BP

The 10 Year $1.5 Trillion Tax Hike

Filed in AMAG, BP, dividend, Gold Market, o, obama, revenue, target, ubs, Uncategorized by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

While our goal with this blog isn’t to bash the government, we do want to point out what’s likely to impact the markets, small businesses, and families across the country. The US government plays a substantial role in what happens on Wall Street… every single day. ————— The new Obama budget basically shoves a 10 year, $1.5 trillion tax hike down our throats. So much for that “No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase” promise . As pointed out by Americans for Tax Reform, here’s what we can look forward to: “President Obama released his budget this morning. Rather than focusing on Washington’s over-spending problem, the budget calls for higher taxes on families and small businesses to pay for even more government spending. Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021. By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of GDP. Tax hike lowlights include: Raising the top marginal income tax rate (at which a majority of small business profits face taxation) from 35% to 39.6%. This is a $709 billion/10 year tax hike Raising the capital gains and dividends rate from 15% to 20% Raising the death tax rate from 35% to 45% and lowering the death tax exemption amount from $5 million ($10 million for couples) to $3.5 million. This is a $98 billion/ten year tax hike Capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket rate. This will effectively cut tax deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, state and local income or sales taxes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and unreimbursed employee business expenses. A new means-tested phaseout of itemized deductions limits them even more. This is a $321 billion/ten year tax hike New bank taxes totaling $33 billion over ten years New international corporate tax hikes totaling $129 billion over ten years New life insurance company taxes totaling $14 billion over ten years Massive new taxes on energy, including LIFO repeal, Superfund, domestic energy manufacturing, and many others totaling $120 billion over ten years Increasing unemployment payroll taxes by $15 billion over ten years Taxing management capital gains in an investment partnership (“carried interest”) as ordinary income. This is a tax hike of $15 billion over ten years A giveaway to the trial lawyers—not letting companies deduct the cost of punitive damages from a lawsuit settlement. This is a tax hike of $300 million over ten years Increasing tax penalties, information reporting, and IRS information sharing. This is a ten-year tax hike of $20 billion. You can read more here. The 10 Year $1.5 Trillion Tax Hike originally appeared in Wealth Daily . Wealth Daily is a free daily newsletter featuring contrarian investment insights and commentary.

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Three Garbage Stocks

Three Garbage Stocks

The market goes up everyday… This two-year chart represents the thirty varsity players on the U.S. economic court. You might look at this 100% gain in two years and think that this bull market is overdue for a correction. But don’t worry. Uncle Ben, our fair Chairman over at the United States Federal Reserve, has it all in hand. This is not the time to fret over debt, inflation, taxes, or unemployment… Don’t fight the Fed This market is simple. The Fed is pumping liquidity into the market at an unprecedented rate. There is an old Wall Street platitude that says “Don’t Fight the Fed.” It means you buy stocks when interest rates are dropping and sell when they are going up. The current Fed fund rate is at 0.25%. It can’t get much lower, and no one expects them to hike rates in the near future. What are you waiting for… zero percent? People heed the Bernanke It looks like folks just like you and me are putting the hard times behind them… The adjusted retail numbers for December showed $380.9 billion in sales, an increase of 0.6 percent from the previous month, and 7.9 percent above December 2009. Total sales for 2010 were up 6.6 percent. For the fourth quarter, they were up 7.8 percent. Car sales jumped 14.7 percent over last year. For non-store retailers like Amazon, sales jumped 15 percent. The unofficial numbers for January show a 4.1 percent gain from a year ago. This is great stuff. Amazon investors liked it so much that the company now trades at twice the price it did during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Amazing. ~~SIGNUP_WD~~ The screen It’s a good idea to screen for stocks at least once a week. I generally screen for low P/E, small market capitalization, and good dividend. From there, I go through the list and look for red flags and growth potential. I like the companies that are under $250 million in market value, with high future growth and fat margins. I also look at debt ratios. I call these “garbage stocks” because they ain’t for widows and orphans, but they tend to run under the right circumstances. Today, three companies in the retail sector popped up on my screen. All three shared my garbage stock credentials. And they have something else in common: They cater to the petite bourgeois. They are Books-A-Million (NASDAQ: BAMM), Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT), and CPI Corp. (NYSE: CPY). The merchant of Wal-Mart All of these companies sell products to the middle class, but none of their products are necessities… Books-A-Million runs 223 discount bookstores in the Southeastern United States. Collectors Universe provides third-party authentication, grading, and related services for rare collectibles like coins, trading cards, and sports memorabilia. CPI runs Wal-Mart Portrait Studios and PictureMe Portrait Studios. BAMM has a market cap of $92 million and a trailing P/E of 6.62. The company had a negative revenue growth of 5.5% year over year, but it does pay a fat 5.2% dividend. (They could also be a beneficiary of Barnes and Noble going bankrupt.) CLCT has a market cap of $109.34 million, a P/E of 6.6, gross margins of 60%, quarterly revenue growth of 8%, and a dividend yield of 9%. CPY has a market cap of $152 million, a P/E of 8.06, 8% margins, a flat quarterly revenue growth, and a 5.10% dividend yield. …

