Speculators are abandoning money- losing bets that stocks with the closest links to the U.S. economy will fall as America’s most-hated shares stage the best rally in a year relative to the broader market.
Stockpiles of the biggest crops will decline for a third year as drought parches fields across three continents, raising food-import costs already forecast by the United Nations to reach a near-record $1.24 trillion.
Bearish wagers against global stocks at hedge funds have surged to the highest level since July 2009 as the European debt crisis and reports showing an economic slowdown cause the biggest losses in almost three years.
The U.S. cattle herd has shrunk to the smallest since three years before Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s Corp. hamburger stand, reducing supply and raising prices even as domestic demand sinks to a two-decade low.
The first time mad cow disease appeared in the U.S., beef exports plunged 82 percent. More than eight years later, the discovery of an infected dairy cow in California may do little to prevent shipments from surging to a record for a second straight year.
The selloff that erased $1.78 trillion from American equity values has pushed the cost of options to the highest levels of 2012 and prompted hedge funds to add to short sales at the fastest rate since October.
The fastest-ever development of the Kansas wheat crop is drawing a record number of surveyors seeking to gauge prospects for a harvest that is poised to swell the world’s grain bins and drive prices lower.