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European Commission Launches Probe into Amazon Competitive Practices

7:18 AM, Jul 17, 2019 — The European Commission said Wednesday it has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of European Union competition rules.

When providing a marketplace for independent sellers, Amazon “continuously collects data about the activity on its platform,” the Commission said. Based on its preliminary fact-finding, it said that Amazon “appears to use competitively sensitive information” — about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace.

As part of its probe, the Commission said that it would look into the standard agreements between Amazon and marketplace sellers, which allow Amazon’s retail business to analyze and use third-party seller data. In particular, the Commission said it would focus on whether and how the use of accumulated marketplace seller data by Amazon as a retailer affects competition.

The probe will also look at the role of data in the selection of the winners of the “Buy Box” and the impact of Amazon’s potential use of competitively sensitive marketplace seller information on that selection. The “Buy Box” is displayed prominently on Amazon and allows customers to add items from a specific retailer directly into their shopping carts. Winning the “Buy Box” seems key for marketplace sellers as a vast majority of transactions are done through it, the Commission commented in its statement.

“E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don’t eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behavior,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Union Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said. “I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules.”

The opening of a formal investigation doesn’t prejudge its outcome and there is no legal deadline for bringing an antitrust investigation to an end.

Companies: Amazon.com, Inc.
Price: 2,002.84 Price Change: -7.06 Percent Change: -0.35

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends Week Higher as Middle East Tensions Spark Anew; Gold Surges Higher on Hopes of Interest Rate Cut

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher and closed the week in positive territory; within the past five days, it also touched the highest level in six weeks. Prices had risen amid renewed geopolitical tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, following a report that the Royal Navy in the UK prevented an alleged attempt by Iran to seize a tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, off the southern coast of Iran. The risk of attack on tankers in the region is now deemed “critical.” To compound matters, Iran is threatening to further increase uranium production, after having breached a level that it had agreed to stay within under the now-defunct Iran Nuclear Accord. Oil prices also got a lift this week after producers and shippers trained their focus on the weather — given that the US hurricane season is getting underway — as a tropical storm threatened oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico. US inventory data was also supportive of oil prices this week. US inventories of crude oil plunged by 9.5 million barrels over a week to July 5, data published by the Energy Information Administration showed. This was steeper than the 3.1 million-barrel slump forecast in a Reuters’ survey of analysts and the 8.1 million-barrel drop projected by the American Petroleum Institute. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said in a report Friday that first-half oil supply exceeded demand by 0.9 million barrels per day. Its latest data showed a global surplus in Q2 of 0.5 million barrels per day, versus previous expectations of a deficit of the same level. Finally, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE) said active US rigs drilling for oil fell by four this week to 784. A year ago, the count was 863. This week’s tally was the lowest since the 765 rigs reported in the week ended Feb. 2, 2018.

Light, sweet crude oil for August delivery rose 4.37% for the week, settling at $60.20 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was up 2.07% during the week and settled at $1.99 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged an increase of 2.42% this week, ending Friday at $2.42 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 1.48% this week, compared with a decline of 0.77% the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session higher at $1,406.70, ending the week up 1.07% and continued to be driven by monetary policy news. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony in front of Congress and the Senate during the week reaffirmed expectations for a rate cut at the end of the month. Powell gave the market no reason to expect anything less than a 25-basis-point rate cut at the July 30 – 31 meeting. He said the Federal Open Market Committee is concerned about trade tensions and slowing global growth, and that some “weak inflation will be even more persistent.” Meanwhile, industrial metals remained under pressure amid a lack of any supportive fundamentals, and copper prices logged losses throughout the week as the global growth outlook kept investors’ interest lackluster. In addition, the latest trade data out of China showed that the country’s exports declined 1.3% in June while imports showed a larger drop of 7.3%. Expectations had been for exports to fall 1.4% and imports to decline 4.6%, according to Bloomberg’s estimates. Analysts now expect that, following the downbeat trade data, demand for commodities will continue to be weak. However, the red metal managed to end the week 1.13% higher at $2.69 per pound.