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Raising Our Target Price on Netflix

Filed in BP, earnings, GOld juniors, Gold Market, Netflix, o, shares, target, Uncategorized by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

When Netflix hit a high of $145, we knew $200 wouldn’t be far behind, telling readers: “It looks like Netflix just broke above the channel… and could be headed higher. Considering future growth, an $8 billion market cap is nothing. We could see $10… even $20 billion when all is said and done with this stock. Plus, with the momentum crowd jumping in, and quickly churning that float, there’s no telling how high this can run.” But the NFLX run, we believed, was just getting started. And we were right… as the stock just hit $245. But, as The Wall Street Journal reports: “Not to be a stick in the mud, but it’s worth thinking about how far Netflix has climbed. The stock is up 287% over the last 52 weeks. In 2011 alone, the shares are up 39%. That enthusiasm has translated into nosebleedingly high valuations. The stock is trading 83 times the last twelve month’s earnings and 52 times the consensus expectations for the next 12 months, according to FactSet. Valuations like that entail a really high amount of risk. If the growth rate of the company starts to deviate even modestly from the sizzling rate Wall Street has priced in, the stock could get hammered. Of course, with the amount of momentum there is behind this stock, it could very well keep rising for quite some time. Just do yourself a favor and don’t bet the kid’s college fund on it, alright?” While we agree that NFLX is extremely overbought… it’s all about the blind momentum at this point. And it could push the stock to our new target of $300 by September. An outrageous call? Sure. But we were the same people that called for NFLX $200 when the stock traded at just $145. Raising Our Target Price on Netflix originally appeared

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Sysco Confirms Our Worst Fears

Filed in AMAG, BP, GOld juniors, Gold Market, HAL, inflation, lead, Lear, o, target by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

