Investors still seem to be digesting the fiscal cliff "solution" and what impact it may have on the US economy in 2013. In addition, the upcoming debt ceiling debate has many worried that politicians will once again go too far and hurt our credit rating. Even copper, which I like to use as an indicator for global demand, seems to be stuck in the same pattern (make sure to notice this year's decline in volume):
Readers will remember my past posts about using copper as an indicator:
What does copper have to do with the stock market? Copper is an amazingly conductive metal, AND a fantastic gauge of the overall health of the global economy. From September 2011′s Economist: "Copper's excellent conduction of electricity and heat means that it is used not only to cable and pipe the globe. An average car contains over 25kg of copper; electronic gadgets, from PCs to mobile phones, use copper for wiring and contacts. Its ubiquity means that rising demand should provide an early indication of an uptick in manufacturing and construction. Copper sagged in the early stages of the credit crisis, for example, and then started to pick up at the end of 2008, some months before the stock market began to rebound."
It seems to me that the continuing political debates are slowing down our already slow growth cycle. However, Goldman Sach's 2013 outlook for commodities has some interesting points. Including the macro idea that we are not at the end of the commodities super cycle, but at a break - much like the US stock market was before its late 1990's rise. It's an interesting read if you get the chance: Commodities 2013-14 Outlook (NYSE:GS) (20121205)
Disclosure: I am long GDX.