The impact of the US-China trade war came to the fore this week after US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that China is letting the US down as the East Asian country is not fulfilling its promise of increasing its imports of agricultural products. According to a report on Bloomberg, Trump said that Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to buy big volumes of US farm products after the two leaders reached a deal to restart the trade talks. Trump also agreed to the suspension of tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese exports, the report noted. However, data released Thursday showed otherwise as US exports to China of soybeans decreased from the previous week to 127,000 metric tons, while pork orders went down to 79 tons from 10,400 tons in June. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng on Thursday did not confirm if China indeed agreed to buy US farm products as part of the two leaders’ agreement in the G20 summit in Osaka. An article on state-run Xinhua News Agency only mentioned that Trump hoped for China to boost its orders of US goods. In his tweet, Trump said he hopes China would begin buying US agriculture products.

Among grains, corn for December delivery rose 4.07% in the week and settled at $4.59 per bushel in Friday’s session; wheat rose 1.26% and settled at $5.23 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and soybeans were up 4.25% for the week, and closed Friday in the red at $9.32 per bushel. Other commodities were mixed: coffee was around $1.07 per pound at Friday’s close, down 3.57% for the week; cocoa was up 1.38% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,503 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly decline of 0.32% and settled at a price of $1.23 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.

USO002009 Ex. 9/30/2019

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Citigroup Beats Expectations With Second-Quarter Results as Consumer Banking Advances

9:07 AM, Jul 15, 2019 — Citigroup (C) reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter, with earnings and revenue ahead of Wall Street projections as global consumer banking gained ground.

Earnings rose to $1.95 a share from $1.63 a share in the same period of last year, ahead of the Capital IQ consensus for $1.81 a share. Excluding Citi’s gain from its investment in electronic trading platform Tradeweb, earnings came in at $1.83 a share, three cents better than projections.

“We navigated an uncertain environment successfully by executing our strategy, and by showing disciplined expense, credit and risk management,” said Michael Corbat, the lending giant’s chief executive.

Revenue rose 2% to $18.8 billion, ahead of the Capital IQ view for about $18.5 billion. Citi cited a pre-tax gain of $350 million from the Tradeweb investment as aiding the growth as well as higher revenue across global consumer banking. That partially offset declines in investment banking, fixed income and equity markets revenue.

Shares in Citi were up 1.1% in pre-market trading on Monday.

Global consumer banking revenue rose to $8.51 billion from $8.24 billion in the second quarter of 2018, with North America up 3%, Latin America gaining 4% and Asia gaining 3%. Institutional clients group, or ICG, revenue was little changed at $9.7 billion and within the segment, fixed income markets revenue rose 8% while equity markets was down 9%.

Revenue in North America rose to $8.64 billion from $8.52 billion, while Asia increased to $4 billion from $3.84 billion. Revenue in Latin America gained 3% to $2.63 billion while the Europe, Middle East and Africa was down 3% to $2.96 billion.

“We have good momentum and solid growth across our consumer franchise, particularly in the US, while in the ICG, our industry leading Treasury and Trade Solutions business continues to perform well and we gained share in market-sensitive products such as Investment Banking,” said Corbat.

Companies: Citigroup Inc.
Price: 72.48 Price Change: +0.73 Percent Change: +1.02

 

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Harley-Davidson Might Not Get Enough Boost From LiveWire to Ease Retail Declines, Wedbush Says

3:28 PM, Jul 12, 2019 — Harley-Davidson (HOG) probably won’t get enough of a boost from next month’s launch of its electric motorcycles to stem recent retail declines and the company could face competition amid reports of a new Indian Motorcycle brand bike from Polaris Industries (PII).