The food inflation strategies we outlined here and here and here may have sounded a bit gloomy, but considering what’s been happening in the commodity markets (inflation, weather-related disasters, and freezing conditions in Mexico), the well-timed strategies remain in place. ———————— Now that Sysco has confirmed their prices are rocketing (which also means your food prices will head north), it’s about to get a lot worse for the millions already struggling to pay their outrageous food bills… According to reports, you’ll pay double… even triple the price for produce within weeks thanks to a freeze that wiped out crops in Mexico and the southwestern US. And, according to Zero Hedge, “Now might be a good time to hit the frozen foods (or fresh produce if you’ve got a vacuum sealer) aisle at your local grocery store and stock up on your favorite fruits and veggies, as there may be a severe supply crunch coming in the next couple weeks lasting perhaps several months.” “Why pay premium prices later when you can prepare yourself today, before the rest of the country gets wind of it,” says Zero Hedge, as inflationary risks, supply problems, weather related incidents, and a recent freeze in Mexico that’s lead to an 80% and 100% crop damage makes life a bit more unbearable for companies that Sysco, which just released the following note: ALL OF OUR GROWERS HAVE INVOKED THE ACT OF GOD CLAUSE ON OUR CONTRACTS DUE TO THE FOLLOWING RELEASE. WE WILL BE CONTACTING YOU PERSONALLY TO REVIEW HOW THIS WILL AFFECT OUR CONTRACTED ITEMS WITH YOU GOING FORWARD. THE DEVASTATING FREEZE IN MEXICO IS WORST FREEZE IN OVER 50 YEARS… THE EXTREME FREEZING TEMPERATURES HIT A VERY BROAD SECTION OF MAJOR GROWING REGIONS IN MEXICO, FROM HERMOSILLO IN THE NORTH ALL THE WAY SOUTH TO LOS MOCHIS AND EVEN SOUTH OF CULIACAN. THE EARLY REPORTS ARE STILL COMING IN BUT MOST ARE SHOWING LOSSES OF CROPS IN THE RANGE OF 80 TO 100%. EVEN SHADE HOUSE PRODUCT WAS HIT BY THE EXTREMELY COLD TEMPS. IT WILL TAKE 7-10 DAYS TO HAVE A CLEARER PICTURE FROM GROWERS AND FIELD SUPERVISORS, BUT THESE GROWING REGIONS HAVEN’T HAD COLD LIKE THIS IN OVER A HALF CENTURY. THIS TIME OF YEAR, MEXICO SUPPLIES A SIGNIFICANT PERCENT OF NORTH AMERICA’S ROW CROP VEGETABLES SUCH AS: GREEN BEANS, EGGPLANT, CUCUMBERS, SQUASH, PEPPERS, ASPARAGUS, AND ROUND AND ROMA TOMATOES. FLORIDA NORMALLY IS A MAJOR SUPPLIER FOR THESE ITEMS AS WELL BUT THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN STRUCK WITH SEVERE FREEZE DAMAGE IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY AND UP UNTIL NOW HAVE HAD TO PURCHASE PRODUCT OUT OF MEXICO TO FILL THEIR COMMITMENTS, THAT IS NO LONGER AND OPTION. WITH THE SERIES OF WEATHER DISASTERS THAT HAS OCCURRED IN BOTH OF THESE MAJOR GROWING AREAS WE WILL EXPERIENCE IMMEDIATE VOLATILE PRICES, EXPECTED LIMITED AVAILABILITY, AND MEDIOCRE QUALITY AT BEST. THIS WILL NOT ONLY HAVE AN IMMEDIATE…

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How Savings and Investment Increase an Economy’s Output

Filed in BP, Debt, deflation, economy, interest-rates, Lear, o, silver, Spot Gold, target, US Dollar by on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

Everyone who has held a job and a bank account understands the potential benefit of postponing consumption today in order to enjoy greater consumption in the future. However, many people — if pressed — would explain this increase in saver’s income by an offsetting reduction in the income of a borrower in the economy. This is certainly a possibility. For example, if Bill (the borrower) forgets his lunch money on Monday, he might ask his coworker Sally (the saver), “Can you lend me $10 and I’ll pay you back $11 tomorrow?”  If Sally agrees, then it is clear that her $1 in interest on the personal loan was paid out of Bill’s reduced income for that month. In other words, if Bill’s take-home pay that month were $5,000, then he would actually only have $4,999 to work with, because of his $1 expenditure in “buying a loan” from Sally. At the same time, if Sally’s normal paycheck were also $5,000, then this particular month she would actually have $5,001 to work with, after earning $1 in providing “lending services” to Bill. In the scenario above, what basically happened is that Bill financed his consumption with an “advance” made by Sally. On the Monday morning is question, …

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Weekend: The Fool Proof Retirement Plan

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition— our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles. As I wrote earlier in the week, dividend reinvestment plans — or DRIPs — are a great way to secure your financial future. All you need is the time and patience to stick to the blueprint… The best part is these plans are offered by more than 1,100 companies and are available to investors of all stripes, making it possible to purchase shares of stock without using a broker. This allows investors to buy stock directly from the company in very small amounts— something that can be more difficult and costly when compared to buying shares through your broker. In fact most companies don’t charge a fee, and the minimum investment can be as low as $10. Advertisement 60 Minutes Reports on Growing Body Parts Call it what you want: biotechnology, tissue engineering, cell therapy, regenerative medicine. The famous newsmagazine has reported on one doctor about to make multiple medical problems disappear forever. Lucky for you, that same doctor sits on the board of a $3.00 company that will bring these solutions to market— making shareholders rich in the process. Check out the 60 Minutes clip to learn the name. The plans also reinvest all or partial dividends paid into more stock, thus the name “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.” And in this case — since the investment is based on dollar amounts — you can purchase fractional shares. In addition, investors can choose to add a monthly contribution to the plan, boosting the amount of wealth the DRIP can create. That means you can start out with as little…

