with Ron Insana, CNBC Senior Analyst, Author of Insana’s Market Intelligence
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While most people talk about the stock market and oil, few are aware of the silent crash in the commodities markets – falling prices of steel, iron ore, copper, corn, etc. On the one hand, this is good news for consumers. But, on the other hand, this sharp drop in commodities reflects falling demand and points to economic weakness for raw materials typically used for manufacturing and various capital projects around the world. And while the U.S. economy is doing well, an economic drop in our trading partners could have spillover effects on U.S. economic growth. Copper demand, for one, is seen as the canary in the coalmine, with copper prices indicative of global economic trends – Doctor Copper, as some call it.
While China and the BRICs were seen as “different” and offered opportunity for unending economic growth – reality is that a lot of the development, particularly in China, has been overdone. And who saw a 50%+ drop in oil coming, back in June 2014? So it’s hard to predict where markets might trade in 2015, but the U.S. clearly is ahead of the pack, globally, with foreign money pouring into the safety and strength of the U.S. economy.