Dealer contacts in the US saw a 5% to 6% decline in retail unit registrations in the second quarter, Wedbush analysts James Hardiman, Sean Wagner and Matthew McCartney said in a note Friday. That would represent a deceleration against the decline of about 4% reported by the company in the first quarter, they said.

Differences in weather, promotional activity and difficult comparisons from a year earlier are to blame for the slowdown, according to Wedbush, which has a neutral rating on the stock with a $35 price target.

“As we have seen across our leisure coverage, record-setting rainfall has plagued floor traffic,” they said. “At the same time, the unusually aggressive promotions that sparked the March strength tapered off over the course of the quarter.”

LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, has been heavily marketed and Wedbush estimates 200 to 400 bikes will be made in initial shipments, with about 600 to 1,800 in the first year as up to 200 dealers carry the product.

“Longer term, for LiveWire to make a real dent in the demand shortfall for HOG, we would need to see consumers buy into electric motorcycles in general and a $30K electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson in particular,” the analysts said.

Polaris could offer competition to Harley-Davidson with reports circulating that it could launch Indian Raptor, a touring bike that looks to be targeting customers for Harley’s Road Glide, Wedbush said. “In addition, we believe that Indian is likely working on street and adventure bikes as well, suggesting that HOG’s entry into these segments are unlikely to be uncontested.”

Still, Wedbush is ahead of Street projections for the second quarter and 2019, and have a base case that Harley-Davidson “will eventually grow share and expand margins going forward.” They see second-quarter earnings of $1.30 a share against expectations for $1.21, and see EPS of $3.15 on the full year against $3.04 projected by Wall Street.

Companies: Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Price: 36.62 Price Change: +0.52 Percent Change: +1.44

 

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends Week Lower as US Inventory Decline Misses Estimates; Gold Also Slumps as Strong Jobs Data Props Up US Dollar

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher on geopolitical issues but closed the week slightly in the red. Prices had risen following reports that police and British marines seized a Syria-bound oil tanker off Gibraltar, amid suspicions it was operating in breach of EU sanctions. Iran had condemned the “illegal interception” and summoned the British ambassador in Tehran. Earlier in the week, 10 nations that were non-members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday agreed to follow the oil cartel’s lead and extend existing curbs on crude oil production by nine months in order to help prop up prices. Venezuelan oil minister Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez made the announcement after a meeting in Vienna of the 14 OPEC countries and 10 other oil-producing nations. The current lower oil production level was agreed to in December and will now continue until the end of March 2020. The 14 OPEC countries meeting in Vienna already agreed on Monday to extend the cuts. A 24-nation expanded coalition, known as OPEC-Plus, has been following the cartel’s strategy. Meanwhile, US inventories of crude oil declined by 1.1 million barrels to 468.5 million barrels in the week ended June 27, data published by the Energy Information Administration showed. This was less than the 12.8 million barrel decline registered a week earlier and beneath than the five million-barrel drop projected by the American Petroleum Institute. Finally, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE) came out with its oil-rig count report on Wednesday –earlier than usual due to the July 4 holiday. The company said active US rigs drilling for oil fell by five to 788 in the week — following two straight weeks of increases. The total active US rig count declined by four to 963. For the whole month of June, the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell to 969, from 986 in May and the 1,056 counted in June 2018.

Light, sweet crude oil for August delivery fell 1.01% for the week, settling at $57.34 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was up 1.91% during the week and settled at $1.92 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged an increase of 3.93% this week, ending Friday at $2.29 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 0.77% this week, compared with an increase of 0.32% the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session lower at $1,420.90, as Friday’s strong jobs data undermined prospects for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates – thus sending bonds and the dollar higher. The government reported that nonfarm payrolls rose 224,000 in June against expectations for a 165,000 rise and the previous month’s 72,000 gain, revised from 75,000. The unemployment rate inched 10 basis points higher to 3.7% versus the no change expected by forecasters. Private payrolls rose 191,000 versus 149,000 estimated while manufacturing payrolls rose 17,000 versus 2,000 expected for the month, according to data compiled by Econoday. For the week, the yellow metal slipped 0.71% lower following two weeks of consecutive gains. Similarly, copper closed Friday’s session lower at $2.68 per pound, falling 2.06% for the week — it’s biggest weekly fall since May as the stronger dollar weighed on the commodities space. The slump could also be attributed to the lack of certainty over the US-China trade negotiations, as the current “trade ceasefire” between the two countries does not mean a firm deal could be finalized soon. The protracted trade row has dented the demand for metals over the past several months.