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Out of Egypt: Protests are Headed for America

Filed in BP, Debt, frontline, Gold, Gold Market, inflation, Lear, o, Quantitative Easing by on February 12, 2011 0 Comments
Out of Egypt: Protests are Headed for America

Don’t think that what happened in Egypt can not possibly happen here. Because the truth is when a big swath of the population is no longer served by the festering status quo, they wake up one day and decide not play ball after all. And once that faith is lost, it is gone forever. I actually think we are much closer to that moment than most people would think. You see, I work all day in an office full of 20-somethings. They are a diverse bunch. They’re smart and they work hard. But the one thing they all have in common is they are stuck on a ladder with no where to go. Buried in debt from student loans and various other sources, they are trapped in time unable grab the next rung. Among them the most common refrain is: “I can’t” They would like to further their education…but they can’t. They would like to buy a house…..but they can’t. They would like to buy a car….but they can’t. They would like to have children….but they can’t. There’s more to the list…but you get the picture. Of course, when you look at their list of wants you realize that what they want is no different than what everyone else has wanted at one time or another. The difference is in their world it’s a lot harder to attain—if not impossible in some cases. The reason for this is pretty simple: The cost of their dreams can’t be met with their incomes and adding more debt for them is not much of an option . Everything single thing on their list and then some simply costs too much. As a result, they go without. One day I suspect they will take to the streets. By the way, here’s a great video I found this morning on zerohedge. It’s your life according to the government… The status quo cannot possibly be maintained. Related Articles: Government Run Amok: Unintended Consequences Trouble in Retail: Three Charts from the Frontlines How Uncle Sam Fiddles with the Figures Quantitative Easing For Dummies To learn more about Wealth Daily click here Advertisement Samurai Super Alloy It was the secret ingredient that turned an ordinary sword into the legendary Samurai Katana— the deadliest weapon before the arrival of modern rifles. Today, it’s crucial to the $987billion/year global steel industry… And the world’s supply is quickly running out. Find out how a tiny mining company sitting on one of the last untapped deposits of this metal could hand you 2682% — in the next 12 months! Out of Egypt: Protests are Headed for America originally appeared in Wealth Daily . Wealth Daily is a free daily newsletter featuring contrarian investment insights and commentary.

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How Gold Could Save America from Nazi Theory

Keynesian economics is the root of economic problems for most countries around the world today. So it’s important to understand both what Keynesian economics stands for and what the opposing brand of economic thinking called Classical economics maintains. In a nutshell… Classical Economics: Keynesian Economics: Thrift, hard work, and productivity are virtues. The classical gold standard restrains the state from inflating and provides a stable monetary environment in which the economy can flourish. Government should strive for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. The state should adopt a general policy of laissez-faire of non-interventionism in economic affairs: low taxes, free trade, and minimal bureaucracy. Production is more important than consumption. Say’s Law: Supply is more important than demand since supply of one good creates the demand for another. An increase in savings can contract income and reduce economic growth. Consumption is more important than production, thus turning Say’s Law upside down. There is no need for a gold standard; fiat currency is preferable. Demand is more important than supply. Teaches that governments and politicians can be trusted. It’s no wonder politicians love Keynesian economics over Classical economics. To control the economy, most governments around the world have been using Keynesian economics for the past 75 years. It is the only economic thought that is taught in the schools and universities. “They” want us to believe they are wise and intelligent souls who know what is best for us. But nothing could be further from the truth throughout most of economic history… Read this quote from Adolf Hitler, who openly embraced Keynesian ideas: Gold is not necessary. I have no interest in gold. We will build a solid state, without an ounce of gold behind it. Anyone who sells above the set prices, let him be marched off to a concentration camp. That’s the bastion of money. The Nazis’ economic success when Hitler first came into power was a result of Hitler cooking the books. The rest of his time in power goes down in history as one of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind. Only two other twisted power-seeking devils in the annals of time are responsible for the killing of more people than Hitler &mdash…

