It may be time for another cup of coffee.
Agricultural commodities had a high-octane first quarter, with the iPath DJ-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JO) jumping about 53% in the period. (It hit a high of roughly 78% in mid-March.)
More general agricultural commodities funds posted strong results over the past three months as well.
The PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF (DBA), for instance, moved up about 16%. It was surpassed by the PowerShares DB Agriculture Long ETN (AFG), which soared 40%, and the PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Long ETN (DAG), which rose close to 20%.
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DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach pointed to the potential strength of the agricultural commodities group, up an average of 12.4% for the quarter, on calls with investors earlier this year.
Prices for corn and wheat, for instance, have increased 15% or more in the past three months. Gold miners, another group Gundlach has been bullish on, have improved about 9% so far this year, as tracked by the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX).
Gold prices have moved up roughly 7% in early 2014. But the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) is up only 4%.
The S&P 500 ended the period with a 1.3% improvement. It’s up 0.50% on Monday afternoon, hitting a new high of nearly 1,882.
Lauren Adams, director of cross-sector equity research for Morningstar says that with the market “leaning toward the overvalued side, investors must dig deeper to unearth buying opportunities.”
Adams notes there are some buying opportunities, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in the energy and consumer staples stock sectors. (Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index, for instance, weakened 9% in Q1’14.)
Overall, though, it’s likely that uncertainty will continue to plague the equity markets.