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From Leader to Laggard: Is it Time to Bet Against the U.S. Dollar?

The U.S. dollar has been one of the world's strongest currencies in the first part of 2010, posting double-digit gains through the end of May.

And little wonder. The Greek debt crisis continues to threaten Europe's overall health, and could unleash an entirely new contagion on the rest of the global economy. Then there's China, - the engine of world growth during much of the financial crisis - which now appears to face the near-term triple threat of slowing growth, accelerating inflation and workplace unrest. Add in concerns about commodity prices and global debt levels and it's easy to see why currency investors have sought the safe haven of the U.S. dollar.

In short, it appears that "everybody" knows the greenback is the best choice for safety, quality and security.

But is that really the case? To me, the dollar is looking more and more like a colossal short that could wind up being one of the biggest moneymakers of the year for traders gutsy enough to take a stand.

To see why the dollar could roll over - and to see how to play it - please read on ...

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Is the Plunge in Commodities a Bear Market Signal for Stocks?

The biggest slump in commodity prices since 2008 is undermining confidence on Wall Street and fueling speculation that a new bear market has been born.

Despite forecasts for accelerating economic growth and higher prices, commodities, with the notable exception of gold, are taking a big hit.

The Journal of Commerce (JOC) Commodity Index that tracks the growth rate of steel, cattle hides, tallow and burlap plunged 57% in May, the most since October 2008 - something that gave analysts a sense of déjà vu.

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These Five Inflation Plays Will Provide Protection and Profits

Inflation hawks have been warning since 2008 that the spurt of U.S. money creation that began at the end of that year would spark a surge in consumer-price inflation.

And yet the consumer price index (CPI) statistics remain quiet - not giving ammunition to the deflationary camp, but making "inflationists" look silly, as well. Now, however, it is becoming obvious that inflation will soon arrive. But this time it is sneaking in through the back door - courtesy of our emerging-market trading partners.

Fortunately, there are some very clear steps that investors can take to protect themselves from this expected inflationary surge.

To learn about five investments that can battle inflation even as they fatten your portfolio, please read on...

The Case for $5,000 Gold: And How to Profit

The gold bug is unstoppable. Prices are up four-fold since 2001... and they're not stopping anytime soon. Could $5,000 per ounce be in our future? Read this report to find out why gold is being pushed through the roof - and four ways to profit from gold's rise.

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Money Morning Mailbag: Investors Show Growing Concerns Over Deflation

The threat of deflation has been making its rounds as inflationary measures like the consumer price index (CPI) fell for the first time in 13 months in April, dropping 0.1%. Core CPI - which excludes food and energy prices - rose only 0.9%, its smallest gain since 1966. The producer price index (PPI) also dipped 0.1%.

"The recent trend in inflation has been swiftly to the downside," Eric Green, chief U.S. rates strategist at TD Securities, told Reuters. "All measures of inflation are decelerating."

Investment behavior has shown an anxious but mixed sentiment of hedging against both inflation and deflation: Demand for gold metal is outstripping supply by more than 1% per year and has pushed gold prices to record highs, while others have sought out both corporate bonds and U.S. Treasuries for safety.

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With Economic Turmoil and Inflation on the Horizon, Higher Gold Prices Lie Ahead

The gold bull is unstoppable.

Gold prices are up fourfold since 2001 and hit a new record high near $1,250 an ounce on May 14. But they're still nowhere close to finished.

In fact, another four-fold increase could be in the cards.

"It sounds like a gold bug's dream," Money Morning Contributing Editor, Martin O. Hutchinson said in a May 13 Reuters BreakingViews column. "But looking back to the last inflation-adjusted peak price in 1980, it's far from impossible that the gold price could soon go above $5,000."

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Dodge a Possible Debt Debacle With These Two Stimulus-Plan Safety Plays

U.S. President Barack Obama's $862 billion stimulus plan, passed in great haste after his inauguration, has now revealed its true costs and benefits. It didn't revive the U.S. economy - that bottomed about May 2009, before a dollar of it had been spent. Further, combined with the mad wave of similar "stimulus" outlays across the planet, it has destabilized global bond markets - which may end up being very expensive indeed.

For details of the two stimulus-plan safety plays, read on...


For details of the two stimulus-plan safety plays, read on...

How to Play Gold – So it Doesn't Play You

The Greek bailout has turned gold into a "must have" investment. But the new gold rally will be different from gold rallies of the past. This time around, gold isn't serving as protection from inflation... it's become more speculative. Read this report to find out exactly how to play gold now.

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Gold Prices Surge and Will Keep Climbing as Investors Protect Against European Debt Crisis

Gold prices yesterday (Wednesday) broke through to a record high, as investors feared the Eurozone bailout plan would debase the euro and escalate inflation.

