|Is 2014 the Year For Commodities?
There is widespread pessimism about commodity prices for 2014 by many commentators. They think commodity prices will fall.
Do we think they are right?
In this week’s premium global market commentary we discuss grains, meats, base metals, energy, coal prices, natural gas, and precious metals.
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Rebirth of the IPOs: Will 2014 Follow 2013 As The Year of IPOs?
Last year was a good one for financial institutions handling the initial offerings of newly public companies: 222 companies went public last year, not hitting the peak reached during the Dotcom Bubble, but making a roaring comeback from the depths of the Great Recession.
Which company is the most anticipated IPO offering for 2014?
Regulatory pressures on publicly traded companies have been a long-term damper on IPO activity. And with a global financial system that’s flush with cash seeking returns, it may be that companies that might have gone public will now be acquired by private equity funds or by potential rivals. But even so, last year’s performance shows that the appetite for new offerings is great.
The IPO Market Starts to Regain Its Health
Some of the best performers were in sectors that have not been in favor for some time. Tech fared well, led by Twitter, which avoided the problems that bedeviled its rival, Facebook. And biotech also returned in force, with 37 companies making new offerings. We observed these carefully, aware of the risks that accompany biotechs in particular as they seek market funding based on the promise of technologies that may be many years from realizing a profit.
What are the potential benefits?
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The “Internet of Things” for Consumers — Almost Here, or Still Too Soon?
The “internet of things” rides again. After many false starts from the dreams of 80s visionaries to today, it looks like the infrastructure for a world of connected smart devices — from locks and lights to refrigerators and cars — is almost in place. Key factors are inexpensive chips and near-universal smartphone adoption. Nevertheless there are risks in spotting winners, with established, market-dominant companies likely to steal newcomers’ thunder. There are also issues of inter-device communications standards and of data privacy. But the trend is secular and offers another opportunity for steep growth as devices and services are rolled out.
Wearables: Ready To Move Beyond Fitness?
Another key trend visible at the CES was wearable tech. We’ve discussed this trend before as well, particularly in the context of Google Glass. It’s apparent, however, from participants’ comments at this year’s show, that the appeal of wearable tech is very broad.
Rather than focusing, as Glass does, on a wearable device that will perform the functions of a smartphone, companies are thinking of wearables more in terms of the internet of things as discussed above. Flextronics, a contract manufacturer of smart wristbands, was interviewed at the show and commented on the interest in his company’s products from a wide spectrum of consumer manufacturers who want to make products that respond to consumers’ personal preferences and habits.
Smart Wearables: Now Targeted Mainly at the Fitness Sector
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We hope you have found our weekly global market commentary useful in keeping you informed about the global macro landscape and navigating the complexity of the financial markets.
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In 2014, we expect many events and developments that U.S. investors need to consider. Do you have a seasoned investment advisor able to position your portfolio for any opportunities or to employ a defensive strategy in case of a significant market correction?
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Thus far in 2014 has been the year of volatility, but is there an opportunity in the markets? What markets are poised to do well? Where are we in the bull cycle? Will gold rally this year? Get the analysis and information you need for 2014.
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