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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Commodities Feel The Heat

CRB Index Drops Most in 28 Years as Nickel, Natural Gas Tumble on Dollar Tumbling prices for natural gas, nickel and corn are turning July into the worst month in 28 years for the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Commodity Index.

U.S. Recession May Have Begun in Last Quarter of 2007.

The U.S. economy shrank at the end of 2007 and grew less than forecast in this year's second quarter, signaling that the country is in worse shape than investors had anticipated.

``We're in a recession,'' Allen Sinai, chief economist at Decision Economics Inc. in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. ``It's going to widen, it's going to deepen.''

Crude Oil Declines More Than $2 as Fuel Demand Drops to a Three-Year Low Crude oil fell more than $2 a barrel, capping the biggest one-month decline since December 2004, as a slowing U.S. economy caused fuel consumption to weaken to the lowest in three years.

Gold Jumps as Dollar Drop Boosts Investor Demand for an Alternative Asset Gold gained the most in three weeks after a report showed weaker-than-expected U.S. growth during the second quarter, sending the dollar tumbling and boosting the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment. Silver rose.

XX Sean's note -- silver did more than rise. It's leading the way ...

And the rally in gold and silver is taking place despite bullish action in the US dollar ...

Electricity Storage Discovery May Be Boon for Solar Power, MIT Study Says A new, cheaper way to store electricity to run air conditioners or vehicles promises to make solar power competitive with traditional generation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers said.

Money for crop research just a drop in the bucket

WASHINGTON — A deadly wheat fungus known as stem rust is shriveling crops from Africa to the Middle East, threatening the breadbasket of Pakistan and India, and could eventually reach the United States.

The potential threat to food supplies and the economy is enormous, yet Congress and the White House during the past several years did not react to urgent pleas from U.S. scientists for millions of dollars to develop wheat varieties resistant to stem rust. Instead, the main federal lab working on the disease fought budget cuts.

Arctic ice bigger than 2007, but thawing long-term

OSLO (Reuters) - Arctic sea ice is unlikely to shrink below a 2007 record low this year in a reprieve from the worst predictions of climate change even though new evidence confirms a long-term thaw is under way, experts said.

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