Hogs, Fireworks, And The Worst-Performing Stock Markets Of 2013

Includes: COW, DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Lou Basenese

We're not going to let a shortened holiday week keep us from our charts, as we feature a trio of snapshots related to the most unexpected commodity rally, the possibility of a summer surge for U.S. stocks, and the best (and worst) performing countries in 2013. (The results are shocking.)

Happy, Happy, Happy as a Hog

Gold has fallen and it can't get up. The not-so-precious metal dropped 14% in June alone. However, not all commodities are getting clobbered. Take the $12 billion hog futures market, for instance. It can't be contained.

So far in 2013, hog prices are up 19%. That's enough to make it the top-performing component in the Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index, which is actually down 10% on the year. When a specific commodity defies its benchmark average by such a degree, it makes you wonder what insiders know that the rest of us don't.

It's true that all hogs -- on Wall Street and the farm -- eventually get slaughtered. But right now, "everybody's happy and making money and having fun," says Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services. Kind of makes you want to bet the farm on the pigs, too, huh?

Unfortunately, no pure-play opportunities exist now that Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) is on track to be acquired by a Chinese company for $34 per share. Instead, you'll have to settle for the iPath Dow Jones UBS Livestock Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEARCA:COW). It invests 41.6% of its assets in lean hog futures, with the rest in live cattle futures.

Stock Market Forecast: June Gloom Gives Way to Fireworks in July

A June gloom descended on stocks, just like every other June for the past 50 years. So what's in store for July? Fireworks, baby!

As Bespoke Investment Group notes, "July sticks out as the one summer month that has seen strong gains." Indeed.

As you can see, the Dow has averaged gains in the month of July over the last 20, 50, and 100 years. So stock market seasonality points to this bull market lasting even longer. Go ahead and pinch yourself. You're not dreaming.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

If there's ever a week to be obnoxiously patriotic, it's this one. But aside from celebrating our country's independence, we can also rejoice over the fact that the U.S. stock market is one of the top performers in the world.

Through the second quarter, U.S. stocks are up 13%. Only Japanese stocks are faring better, rising 31.6%. (If you followed our words of wisdom here, you should be sharing in this upside.) Meanwhile, the highly touted BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are all seeing red this year.

My recommendation? Keep buying U.S. and Japanese stocks on the dips. And don't believe the (latest) hype in emerging markets.