All Articles Tagged "commodities"
(Businessweek) — The mouthful of coffee makes a high-pitched ting as Stephen Vick spits into a metal urn. “Ethiopian coffees are really special,” says Vick, quality control manager for Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. At the company’s “cupping” lab in Chicago, he samples delicately flavored batches from the birthplace of coffee before deciding what to ship to Intelligentsia’s six cafes and 1,000 retailers. The Ethiopia taste tests occur far less often than before, says Vick. “We don’t want to buy anonymous coffee,” says Geoff Watts, an Intelligentsia vice-president. The no-name beans he is referring to trade on the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, an effort to improve farm markets that also poses a serious problem for U.S. coffee dealers who seek out coffee the way Manhattan wine merchants track down the best Bordeaux.
(CNN Money) – Recommendation: Sell
No restaurant has played the recession better than McDonald’s. It entered the downturn with a host of ideas to boost profitability, including healthier menus and high-margin drinks like the McCafe Frappe. Now the stock is starting to look frothy. After restructurings, operating margins are at all-time highs, according to Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy. That suggests there isn’t much fat left to cut, and the stock is up 36% in the past year. With a strengthening U.S. dollar, which reduces revenues from abroad, and the prospect of lower inflation (and thus lower price increases), McDonald’s may struggle to maintain recent same-store sales increases.
(Smart Money) — There’s an old cliché that says when it comes to the markets, the trend is your friend. And investors who followed that principle in commodities made a killing last year, as everything from copper to oil posted double-digit gains. So far this year, though, the major commodity indexes are in negative territory. And that raises a question: Is the trend still your friend?
(Fast Company) — David McCandless‘s new infographic is a masterpiece that lays out each country’s individual claim to a #1 rank. These range from commodities to demographics to ecology to crime–and obviously, most of these things you’d never want to be known for being the “best” in…