This commentary previously appeared on Real Money Pro on Sept. 30, 2015, at 12:23 p.m. Click here to learn about this dynamic market information service for active traders.
NEW YORK (Real Money Pro) -- End of quarter "window dressing" is leaving the precious metals sector with no clothes. It was just a week ago that gold breached the 100-day moving average of $1152, and now it looks like it is headed back below $1100.
Commodities have lost their luster as an asset class, and equity and high-yield markets have been taking signals from commodity-related issues. Since the start of the third quarter, equity prices would recover from oversold territory on the back of a rebound in sliding oil prices. Those oil rebounds were short-lived -- as were the equity bounces.
Short covering. Equity prices have rebounded for the end of the quarter, as one of the biggest commodity companies -- Glencore (GLNCY) -- recovered from all time lows on Monday. Fortunately for Glencore, the insiders and board members have deep pockets and are supporting the stock at these levels. Hopefully, the insiders are comfortable that Glencore will be able to keep its investment-grade rating and access the capital markets next year, when a large chunk of its debt comes due.
Obviously, I am confident that they have a better view on the company's less-than-transparent inventory-financing schemes and tolling arrangements. What they do not know is when the commodity cycle will turn. Like the short-covering spikes in energy, the recovery in Glencore's shares has helped stabilize the teetering high-yield bond market.
The 4% move up in copper prices is definitely helping Glencore's shares, but I think this is an end-of-quarter event, as demand is still pretty weak. That said, December to January restocking (before the Chinese New Year) could start a bit earlier, given the low price. I believe that, until more supply is cut, copper is going to have a difficult time getting back above $2.50 a pound.
I think most commodity players will be happy to put the third quarter in the rear-view mirror, but the fourth quarter still looks cloudy, to me.