In agriculture commodities,  the US Department of Agriculture released its weekly export sales report, which showed that export sales for corn and wheat were on the lower end of analysts’ expectations, while soybean export sales, excluding China, were poor. Weekly export sales for soybeans were 867,600 metric tons, while corn export sales were 175,600 metric tons and wheat export sales were 276,500 metric tons. Among grains, corn for December delivery fell 1.83% in the week and settled at $4.42 per bushel in Friday’s session; wheat fell 5.40% and settled at $5.15 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and soybeans were up 0.65% for the week, and closed Friday in the red at $8.95 per bushel. Other commodities were mixed: coffee was around $1.11 per pound at Friday’s close, up 3.42% for the week; cocoa was up 0.45% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,463 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly decline of 3.44% and settled at a price of $1.24 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.

USO002000 Ex. 9/30/2019

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Papa John’s Names McDonald’s Veteran Norberg as Head of Restaurant Operations

1:05 PM, Jul 8, 2019 — Papa John’s International (PZZA) named Jim Norberg as its chief restaurant operations officer to oversee corporate and franchised locations in North America as the pizza chain looks to drive sales growth and profit margins, the company said on Monday.

Norberg comes to the Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s after spending more than 30 years at McDonald’s (MCD), where he was most recently executive vice president and chief operating officer where he led operations for 14,000 US locations of the Big Mac maker.

“Jim has an impressive growth track record, as well as deep-rooted (quick-service restaurant) industry knowledge and expertise, making him a welcome addition to our talented leadership team,” said Chief Executive Steve Ritchie.

Papa John’s has faced a series of challenges in recent years, including a battle with founder and former chairman John Schnatter who left the company amid controversy over comments he reportedly made about protests in the National Football League.

Basketball hall-of-famer Shaquille O’Neal was added to Papa John’s board earlier this year as part of the company’s bid to revamp its image, saying he will serve as an ambassador for the company and invest in nine restaurants around Atlanta.

Shares in Papa John’s were down 1.8% in afternoon trading on Monday.

Norberg will be tasked with improving efficiencies at the pizza chain and delivering “sustainable year-over-year increases in sales, customer satisfaction and profit margins the for brand across both its corporate and franchise restaurants,” according to the company’s statement.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I look forward to helping move the brand forward,” Norberg said. At McDonald’s, he led a system-wide review to simplify operations in the stores and menus, the company said. After his career at McDonald’s, Norberg was an independent strategic advisor to companies operating in restaurant, hospitality, entertainment and the consumer goods industry.

Companies: Papa John’s International, Inc.
Price: 45.54 Price Change: -0.84 Percent Change: -1.81

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Ford Motor Company

Ford Quarterly China Sales Drop 22% as New Leadership Takes Over, Strengthens Ties in Joint Venture

1:20 PM, Jul 5, 2019 — Ford Motor (F) on Friday said its second-quarter sales dropped nearly 22% year over year in China as the company began to build a new leadership team with experience in the market and strengthened ties with its joint-venture partners.

The automaker said that sales of its namesake brand in the just-ended quarter were 92,885 vehicles, down 28% from the prior-year period and up 24% compared with the first quarter. Lincoln sales were up 7% from last year to 12,404 and were up 28% from the first quarter.

