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August 2014

The Global Resources Fund rose 1.41 percent in August beating its benchmark, the S&P Global Natural Resources Index, by 1.07 percent. See complete fund performance here.

Strengths

  • Oil services and equipment, oil refining and major mining had the largest positive contributions to the fund in August. Refiners continue to outperform on the back of falling oil prices.
  • The fund’s overweight position in transportation stocks led to a positive contribution this month, with Knightsbridge Tankers Ltd rallying 7.54 percent.
  • United States Steel Corp. was the single largest contribution to the fund. The domestic steel producer surged after import duties on foreign competitors were announced. The stock was up 15.41 percent in August.

Weaknesses

  • The fund’s overweight position in junior growth stocks had the largest negative contribution to the fund. Range Energy Resources Inc., an oil and gas exploration company operating in Kurdistan, fell 35.71 percent in August as geopolitical tensions in the region intensified.
  • The fund’s underweight position in packaging stocks had a negative contribution to the fund and to the benchmark. The S&P Supercomposite Packaged Foods Index rose 5.63 percent in August.
  • With slowing global growth and further monetary stimulus in the eurozone, the dollar is on the rise. Gaining roughly 5.6 percent since July 1, the stronger dollar is creating headwinds for commodities as they have traditionally shared an inverse relationship.

Opportunities

  • Non-residential construction is breaking out. Dodge commercial and manufacturing contracts have sharply increased since May. The increase in non-residential construction is positive as it pertains to much larger and intensive infrastructure projects.
  • Nickel is on the rise as supply concerns mount. A proposed bill in the Phillipines would require minerals to be processed before export in order to boost domestic refining. Modeling Indonesia’s policies toward metals and minerals, the bill could serve to constrain supply from China’s largest nickel supplier.
  • North American energy investment appears poised to take off. A variety of factors from lower natural gas prices to higher light sweet crude production are turning investors’ eyes to the productive capabilities of the region. IHS projects that total spending on oil and gas infrastructure alone will reach $890 billion over the next 12 years.

Threats

  • The Korean government, displeased with the United States’ recent import duties on cheap tubular goods, has decided to legally review the actions. If the import duties are removed or weakened, it could serve to harm the competiveness of domestic steel producers in the U.S.
  • Lower-than-expected oil deliveries in the second quarter, along with a weaker economic outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has led the International Energy Agency (IEA) to lower its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast to 1 million barrels per day. The weaker demand could place downward pressure on oil prices moving forward.
  • The Treasury Department announced it is looking into master limited partnerships (MLPs). Aiming to identify instances where the tax base may be weakened, the Treasury Department is suspicious of the increased use of MLPs. Although the growing attention could negatively impact MLPs, any true effects should be slim-to-none in the near term.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The S&P Global Natural Resources Index includes 90 of the largest publicly-traded companies in natural resources and commodities businesses that meet specific investability requirements, offering investors diversified, liquid and investable equity exposure across 3 primary commodity-related sectors: Agribusiness, Energy, and Metals & Mining. The S&P 500 Stock Index is a widely recognized capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stock prices in U.S. companies. The S&P Supercomposite Packaged Foods Index is a capitalization-weighted index.

Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Global Resources Fund as a percentage of net assets as of 06/30/2014: Knightsbridge Tankers 1.08%, Range Energy Resources Inc. 0.23%, United States Steel Corp 0.00%.

Net Asset Value
as of 09/12/2014

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $9.52 -0.11 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $6.81 -0.08 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $6.43 -0.07 China Region Fund USCOX $8.27 -0.03 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $7.86 -0.08 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $33.36 -0.26 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $24.10 -0.25 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.25 -0.01 U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change