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producing countries to curb output succeeding – and supporting prices this year. OPEC and its allies agreed in early December to trim 1.2 million barrels per day from the market for the first six months of 2019, and possibly beyond after assessing the market again at a meeting scheduled for April.  Also helping buoy crude prices were hopes that the US and China can reach a reasonable trade deal before a March 2 deadline, although this optimism slowly dwindled as the week went on. Three days of US-Chinese talks aimed at ending a costly tariff battle wrapped up Wednesday on a high note, with China’s Commerce Ministry saying that the two sides held an “extensive, in-depth, and detailed exchange” on trade issues, including structural factors. Further negotiations are set to follow this month. Meanwhile, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration showed that domestic crude supplies fell by 1.7 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 4, compared with expectations for a decline of 1.4 million barrels in crude supplies, according to S&P Global Platts estimates. The American Petroleum Institute had said Tuesday that US crude oil stocks fell 6.1 million barrels. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by four to 873, the third consecutive sequential decline. It was the lowest level since Dec. 14. A year ago, the US oil rig count was at 752. The North American total was higher by 108 in the week to 1,259, also up from the year-ago tally of 1,215.

Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery rallied 6.98% for the week, settling at $51.59 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline rose during the week, up 3.60% and settling at $1.40 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas for March delivery jumped 3.58% this week at $2.95 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 1.72% higher this week, compared with an increase of 0.44% in the previous week.

Gold closed the Friday session in positive territory, closing at $1,289.50, to end the week 0.18% higher, but failing to breach the psychologically important $1,300-an-ounce level. The yellow metal managed to settle higher after equities lost some ground due to profit taking and on concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and skepticism about a potential trade deal between the US and China. Recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank will be patient in determining when to hike interest rates weighed on the greenback earlier in the day. However, the currency forced its way up against most major currencies as the session progressed and the dollar index edged up slightly to 95.20. One of the key economic data releases during the week was the December consumer price index, which slipped by 0.1% after coming in unchanged in November. Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index rose by 0.2% in December, matching the increases seen in the two previous months as well as expectations. On the other hand, copper also benefitted from the positive US-China trade developments as well as from the dovish statements from the Federal Reserve, which in turn pushed the dollar lower. Copper ended Friday’s session up at $2.66 per pound and up 0.49% for the last five days – the biggest weekly gain since mid-November.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mixed: among grains, wheat rose 0.73% and settled at $5.20 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; corn was down 0.98% in the week and settled at $3.78 per bushel in Friday’s session; and soybeans fell 1.27% for the week, closing at $9.10 per bushel on Friday. This was the first time in the last three weeks that soybeans fell, slipping to the weakest level since Jan. 3, as the market awaits more purchases from China. Also, Brazil is set to harvest its soybean crop and will therefore provide some competition for US soybeans. Meanwhile, other commodities closed higher on the week;   sugar had a weekly increase of 6.96% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.04 per pound at Friday’s close, up 2.31% for the week; and cocoa rose 0.08% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,356 per tonne.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) was 0.68% lower for the week, compared with the 0.25% increase in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2019 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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Target Comparable Sales Growth in 2018 Set to be Strongest in 13 Years as Digital Underpins Group Revenue

8:23 AM, Jan 10, 2019 — Target (TGT), the eighth-largest department store retailer in the US, said early Thursday it was on track to deliver the strongest full-year comparable sales growth since 2005, market-share gains across all of core merchandising categories and double-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2018.

The company said in a statement that comparable sales in November and December jumped by 5.7%, topping the 3.4% growth recorded in the same period last year. The company said it continued to expect fourth-quarter comparable revenue growth of about 5%.

“Results reflected strong traffic, positive store comps and comparable digital sales growth of 29%,” Target said in its statement. 2018 was set to be the fifth consecutive year in which digital sales would grow by more than 25%.

For the full year, Target continues to expect adjusted earnings per share to come in the range of $5.30 to $5.50, straddling the Street’s projection of $5.39. The company, which maintained its quarterly dividend at $0.64 per share, reported pro-forma earnings of $4.71 per share in 2017.

The company also said Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith will retire, but will continue in her role until a successor is named then move to an advisory position until May 2020 to ensure a smooth transition.

Chief Information Officer Mike McNamara will now lead the firm’s enterprise data analytics and business intelligence team in addition to heading its technology services unit, Target said.

Chief Marketing Officer Rick Gomez has now been named Target’s chief marketing and digital officer, and will now lead the firm’s digital team, focusing on its role in personalization, loyalty and the overall shopping experience.

