Olympics Exit, Democrats Enter

08/28/2008 12:00 am EST

Focus: GLOBAL

Nancy Zambell

Editor, Wall Street's Best Investments and Wall Street's Best Dividend Stocks

The 2008 Olympics are history and we will have to wait and see which prognosticators from our recent San Francisco Money Show win the toss-up as to China’s post-Olympics fortunes—a continued pullback or a resumption to a bullish trend.

This week has been mostly positive for many world exchanges. Both China and Toronto saw financials make some gains, due to some healthier earnings reports. And in Europe, the Euro’s recovery from a six-month low against the dollar seemed to boost investor sentiment.

In the US, we are all consumed with the Democratic National Convention and its accompanying psychodramas. The Republicans have their turn next week in St. Paul, Minnesota, as investors wonder who will win the election and how it will affect the markets.
 
As I write this, commodities are up, mostly across the board, with oil having edged a bit higher this week, to around $117 a barrel. In a bet that the commodity cycle is not finished, mutual fund company Invesco this week announced that it will debut four new commodity-focused ETFs next month, specializing in metals, coal, steel, and agriculture. Are they late to the party? We’ll see.

And speaking of agriculture, one commodity that has seen its shares climb more than $600 a ton—more than 150%—since early 2007, is potash. Gordon Pape, editor of the Canada Report and Internet Wealth Builder, discusses just that subject in our strategies section this week, recommending a company that is benefiting from the surge in fertilizer demand.

Paul Goodwin, editor of Cabot China and Emerging Markets Report joined us for a Q&A on emerging markets, urging caution for investors in frontier markets while recommending a conservative strategy to take advantage of the potential in less-developed countries.

Elaborating on the emerging BRIC regions, Vivian Lewis, editor of the Global Investing and Right Side Alerts blogs makes some interesting observations about the future of housing in those markets. And Vahan Janjigian of Forbes Growth Investor sees an opportunity with a Chinese business devoting itself to natural healing products.

This week, in the US, we await economic reports on auto sales, construction spending, and the current unemployment rate. Recent economic numbers on smaller foreclosures, as well as the rise in mortgage applications and durable goods sent a wave of goodwill through the markets.

And amidst all the bad news we’ve heard lately, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. Instead of the doldrums and naysaying that have been the common thread among commentators, the folks I’m regularly speaking with—professional colleagues, as well as individual investors—seem to be avidly reaching for good news in the markets and economy—almost trying by force of will—to bring about a recovery.

Who knows? Should the Republican convention generate the optimism that we’ve seen with the Democrats this week, we may just be in for a nice little boost in the markets. Let’s hope so!

Nancy Zambell edits Global Investing for MoneyShow.com. Her opinions are her own and not necessarily the views of InterShow or MoneyShow.com.

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