Broadly speaking, 2014 has been kind to commodities exchange traded funds and exchange traded notes (ETNs).
The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) has seen inflows this month, the first time it has been flow positive in 13 months. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO) is the best-performing non-leveraged exchange traded product of any type this year. Corn futures have closed high for six consecutive weeks, helping the Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEArca: CORN) gain more than 5% this year. [Corn ETF Could Rally]
Those performances and others (think silver and until this week, natural gas) have obfuscated an impressive rally by the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Livestock Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: COW). Shares of COW are up 1.4% Friday on volume that is more than five times the daily average, extending the ETN’s 2014 gain to almost 11%. More upside could be in the cards.
“Wendy’s made the phrase ‘where’s the beef popular!’ Some could now say, ‘wheres the price of beef headed?’ Cattle prices have been moving higher over the past couple of years bumping up against the top of a 30-year rising channel,” writes Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions.
Beef futures rising to their highest levels in two years, breaking out of a 30-year rising channel as Kimble points out, highlights at least two points. First, the notion that there is no inflation in the U.S. can easily be debated. Second, COW’s run may just be getting started.
The ETN is finally acting in accordance with beef futures, which do not comprise all of the ETN’s underlying index. Beef futures have surged since late 2010, but COW has lost 4.6% over the past 36 months.