Companies: Target Corporation
Price: 68.31 Price Change: -1.98 Percent Change: -2.82

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Canada Keeps Key Rate on Hold for Second Time as Growth Outlook Lowered Amid Oil Slowdown

11:07 AM, Jan 9, 2019 — Canada’s central bank kept its benchmark lending rate on hold Wednesday while lowering its view for 2019 growth as the country’s economy faces the impact of lower oil prices.

The Bank of Canada maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75%, the second straight hold and in line with the consensus on Econoday. The rate was last increased by 25 basis points in October.

“The drop in global oil prices has a material impact on the Canadian outlook, resulting in lower terms of trade and national income,” the Stephen Poloz-led bank said in a statement. “While price differentials have narrowed in recent weeks following announced mandatory production cuts in Alberta, investment in Canada’s oil sector is projected to weaken further.”

Global oil prices have plunged amid rising output of the commodity and downbeat projections for economic growth, which can curb demand for crude. Last month, top producing province Alberta said output would be cut to clear up excess supplies that widened the gap between US benchmark West Texas Intermediate and Western Canadian Select crude.

The bank is projecting 2019 gross domestic product growth of 1.7%, down 0.4 percentage points from the outlook made in October. “Indicators of demand should start to show renewed momentum in early 2019, leading to above-potential growth of 2.1% in 2020.”

The bank’s governing council said it “continues to judge that the policy interest rate will need to rise over time into a neutral range to achieve the inflation target” of 2%.

“The appropriate pace of rate increases will depend on how the outlook evolves, with a particular focus on developments in oil markets, the Canadian housing market, and global trade policy,” the Bank of Canada said.

While the bank said the Canadian economy “has been performing well overall” with growth running close to potential and the labor market has been strong, but consumption spending and housing investment “have been weaker than expected” amid adjustments in housing markets.

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude, Gold End Week in Positive Territory as Optimism for Upcoming US-China Trade Talks Grows

(MT Newswires) – Crude prices dropped in the fourth quarter of 2018 amid worries over growing production and waning global demand, but the key commodity finished Friday higher amid broader gains in US stock markets. Hopes of a trade truce between the US and China and output cuts put into place by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) infused much-needed confidence into the commodities market. Representatives from the world’s two largest economies are expected to hold trade talks in Beijing next week, according to news reports. This comes after tense relations between the two countries in recent months following the imposition of hefty levies on imported goods by both nations. Global oil output was lower meanwhile after ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries decided in early December to adjust overall production by 1.2 million barrels per day effective from January 2019 for an initial period of six months. The decision came in view of a growing imbalance between global oil supply and demand. Meanwhile, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration showed that US stockpiles of commercial crude came in at about 441.42 million barrels in the week ending Dec. 28, compared with 441.41 million barrels the week earlier. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute’s report that US crude oil stocks fell 4.5 million barrels last week to 443.7 million barrels, versus an expected dip of 3.1 million barrels. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US dropped by eight to 877 in the seven-day period ending Jan. 4. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US also fell by eight to 1,075 as gas rigs were flat at 198.

Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery jumped 6.78% for the week, settling at $47.96 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline rose during the week, up 4.80% and settling at $1.35 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas, however, sank 8.49% this week at $2.91 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 0.44% higher this week, compared with a decline of 0.20% in the previous week.

Gold closed the Friday session in the red, settling at $1,285.80, but logged modest gains to end the week 0.24% higher, as optimism returned to stocks ahead of the scheduled US and China trade talks. China’s commerce ministry said that China and the US would hold vice ministerial-level trade talks in Beijing on Jan 7-8 in a bid to defuse trade tensions. Additionally, a strong labor market report coupled with remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell eased Wall Street’s fears of the Fed hiking rates into a recession. Powell assured investors that the Fed listens to Wall Street and would adjust balance-sheet normalization if needed. Meanwhile, the US Labor Department reported 312,000 new jobs in December, versus forecasts for an increase of 182,000. The number also brings the total employment gains for the year 2018 to 2.64 million — a three-year high. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% from the previous rate of 3.7% — due mainly to the number of people who joined the workforce in search of jobs. On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session up at $2.65 per pound, with much of the gains sparked by upbeat data on China’s services sector. The Caixin China Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index data –  which covers both manufacturing and services –  showed a further rise in overall Chinese business activity during December. The rate of expansion picked up from November, with the Composite Output Index rising from 51.9 to a five-month high of 52.2. Readings above 50 signal expansion while those below indicate contraction. Services companies in China registered a solid rate of activity growth, while manufacturing output expanded slightly after two months of stagnation. For the week, however, the red metal fell 1.31%, as doubts over China’s weakening economy in 2019 persisted, with Citigroup citing mixed economic data and a slowdown in household consumption.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mixed, with grains among the gainers: wheat rose 0.93% and settled at $5.17 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; corn was up 2.07% in the week and settled at $3.83 per bushel in Friday’s session; and soybeans rose 2.99% for the week, closing at $9.22 per bushel on Friday. Wheat was higher on expectations of strong demand for US supplies, while soybeans were up as adverse weather in Brazil and Argentina threatened to affect the supply of soybeans from those countries. Meanwhile, other commodities such as sugar had a weekly decline of 3.71% and settled at a price of $0.12 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.02 per pound at Friday’s close, up 0.54% for the week; and cocoa fell 2.33% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,361 per tonne.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) was 0.25% higher for the week, compared with the 0.91% decrease in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2019 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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Sanofi to Pay Regeneron $462 Million as Part of 2015 Collaboration Restructuring