Meanwhile, sales of its JMC indigenous-branded vehicles were 48,753 in the second quarter, down 13% from the year before.

Ford said it has taken “aggressive actions” to cut dealer inventory, boost showroom traffic, stabilize prices and raise dealer profitability. It said dealers ended June with 28 days worth of supply, an 18-month low.

The company in October named Anning Chen as president of its Chinese operations. Chen had been chief executive of Chery Automobile Ltd China and chairman of Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, China.

In April, Ford announced its Ford China 2.0 strategy to redesign its business in the Asian nation. The company said at the time that it would focus on speeding up product development and delivery, smart technology development, build on strategic partnerships, drive innovation and develop local talent.

General Motors (GM) said earlier Friday that it sales in China sank 12%, with losses recorded in nearly all of its brands, apart from luxury brand Cadillac, which surged almost 37% year-on-year.

Deliveries from GM and its joint ventures in the world’s second-biggest economy fell to 753,926 in the quarter as the company said it underwent a “significant product changeover,” according to a statement Friday. That compares with 858,344 sales in the same period of 2018.

Price: 10.26 Price Change: +0.06 Percent Change: +0.54

 

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Ends the Week Higher Ahead of OPEC Meeting; Gold Benefits from Safe-Haven Status as Geopolitical Tensions Linger

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session lower, but closed the week in positive territory, finding support on expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will extend self-imposed production caps when it meets next week. On Monday, OPEC and its allies will congregate in Vienna, Austria, to discuss oil production levels. Heading into the meeting, it is still unclear whether the 14 OPEC countries and the 10 additional countries led by Russia will reduce their oil output even further, or whether they will simply prolong their current agreed limit that runs out at the end of June. Meanwhile, US inventories of crude oil declined by 12.8 million barrels to 469.6 million barrels in the week ended June 21, data published by the Energy Information Administration showed. This was greater than the 7.5-million-barrel decline projected by the American Petroleum Institute and more than quadruple the decline registered in the prior week. Finally, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE) reported Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US rose to the highest level in a month this week, as higher prices for the key energy commodity saw more equipment come into operation. The US oil rig tally rose by four this week to 793, the most since the period ended May 31 and the second-straight weekly advance. A year ago, the count was 858.

Light, sweet crude oil for August delivery rose 0.73% for the week, settling at $59.43 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was up 3.80% during the week and settled at $1.91 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas logged an increase of 5.91% this week at $2.32 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 0.32% this week, compared with an increase of 1.98% the prior week.

Gold finished Friday’s session at $1,412.00, and closed the week with a gain of 0.77%. Lingering tensions between the US and Iran, US President Donald Trump’s earlier comments about the security relationship with Japan and his demand that India should withdraw “very high tariffs” on US goods have boosted appeal for safe-haven bullion. Gold, the traditional refuge in times of financial turmoil, has steadied just north of $1,400, up from the $1,300-and-change trading range of the last five years, but well below the $1,800 topped back in 2011.

In contrast, copper closed Friday’s session lower at $2.72 per pound, but rose 0.43% for the week. Despite the modest gains for the week, copper ended the quarter with its weakest performance since the end of 2015, weighed down by demand concerns that have stemmed from the protracted US-China trade war. The recent uptick in the red metal’s prices was caused partly by news of a collapsed mine in Congo, where at least 41 miners were killed. The KOV copper and cobalt open-pit mine is partly owned by Glencore, with its unit Katanga Mining having a 75% stake. Glencore said there was no impact on the mine’s output, however. Meanwhile, the workers’ strike at the Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile has ended after two weeks, as the three main labor unions voted to accept the contract offer of the mine owner, Codelco, which is also the largest copper producer in the world.

In agriculture commodities, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its Planted Acreage report, which showed greater-than-expected corn acreage, while projecting far fewer soybean acres than estimates. The report projected planted acreage for corn at 91.7 million acres this year, versus estimates for 86.7 million acres of corn. Meanwhile, the USDA expects soybean acreage of 80.0 million — the lowest level since 2013. Analysts’ forecasts had been for 84.4 million acres.