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A Self-Employed Carpenter’s Continued Thoughts on the Future

Filed in BP, Debt, deflation, economy, Gold, inflation, Lear, o, silver, US Dollar by on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

My first article on this topic concerned the sharp contraction of the residential construction industry in the U.S. I am a self-employed carpenter. The main thrust of that article was that the housing market is not going to recover to anything approaching its zenith. Bloomberg Business reported in January that housing starts fell again in December to a 529,000 annual rate. The annual rate in a good economy is considered to be a million new homes per year. The recent peak in 2005 was 2 million homes. Nationally, production for the residential construction industry has dropped about 75% off its peak. Inflation, lack of wealth, and rising energy costs preclude any great gains in housing output in the near future. The majority of the skilled construction workers will be doing something other than residential construction in the near future. What is it that we’ll be doing? First off, we are craftsman. “Craftsman” is a mind-set, a personality type. Throughout history, craftsmen have exchanged their labor, skills, and ideas for the expendable wealth of those who have it. That is the ball upon which we need to keep our eye. Many of us will likely still be craftsman in the next economy. The best-run construction companies will be able to get lean enough to live through the hard times and carve out a niche in the new residential construction industry. Most companies and individuals will not make it back. The current overextended financial situation in the U.S. will cause our world to “shrink.” Inflation and sharply rising fuel prices will force a lot of economic activity back down to the community level. Many things that we currently take for granted will become more difficult to obtain. Acquiring food, fuel, heat, and shelter will take on a greater importance in the day-to-day life of the middle class. I’m not talking about the Apocalypse. I’m just saying that things will not be as comfortable as they once were. You and your fellow middle classers will be conducting more business within your neighborhoods and communities. What do we craftsman do in the transition? First of all, keep your hand in the old construction game as long as you can. Do not create new debt for yourself. Do not bid jobs so close to the bone that you have no wiggle room. If something goes awry, and it usually does, you will have either new debt or legal problems. Speaking of new debt, get out of your old debt. The leaner you emerge from this transition period, the better your choices will be. If you have any liquid assets, consider owning some physical silver. Cash will be eaten …

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Zillow: Home Values Lose Another $2 Trillion

Filed in BP, economy, EPS, Gold, GOld juniors, Gold Market, housing-market, Lear, o, revenue by on February 9, 2011 0 Comments
Zillow: Home Values Lose Another $2 Trillion

Anybody that thinks housing has reached a bottom needs to have their head examined. If you doubt that just ask the fine folks at Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH) who reported a loss of $48.8 million, or 66 cents a share, down more than 200% from a $48 million, or $1.17 per share, income a year earlier. That dismal effort came on revenue that plummeted 48% to $110.3 million from $213.1 million just a year earlier. Meanwhile the spring is really not looking that much better. Beazer reported a total of 527 home closings and 540 new orders during the period, down 43.6% and down 23.9% respectively. Of course, that what happens Uncle Sam steps out of the mix with tax goodies and rebates—the market falls apart. Because the truth is despite historically low interest rates, the demand for homes of all types remains at exceptionally low levels. That’s true no matter what Lawrence Yun says. The end result is falling prices and more borrowers left underwater…. From Bloomberg by John Gittleson entitled: Home-Price Drop Leaves 27% of U.S. Owners Underwater on Loans “ The number of U.S. homes worth less than their outstanding mortgage jumped in the fourth quarter as prices fell and lenders seized fewer properties from delinquent borrowers, according to Zillow Inc. About 15.7 million homeowners had negative equity, also known as being underwater, at the end of the year, up from 13.9 million in the previous three months, the Seattle-based real estate information company said in a report today. The total represented 27 percent of mortgaged single-family homes, the highest in Zillow data dating to the first quarter of 2009. Home prices are declining as foreclosed properties sell at discounts and unemployment at 9 percent limits buyer demand. Values will fall as much as 5 percent this year, putting more homeowners underwater, before finding a floor as the economy improves, said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “ These seem like fairly grim numbers,” Humphries said in a telephone interview. “We’re still expecting a bottom in home values later this year. And this, if anything, makes me a bit more confident because I’m seeing very large corrections now, which means the market can start to repair itself.” The median value for a U.S. single-family home was $175,200 in the fourth quarter, down 2.6 percent from the end of September and 5.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Zillow. Values have fallen 27 percent from the June 2006 peak. Las Vegas led the nation in …

