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Joined Apr 1, 2010
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Copper Not Quite Indicating a Bear, But Close to It

It has been a while since we looked at premier copper miner Freeport McMoRan as a proxy for Dr. Copper and his view of the global markets and economy. The first chart below is of the weekly timeframe, as you can see that FCX has struggled to hold any gains this year, essentially heading back down to the low-$30’s. That low-$30’s area marked resistance back from 2005 through early-2007, before Freeport eventually broke out and went parabolic before crashing in 2008. In 2009, the low-$30’s became initial resistance.

Since 2010, the low-$30’s has solid support. However, the more times your probe support, as you can see on the monthly chart (second one below), the more vulnerable it becomes to giving way. It may be hyperbole to build up Freeport and copper as being at one of those “do or die” junctures. However, the charts do not lie, and this is undoubtedly an important price level with tons of memory for Freeport.

There ¬†almost always comes a time in bull market corrections when you start to question just how bad things will get, and if we will truly sink into a bear. The answer with copper so far is, “Not quite, yet.” However, that does not offer much consolation for trapped longs. The best thing to do here is simply observe the action on Freeport at this level and see if it continues to drag other commodities and global risk appetite lower.

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4 comments

  1. Yogi and Boo Boo
    Yogi and Boo Boo

    Thanks for the various perspectives. I’m just hand sitting till I get a better feel for the next move.

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  2. Randomness

    Wow, more there too. Thanks!

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  3. marlinmagic

    Chess – copper is messed up right now. I am looking for entry into IMN.tsx for a longer term hold. It’s at $39 = about 7x P/E. 70M shares o/s, $1.7B in cash and $1.3B in net WC and NO DEBT. So that’s $24/share in cash and $19/share in net WC. Take that out and it’s trading at 3.5x P/E with a production cost of $1/lb. If it’s not a buy right now, it’s not because of execution. I will load up at some point, just not right now, so I will use FCX as my tell.

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