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The near-term trend for oil prices is up, as the basis July light sweet crude futures contract surged above $55.00 to $55.55 on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on Monday.  For the majority of us busy trying to make money trading off trends, there is a far…

It's no secret that more than a handful of North Americans look at the French as a haughty and uber-confident culture. The fact of the matter, however, is that, these days, such stereotypes couldn't be further from the truth. Last week, the confidence of France's manufacturers sunk to…

If you know anyone from Brazil or anyone who travels there frequently (like my brother-in-law, Dave, who goes to Rio de Janeiro every fall), you might have heard at some point or another the popular jeer, "Brazil is the country of the future -- and always will be."…

Consumer buying is responsible for about two-thirds of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Unfortunately, more clues are rising that point to a "tapped-out" and "over-borrowed" consumer. Here are some recent gauges of poor consumer demand for goods: -- Yesterday, Wal-Mart announced it was lowering its sales forecast…

AB Electrolux, the world's largest supplier of household appliances, just announced it will close another U.S. plant. This time, the casualty will be 1,000 jobs lost in Texas. The jobs will move to Mexico because labor costs are simply cheaper there. Earlier in the year, the Swedish company…

The future direction of interest rates has been the subject of several recent PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL commentaries for a reason: Knowing the direction of interest rates is fundamental in planning for your borrowing needs and your investments. If you have a mortgage or loan, you want to ensure that,…

Forgive me, dear reader, if my writing of late is pre-occupied with the demise of the U.S. dollar. My emotions and logic both run high when I speak of the U.S. dollar because of the many economic pros and cons of a lower-valued greenback and how it will…

I have been watching the price of gold for two decades now, but I have to confess, dear reader, that this year wins the prize for gold price volatility. And it has just begun! Since gold broke $400 an ounce in December 2003, trading has become what I…

I have never been a big fan of our Federal Reserve Chairman, Mr. Alan Greenspan. Yesterday, when he urged congress to curtail Social Security benefits for future retirees, I have to admit any hope of me ever becoming a fan ended. In what could only be described as…