By Jeffrey P. Snider
In addition to this morning's "noisy" and suddenly more tame CPI report, there is a broad-based decline in commodity prices that is more than a little bit outside of "usual" volatility. It should be noted at the start that commodity prices are not always direct reflections of economic activity or expectations for future activity, as other factors intertwine and take over dominant roles from time to time. In terms of copper, there is the China/dollar connection as it relates to eurodollar financing of global trade.
In that primary lifeblood commodity, oil, there is always the threat of geopolitical tension particularly as it relates to the Middle East's predilection toward disorder on any given moment. That may include, most recently, tensions even outside of that region with Europe confronted by potential conflict in and over the Ukraine.
Aside from those caveats, however, the behavior of oil prices