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Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Filed in BP, dividend, GOld juniors, Gold Market, o, shares, target, Yahoo by on February 9, 2011 0 Comments

As the old fable reminds us, it’s not always the hare who wins the race. For as savvy dividend investors surely know, it is the tortoise who prospers in the long run. That’s because the tortoise knows that income investing allows you to win two ways: first, with a cash payout; and second, through price appreciation. And the best part is you don’t exactly need to be star trader or marker timer to reach your financial goals using this strategy… You just need to be patient enough to push through the volatility onward to the higher ground. Of course, seasoned dividend investors themselves have known this for years. That’s why the truly rich don’t spend their days glued to the financial news like a bunch of lemmings. They realize that while most investors think trading is where the action is, investing in high-yielding income stocks is just as rewarding— provided you are smart enough to stick to a steady and persistent pace. In this style of investing, less truly is more. The Rule of 72 Because the biggest component behind this investment strategy is time— time, the greatest equalizer of them all. The secret to this approach is in the compounding effect that Albert Einstein once called “the most powerful force on earth.” In fact this force is so powerful that I think the government is deliberately keeping it from you. I say that because if the masses actually knew the income this compounding could deliver, they would immediately demand an end to Social Security as we know it. Why is that? you ask. That’s where the Rule of 72 comes in. The Rule of 72 says that in order to find the number of years it takes for you to double your investment at a given rate, just divide the yield into 72. For example: If your are earning a 9% dividend on your investment, it only takes eight years to double your money, and roughly 13 years to triple it. This compounding effect arises when your dividend yield is added to the principal, so that from that moment on, the interest begins to earn interest on itself. Over time, that process can add up to a small fortune — even with very modest investments. ~~SIGNUP_WD~~ The Retirement Blueprint By using this simple but powerful strategy, you can build a $270,000 nest egg in just 35 years by contributing as little as $100/month. That’s basically the cost of a cable bill, and it would yield a 525% gain — a market-beating average of 15% per year. And it’s easier to come by than you think… Let’s say you had saved $1,200 and started with an investment in one of my favorite dividend payers, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT ). That initial investment would buy you 26 shares of ABT at today’s prices, each one earning a dividend yield of 3.8%. Over time, that specific example would earn you a $270,000 payday as long as you simply reinvest your dividends, add a mere $100 a month to your account, and the underlying stock appreciates just 5% per year… Not bad. Here’s…

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Load up on Food ETFs…

Filed in BP, commodities, euro, GOld juniors, Gold Market, o by on February 9, 2011 0 Comments

It’s time to load up on more food ETFs, like the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO). The USDA just reported even more inventory cuts for agriculture commodities, including corn, wheat, soybeans, sugar and rice. Couple that with last week’s Food and Agriculture (FAO) of the UN Food Index report, and food-related ETFs are likely to rocket even more, according to Briefing.com. Just last week, the FAO reported that the food price index nailed new all-time highs for January. According to Briefing.com, “ The Index rose 3.4% from December, averaging 231 points in January. This is the highest level (both in real and nominal terms) since FAO started measuring food prices in 1990. Overall, prices of all monitored commodity groups registered strong gains in January, except for meat, which remained unchanged.” Even better… “Unusual weather in 2010 hit many areas of the world, including Russia, the U.S. and many parts of Europe, which has cut inventory levels in many agriculture commodities around the world to multi-year lows. Overall, many commodities have seen notable inventory reductions including corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, sugar, rice and coffee. Palm oil and cooking oil inventories have also fallen notably. Overall, there are both supply and demand factors driving

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