Corn fell 2.59% in the week and settled at $4.32 per bushel in Friday’s session; wheat fell 0.89% and settled at $5.27 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and soybeans were up 2.19% for the week, and closed Friday up at $9.23 per bushel. Other commodities were mixed: coffee was around $1.09 per pound at Friday’s close, up 9.53% for the week; cocoa was down 2.64% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,425 per tonne; and sugar had a weekly increase of 0.88% and settled at a price of $1.26 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.

Apple storefront

Apple’s Chief Design Officer Ive Plans Departure as Nomura Sees ‘Sensible’ Move Amid Services Shift

9:17 AM, Jun 28, 2019 — Apple’s (AAPL) chief design officer, Jony Ive, is set to leave the consumer-technology giant later this year to form an independent firm, while continuing to work on “a range of projects” with his former employer.

Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement late Thursday that Ive played a role that “cannot be overstated” in the revival of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, including the 1998 iMac personal computer and the iPhone.

“Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built,” Cook said.

Ive’s departure is a “sentimental negative,” said Nomura Instinet analysts including Jeffrey Kvaal in a note Friday. Shares in Apple were slightly weaker in pre-market trading.

“He represents a particularly strong connection to Apple iconic heritage given his intimate role in developing many of Apple seminal products and of course his tight bond with Mr. Jobs himself,” Kvaal said, referring to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011. “His departure, therefore, should prompt much nostalgia, and may lead some investors to question Apple’s ability to retain leading industrial design.”

Still, it’s a “sensible time” for Ive to step back, Kvaal said, as the smartphone market slows and Apple pivots toward services. And Ive “indicated he expects to be working with Apple for many years to come,” the analyst said.

“Mr. Ive’s legacy and Apple’s design engine are both secure,” he said, maintaining a neutral rating on Apple and a $175 price target. Apple also said Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, VP of human interface design, will report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams.

“The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators,” Ive said in Apple’s statement. “I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Companies: Apple Inc.
Price: 198.70 Price Change: -1.04 Percent Change: -0.52

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BlackBerry Tops Expectations in Fiscal First Quarter as Software and Services Revenue Surges

10:17 AM, Jun 26, 2019 — BlackBerry (BB) reported fiscal 2020 first-quarter results that were ahead of analysts’ expectations as revenue from its software and services business surged and the company said the integration of its acquisition of Cylance is ahead of schedule.

Revenue climbed 23% year-on-year to $267 million on an adjusted basis, topping the consensus on Capital IQ for $264.6 million. The Waterloo, Canada-based company reported adjusted earnings per share of a cent, better than the consensus for none. BlackBerry reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.03 in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

“We are off to a good start to achieve our financial outlook for fiscal 2020,” said John Chen, BlackBerry’s chief executive. “We are ahead of our schedule in our Cylance integration, while investing in the right opportunities to drive long-term growth and profitability for BlackBerry.”

BlackBerry has been pivoting in its focus toward software and security offerings after it acquired Irvine, Calif.-based Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity firm in a deal that was completed in February.

Total adjusted software and services revenue rose 35% to $260 million in the three months ending May 31, according to the company that was once better known for its smartphones.

Cylance revenue was $51 million on an adjusted basis, BlackBerry said. Internet-of-things revenue rose to $137 million from $130 million a year earlier, while licensing increased to $72 million from $63 million.

BlackBerry affirmed its fiscal 2020 outlook for year-on-year revenue growth between 23% and 27% and a double-digit percentage increase in billings. Cylance’s revenue is set to rise 25% to 30%, BlackBerry said. The firm also expects adjusted profitability for the full year.

Companies: BlackBerry Limited
Price: 7.59 Price Change: -0.70 Percent Change: -8.44

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