7:59 AM, Jan 7, 2019 — Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) have restructured their deal on global immuno-ongology discovery and development agreement to develop new cancer treatments that was set to end in 2020.

The companies said in a statement on Monday that they’ve updated the deal that was originally signed in 2015 to extend collaborative efforts on two clinical-stage bi-specific antibody programs.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Sanofi will pay Regeneron $462 million, the balance of payments due under the original contract, which covers Sanofi’s share of the discovery program costs for the last quarter of 2018 and up to $120 million in development costs for antibody programs, plus a termination fee.

Sanofi has the right to opt-in to the BCMAxCD3 and MUC16xCD3 bispecific programs when proof of concept is achieved or when the allocated funding is expended, and Regeneron will commit as much as $70 million to further develop the BCMAxCD3 bispecific antibody for multiple myeloma and up to $50 million to further develop the MUC16xCD3 bispecific for mucin-16 expressing cancers, the companies said.

“This provides Sanofi increased flexibility to advance its early-stage immuno-oncology pipeline independently while Regeneron retains all rights to its other immuno-oncology discovery and development programs,” the companies said.

Sanofi shares fell 1% in pre-bell trading while Regeneron jumped almost 7%.

After opt-in, Sanofi will lead development and commercialization of the BCMAxCD3 bispecific and fund 100% of development costs. Regeneron will reimburse up to 50% from its share of collaboration profits. The companies will share profits equally.

Regeneron will lead development and commercialization of the MUC16xCD3 bispecific in the US. The companies will share development costs and global profits equally. Sanofi will lead commercialization outside the US.

Ongoing collaboration between the companies on Libtayo will be unaffected by the amended agreement, according to the statement. Regeneron retains full rights to its other immuno-oncology programs.

Companies: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Price: 397.55 Price Change: +25.47 Percent Change: +6.85

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Marriott Finds Fewer Guests Affected by Hacking But Millions of Cards, Passport Numbers Involved

11:04 AM, Jan 4, 2019 — Marriott International (MAR) said millions of unique payment card numbers that were encrypted and passport numbers that were both encrypted and not were affected in the data breach reported in November, while it lowered the projection for the overall number of guests who might have been affected.

In an update Friday, the company said it identified 383 million guest records as the “upper limit” of those involved in the incident that saw access gained to a reservations database for its Starwood unit. In its initial disclosure, Marriott estimated 500 million guests could be involved.

“As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers’ concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief executive.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that China was behind the hacking, a claim that was denied by the Asian country’s government. Marriott made no mention of responsibility in its statement Friday.

In the update, Marriott said there weren’t necessarily 383 million unique guests involved in the breach that related to reservations at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10, as “there appear to be multiple records for the same guest.”

But the company said approximately 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers were included in the information that was accessed in the breach, as well as 20.3 million encrypted numbers.

“There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed the master encryption key needed to decrypt” the numbers, Marriott said. It’s working on enabling call center representatives to refer guests to resources that will allow them to look up passport numbers to see if they were included in the unencrypted set.

The hotel operator also said about 8.6 million encrypted payment cards were involved, and of that number, some 354,000 weren’t expired as of September last year. But Marriott again said there’s no evidence the hacker got access to the components needed to decrypt the numbers.

“While the payment card field in the data involved was encrypted, Marriott is undertaking additional analysis to see if payment card data was inadvertently entered into other fields and was therefore not encrypted,” the company said. There might be fewer than 2,000 numbers in other fields in the data involved in the breach that could turn out to be payment card details, it said.

