I have to tell you that my old friend, Dr. Copper, the only commodity that has a PhD in economics, looks like he may be giving the market an “F” on its latest exam. If you recall, I was feverishly pounding on the table trying to get people to buy the red metal at $1.35 in January (click here for the call) . It tickled $3.28 last week. I also was pushing the world’s largest copper producer, Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) at $30, which eventually ran to $88, and has been one of my best performing stocks this year. Watching the two charts roll over in tandem like a Busby Berkeley musical merits a quick review of the base metals. If this were happening in isolation, I would just write it off to another hiccup in the long supply chain to China. But coming against a backdrop of a sharp rally in the dollar, and sell offs in gold and oil, it is possible that something more ominous is at work. If we get a New Year liquidity surge you might want to lighten up on these positions. Of course, the long term bull market in the red metal is still alive and well. But wouldn’t you like to have enough dry powder to buy more copper 60 cents cheaper? And watch out for that next report card.