Tough to believe in this mineral rally

The lack of adequate strength in the world's key economies make this an unresolved picture.

By Jim Cramer Aug 9, 2013 9:56AM

thestreet logoA bulldozer picks up vegetal coal at an aluminum plant expansion area of Brazil's mining company Vale, in Barcarena, some 110 km southwest from Para's northern capital of Belem, Brazil, on August 14, 2008. (© Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)It's tough to believe in this mineral rally -- the one being produced by better action in coal, and by a better-than-expected quarter from Vale (VALE). The reason it was better than expected, of course, was that the-end-of-the-super-cycle-wish-club believes losses have to kick in soon.


The cross-currents are everywhere in this group. The Baltic Freight Index has been dropping in small but steady increments for weeks now. But copper seems to have put in a bottom. Lots of coal capacity has been taken out, with much iron ore shuttered. (Thank you, colleague Matt Horween, for keeping that data and its meaning in front of me.)


However, we still have the grinding, halting, fits-and-starts Chinese economy, and the commercial and infrastructure spend is still depressed in the U.S. Given all this, it doesn't look like steel-making coal is about to see a resurgence any time soon -- although steel-use capacity is hanging in there.


To me, the picture isn't resolved. There isn't enough strength in this economy, there's too much weakness in China and we're seeing only nascent strength in Europe. But the upside is, arguably, that this is about as bad as it can get. Because if the U.S. turns around and Europe turns around, you can handle anything but a downshift to 5% to 6% from China. Of course, Brazil and India are grim. Remember the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China)? They are proving to be a huge drag vs. the U.S., and even against the once-moribund Japan.


The Action Alerts PLUS trust owns Joy Global (JOY), Timken (TKR) and Vale, and the action in these certainly is encouraging. But we still have a backdrop of negative articles about coal (endless, aren't they?) and the need for some area to lean on if you are short. These factors make the group an uncertain battleground that could lead to a quick spike on good news -- but a reversal of these meager gains on bad news remains very much in the balance.


Random musings: The Tesla (TSLA) story continues to confound the bears as this most-hated stock of a most-hated company just hasn't produced the pitfalls that were supposed to happen. The lack of "clean" financials, I contend, doesn't matter. After all, demand and love are both there in spades, just as they are with Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) the two other cult stocks.


Away from this, I, like everyone else, continue to like the new team at Groupon (GRPN), which remains Exhibit A in the recognition that CEOs matter.





Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and is long VALE, JOY and TKR.



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Aug 9, 2013 11:05AM

i work in a company where we sell products to the metals industry.  it's cyclical.  generally 7 year cycles, and we're nearing the end of the 7 year down turn. 


so the "rally" may very well be people exploiting that 7 year typical cycle. 


since it's a gamble anyway, why not if one has the cash to throw a few into that market?

Aug 9, 2013 11:27AM

Yup missed and order on NTI....Northern Tier by pennies yesterday...

Down within 2 cents today, maybe I should renew for less..


Keep up the Good work CG...

Aug 9, 2013 1:40PM

"so the "rally" may very well be people exploiting that 7 year typical cycle."


You just described STEERAGE, which is control and manipulation. If so, pull the plug, it would be as dangerous as any Homeland Security threat. Close the banks, end the Federal Reserve and get RID of Wall Street.


Aug 9, 2013 4:07PM
Well, we were not able to rally and it was not a big surprise, not after this imbecile started running his trap and doing what he is known for....Lies, lies and more lies....Sad....Oh well, we'll see if next week we can do better...The most corrupt and divisive president in our history....Too bad...Have a great weekend all.
Aug 9, 2013 1:12PM
Doom report says we are poised for another stock market crash ? NO "S"  Sherlock ! Here it comes OFF THE CLIFF WE GO !
Aug 9, 2013 10:30AM
If we get inflation then it should drive commodity prices higher including metals. In any case the central banks have printed more of their fake currencies then all the precious metals mined.
Aug 9, 2013 3:14PM
We were trying to rally, trying to make things look respectable; sadly the village idiot is running his mouth again and spewing lies and more lies.....Hopefully we will be able to hold this last hour...More after the close.
Aug 9, 2013 11:06AM
Well, getting worse...At 1100 hrs they called once again to accelerate so we are down triple digits now...Its tough to deal with it when there are so many manipulators and the volume is so low.....Oh well, we will see if this afternoon something can be done.....Honestly, doubtful.
Aug 9, 2013 10:08AM
Big sucker's rally yesterday morning, disappeared by the afternoon....Luckily we were able to rally and hold on at the close...This morning again beware, don't get fooled by all of a sudden being in the green...We should drop anytime now...We see plenty of manipulators doing their thing and once again low volume...Be careful...More later.
Aug 9, 2013 10:27AM
At 1020 hrs scumbags called to accelerate the selloff so down we go, a bit over 50 points, we have our work cut out for us...It is Friday and cheaters want to make a statement after 5 or 6 decent weeks...Oh well, still early, never give up...More later.
Aug 9, 2013 12:53PM
Hey shloMonicAA ....was that you desecrating the Jackie Robinson statue ?

You do claim to live in NY right ????????????  

But I think maybe your hands are too pudgy to hold a pen and you almost certainly could not walk from your car across the park right?

Unless ....that's it have one of those phat phukk motor scooters courtesy of the govt !!
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