Doherty at the Close 8.6.2012

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Knight Capital (KCG) plunged 24.44% again today following its high frequency trading debacle last week. Shares are down to $3 at the close, a loss from $10 last tuesday. To fund its operations, KCG sold $400 million in convertible preferred stock to bolster its captial position.

Gains in U.S. markets followed broad gains on European and Asian exchanges. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.4%, closing at a more than four-month high. Asian markets were broadly higher, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 2% and China’s Shanghai Composite climbing 1%.

Crude-oil futures rose 0.9% to $92.20 a barrel, while gold futures gained 0.4% to settle at $1612.90 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar slipped against the euro and the yen. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds fell to 1.556% as demand rose.

Cornes Grains Report 8.6.2012

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The unusually warm weather in March was an indicator of how dangerous this summer’s weather conditions would be to crop yields across the nation. Some analysts believe that a significant portion of the corn crop is damaged beyond repair, forcing grain processing institutions to hedge their exposure back in June before prices rose out of control, as they did.

A true tell tail for the rest of this season’s price guidance will be announced on August 10, when the USDA releases monthly crop supply-demand report. As of now, the USDA has rated corn and soybean conditions at their lowest level in 24 years.

Dealing with higher grain prices is a gamble for farmers. Some corn farmers sold their reserves earlier this year at lower prices in expectations of a high yielding summer. Other farmers have been hoarding corn predicting that prices will spike even higher after the end of the harvest.

Along with falling crop yields, farmers are also faced with higher production expenses. The drought caused farmers to spend more on irregation, and they are left to deal with rising fertilizer costs. Nitrogen prices have risen to as much as $350 a ton when prices are typically around $275 in previous years.

American consumers will be hit the hardest in rising corn-consuming grocery store products such as milk, eggs and meat products, not with sweet corn prices, the type of corn that people eat on the cob. Sweet corn is not currently in a crisis due to different growing methods. Sweet corn crops are often irrigated, as opposed to industrial grades such as Yellow #1 and 2 commonly deliverable in futures contracts traded at the CBoT in Chicago. Corn grades such as #2 Yellow are not as heavily irrigated and are suffering the most this year, causing ethanol and feeding costs for livestock to rise as well.

I am bullish going into this week’s USDA report as I agree with analysts that corn is beyond repair. I have seen dry, short and mutated corn crops first hand within the month and find it hard to believe that U.S. farmers will be able to meet demand anywhere near what  would be considered a healthy yield.

David Cornes holds a degree in economics from the University of Montana.

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Movers and Shakers – BBY – 8.6.2012

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Best Buy’s founder Richard Schulze is company’s largest shareholder, holding 20.1% of shares. Schulze plans to invest roughly $1 billion of his own money, along with funds from private equity firms to overhaul and fix the retail giant, as they have had a rough transition since the spark of the online electronics market. BBY is estimated to have a value of $8.5 billion when the buyout takes place.

Schulze established the company in 1966 and served as CEO until 2002 and remained Chairman of the Board until June of this year.

David Cornes holds a degree in economics from the University of Montana.

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Morning Rage 8.6.2012

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The Hang Seng closed at their highest in almost three months today after gaining 1.7% holding on to US
jobs data. HSBC rose 2.2% to their highest since July 17th. Li & Fung, who manage supply chains for US
retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, jumped an additional 4.1% today. Li & Fung are currently under-
performing the Hang Seng are expected to post their earnings on Thursday, which could possible turn
that around.

The FTSEurofirst is inching its way up at .2% touching fresh four month highs to begin the week.
Eurozone banks are helping the lift up .8%. Signs of easing nerves came in last week as Spanish and
Italian Equity funds posted their largest weekly inflow since Q1 2011. All signs are not positive however
as currently 50% of European companies missed second quarter earnings expectations compared to just
29% of US companies.

Around Europe the German Dax is up .60%, the French CAC is up .57%, and the Spanish IBEX is up .17%,
the only index in the red right now is Stockholm down .14%.

GM reported it sold 199,503 vehicles in China during July, up 15% YoY. Its joint ventures with SAIC and
Liuzhou had strong demand in minivans despite a slowing economy.

Commodities are beginning the week mixed with Energy stocks down as metals showing gains; silver is
up 3% set to start the week.

Contributer Chris Rygh is currently pursuing his MBA in Wisconsin and has a passion for the Market.
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