This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Has the Commodities Boom Come to an End?

Stocks in this article: FCXBHPVALERIOBTU

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The commodities boom was as severe and swift as ever in history, but tremors have entered the markets over the last few weeks as investors begin to wonder: Could it all be over?

Copper futures have marched to record highs, rising more than 40% since the middle of last year. And Freeport McMoRan (FCX), the largest publicly traded miner of copper in the world, saw its share price double, going from $30 to just above $60 in January before sliding back.

Iron ore prices surged. So did the shares of Vale (VALE), BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO), which have added between 50% and 90% since last summer.

Coal? Ditto. Peabody Energy (BTU) has doubled in value since the summer of 2010.

Partly because of this commodities rocket ride, there have been some rumblings in basic-materials land over the last week or so -- and we're not talking about the landslides in Indonesia near Freeport McMoRan's Grasberg copper mine. The supply-demand fundamentals may still look strong for many types of commodities: tight describing the former, brisk the latter.

But the stakes are high for producers of commodities. If oil prices keep rising, if food prices keep rising, central banks around the world will want to start fighting inflation. And if they start fighting off inflation, economic recovery might be endangered.

China, of course, already is. And the European Union's central banker, Jean-Claude Trichet, recently signaled that a rate-hike could be in the Continent's future.

Then there's the U.S. quantitative-easing program, which some have likened to dropping bills from the sky and onto a commodities pit. Having grabbed free money, speculators will speculate.

And so we put the question of the moment to readers of TheStreet: Has the commodities boom exhausted itself? Take our poll below to see what your fellow investors think....


Has the commodities boom exhausted itself?

Yes
No

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

RELATED STORIES:











>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Eden.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/ScottEden.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs