ALAMO HEIGHTS, Texas — FOR SALE: One tiny kingdom, with many thrones. But it doesn’t come with a hereditary title. That belongs, in perpetuity, to Barney Smith — the undisputed “King of the Commode.” “There’s a lot of me in there,” he says, sitting in front of the corrugated metal garage he’s dubbed his Toilet Seat Art Museum. There’s a lot of, well, everything in there. Smith has one seat decorated with a chunk of the Berlin Wall and another with a piece of insulation from the doomed Shuttle Challenger. There are lids festooned with flint arrowheads, Civil War Minie balls, Amtrak train keys, Pez dispensers — even $1 million in shredded greenbacks from the Federal Reserve Bank in San Antonio. Every inch of door, wall and ceiling space is covered. The sign out front — a commode lid, of course — says Smith’s art is “NOT FOR SALE.” But after five decades and countless offers, the king says … [Read more...] about The ‘King of the Commode’ seeks an heir to his thrones
After hitting a high of nearly four years in 2017, copper prices have slumped this year, a worrying signal for the global economy even as stocks, oil and other markets have rebounded. Prices of copper have fallen 5.9% in 2018. The metal is underperforming the S&P GSCI Index of 24 commodities by its widest margin over the last two decades, other than the start of 2016, according to an analysis by WSJ Market Data Group of comparable periods.... … [Read more...] about Why Copper Is Missing Out on the Commodity Rally
Commodities were a big casualty of the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, but are now set to be a major beneficiary of Beijing’s pledge to import more American goods. U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports, including some steel and aluminum products, to punish Beijing for allegedly violating American intellectual property and unfair trade practices. The Asian nation vowed to retaliate with tariffs on everything from soybeans to fruit and wine. But after two days of talks in Washington, the two countries on Saturday declared an economic truce, putting their tariffs plan on hold. In a joint statement released by the White House, China said it agreed to “meaningful increases in U.S. agriculture and energy exports” with details to be worked out later. Focus now swings to which U.S. commodities could benefit as China buys more, and which countries stand to lose business in the world’s … [Read more...] about A trade truce could bolster some commodities
Dollar bulls are on the rampage, dragging cash out of emerging markets and driving glassy-eyed currency traders into the bars of Hong Kong to drown their sorrows. Are commodity investors next? A strong greenback, now up 3% against a basket of currencies in the past two weeks, is often bad for commodities, because it makes buying dollar-denominated... … [Read more...] about Will the Strong Dollar Kill Commodities?
By Nina Trentmann Nina Trentmann The Wall Street Journal BiographyNina Trentmann @Nina_Trentmann nina.trentmann Google+ [email protected] May 2, 2018 6:43 am ET 0 COMMENTS Sign up for the Morning Ledger, emailed to you each weekday morning. Follow us on Twitter: @CFOJournal. All CFO Journal-produced content can be accessed without a subscription. Jackie Donkhong worked on a motorcycle at the Polaris Industries factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa, U.S., Aug. 2014. Getty Images Good morning. Decision-makers at large U.S. companies are considering to rein in corporate spending amid rising commodity prices, reports the WSJ’s Ben Eisen. Part of the increase stems from the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports, including steel and aluminum. Heating, ventilation, and cooling company Lennox International Inc. said at the start of the year it expected a $40 million impact on pretax earnings from higher commodity prices. … [Read more...] about The Morning Ledger: U.S. Companies Squeezed by Rising Commodity Prices