Companies: Marriott International
Price: 106.26 Price Change: +4.52 Percent Change: +4.44

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Continues Weekly Slump on Forecasts of Weaker Demand in 2019; Gold Higher on Government Shutdown, Trade Worries

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher, but closed the week in the red, with Friday’s gains following a near 4% dive on Thursday. The price action continues the low-volume turbulent patch that many markets were experiencing in the past week. Prices hit 18-month lows for the week, despite the planned 1.2 million-barrel-per-day output cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Markets continue to see the supply and demand balance as out of kilter, with demand seen falling back in 2019 on the back of an anticipated slowing in global economic activity. The latest data from the Energy Information Administration showed that US stockpiles of commercial crude were “virtually unchanged” in the week ending Dec. 21. Inventories came in at 441.4 million barrels compared with 441.5 million barrels reported a week earlier. The stockpiles are still about 7% above the five-year average for this time of year. The slight change in the stockpiles data contrasts with the American Petroleum Institute’s expectation for a jump of 6.9 million barrels in the week to 448.2 million. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US increased by two to 885 in the week ending Dec. 28. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US also rose by three to 1,083 as gas rigs rose by one to 198.

Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery fell 0.55% for the week, settling at $45.33 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline fell during the week, down 0.25% and settling at $1.30 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas for March delivery sank 8.11% on the week at $3.15 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) was 0.20% lower for the  week, compared with a decline of 2.57% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session higher, settling at $1,283.00 and ending the week 1.88% higher. Prices for the yellow metal were higher for most of the week and hovered near a fresh six-month high as the dollar weakened against most major currencies and equities tumbled on growth concerns and political uncertainty after a historic run up north on Wednesday. Concerns about a partial US government shutdown and doubts about the US and China agreeing on a long-term trade deal before the expiry of the agreed 90-day truce also contributed to the sell-off in stock markets and made investors rush to the safe-haven metal. Additionally, US President Donald Trump’s recent comments about the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions, and market speculation that the Fed might go slow on monetary tightening from here on appear to be capping the dollar’s upside. On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session up at $2.68 per pound, and closed the week 0.39% higher, logging weekly gains for the first time in five weeks. However, these gains were held in check by continuing concerns over the slowdown in economic growth in China, underscored by a decline in earnings of the country’s industrial firms in November. On Thursday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that November industrial profits slipped 1.8% to RMB594.8 billion or $86.3 billion — the first decline since December 2015.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly higher. Sugar had a weekly increase of 0.32% and settled at a price of $0.12 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.01 per pound at Friday’s close, up 1.30% for the week; and cocoa rose 5.59% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,408 per tonne. Among grains, wheat fell 0.44% and settled at $5.12 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; corn was down 0.92% in the week and settled at $3.76 per bushel in Friday’s session; and soybeans fell 0.08% for the week, closing at $8.96 per bushel on Friday.  In agricultural commodities news, China earlier announced that it is allowing imports of rice from the US — including brown rice, polished rice and crushed rice — for the first time, ahead of the trade talks that would resume between the two countries in early January. How much rice will be imported from the US, however, was not indicated. According to a report from Reuters, experts say that the price of US rice is not as competitive compared with rice sourced from Southeast Asia, and therefore China’s move can be taken as a gesture of goodwill. Rice closed the Friday session at $0.10 per cwt and fell 4.83% for the week.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) was 0.91% lower for the week, compared with the 2.49% decrease in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2019 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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Apple More Than Just iPhones as Investors Look at Segmentation, Streaming Services, Reallocation, RBC Says

8:10 AM, Jan 2, 2019 — Apple (AAPL) is more than just iPhones.

Investors have been heavily focused in the past couple of months on “soft” demand for the company’s phones, but “we think that in an increasingly risk-off environment, Apple with its strong balance-sheet, aggressive buyback, and ability to drive GMs higher remains a core large-cap tech holding,” RBC analysts said.

Analysts led by Amit Daryanani said in a report that there are several questions that could affect the stock in 2019 and beyond.

It’s possible that the company will rethink segmentation during the next cycle, the bank said. If demand for iPhones is closer to a bear scenarios, that could call into question Apple’s pricing power.

On a happier note, the company could launch a new streaming service after announcing “sizable” investments in content last year, which may suggest its intentions go beyond bolstering its Apple Music user base, RBC said. Still, the key is about implementation.

Capital reallocation also is possible as the company can’t seem to time the market. The question, the analysts said, is whether repurchases made at peak levels causes management to rethink or tweak capital allocation, especially if the stock remains depressed for a few quarters.

Still, the company’s low stock prices creates an “attractive” jumping-on point for investors who want to benefit from its ability to generate revenue and earnings growth, the bank said.

“We believe multiple catalysts remain as the company benefits from iPhone ramps; Mac/iPad refresh cycle; potential iTV launch or other major product lines; and improvements in capital allocation policy,” RBC said. “We believe the fundamental reality remains that Apple’s valuation is materially sub-par to what we anticipate is its long-term revenue and EPS potential.”

Companies: Apple Inc.
Price: 154.54 Price Change: -3.31 Percent Change: -2.10

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