Gold for June delivery continued its record-breaking Tuesday climb to hit $1,243.10 an ounce Wednesday. The contract reached an intraday high of $1,249.20 an ounce. Spot gold prices hit $1,244.45 an ounce, up almost 20% in the past three months.

Gold's reputation as a "safe haven" investment causes the metal's price to move inversely to investor confidence, which has been rattled by the Greece debt crisis and last week's 1000-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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How the Greece Bailout Turned Gold Into a 'Must-Have' Investment

With so much uncertainty in the U.S. stock market - not to mention the debt-contagion concerns emanating from Greece and other European Union (EU) countries - it's more important than ever for investors to hold "hard assets," such as gold and other commodities.

In my view, what's happening in Europe is particularly important for investors to be aware of and understand. The so-called " shock-and-awe" bailout strategy undertaken by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - which establishes a $1 trillion rescue package for member-countries facing financial crisis - will not be the answer.

To see how gold and other hard assets are becoming "must-have" investments, please read on...

To see how gold and other hard assets are becoming "must-have" investments, please read on...

Bankster Gangsters: Global Commodities Grab Causes Major Bank Profits to Soar

Major bank profits are up. Way up.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) just reported that its first-quarter earnings nearly doubled to $3.46 billion, the investment-banking giant's second-most-profitable quarter since going public a decade ago.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) recently said its first-quarter earnings came in at $3.3 billion, up 55% from a year ago.

And Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) reported that its earnings for the first three months of the year rang in at $2.83 billion.

For all three of these banking giants, the first-quarter results blew past analyst expectations. Their stock prices? Approaching levels not seen since the start of the financial crisis. In fact, JPMorgan's stock is within 10% of its five-year high.

Major bank profits are zooming - despite the fact that U.S. consumers are struggling to repay loans.

So how are these guys pulling this off? Well, if you dig, you'll find that the bulk of major bank profits are coming from stronger trading revenue and other segments that are enabling the largest banks to overcome weakness in the lending area, which decades ago was the banking sector's bread-and-butter business.

If you dig deeper still, as I've done, you unearth one of the key reasons these banking behemoths are booking such massive profits. They've been moving enormous amounts of capital into one area of the market.

I'm talking about commodities.

For an inside look at how banks can reap 15-fold returns on their physical-commodities stakes, please read on...

For an inside look at how banks can reap 15-fold returns on their physical-commodities stakes, please read on...

How to Profit As Copper Becomes the "New Gold"

Copper is a key metal that keeps the world economy humming. Used in art and industry, copper consumption has grown by 4% a year since 1900. But, for some reason, everyone in the world still prefers gold. Read this report to discover why copper may become the "new gold" for investors. And, find out the best ways to profit from copper's rise.

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Here's What a Veteran Trader Sees for Gold Prices…

Gold has made some dramatic moves in the last 18 months and we expect it will undergo some equally dramatic moves in the future.

But not right now.

While I recognize that gold is one of the few "commodity" markets that people are really passionate about, the purpose of this article is not to take sides either with the gold bugs or those who reject the argument that gold is "forever." Rather, I want to discuss my interpretation of the market's cycle.

After spot gold made an all-time high against the dollar at $1,226.37 on Dec. 2, gold has been in "retreat" mode. For the past several months, gold has been in a broad trading range, seemingly unable to move one way or another. This process has created frustration among bulls and bears alike.

Here is the dirty little secret about the gold market: It can be a horrible investment and here's why...

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It's Time to Invest in Canada

This isn't the first time that I've written about Canada, a well-run country that has avoided many of the mistakes made by the United States. Its budget deficit is moderate, its balance-of-payments deficit is also small, its banking system is in pretty good shape and it faces very little inflation risk, since the country has maintained a reasonable monetary policy.

At this point, you might well be asking: Well, if you've said this all before, why does it bear repeating now?

The answer is simple: As I've hunted for attractive investments recently, I have noticed that a very high percentage of those companies are domiciled north of the border.

In short, it's time to invest in Canada.



To discover the profit opportunities available just north of the border, please read on...

The Scramble for Africa: Profiting From World's Largest Cache of Commodities

In the quarter century stretching from the late-1880s to the First World War, there was a mad rush by the world's leading powers to occupy and annex African territory. Now, 100 years later, the world's elite again are scrambling to make their respective marks on the continent.

The methods of extraction have changed, but the end goal remains the same - to gain access to Africa's coveted bounty of commodities.

Most notably, Chinese interests have swarmed Africa, constructing roads, rail lines, municipal buildings, schools, ports, and pipelines in exchange for access to natural resources.

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