If the Federal Reserve Bank doesn’t quite understand what’s happening in the market, how can execs in the metals industry? An Oct. 14 article in The New York Times reported on Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments at a recent event sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and gave some insight into the complexity of current market cycles:

“In a wide-ranging speech, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Ms. Yellen said, ‘The Fed was struggling to understand the behavior of the labor market and the weakness of inflation.’

Also for Ms. Yellen: “The events of the past few years have revealed limits in economists’ understanding of the economy and suggest several important questions I hope the profession will try to answer.”

All righty then, if the Fed doesn’t get it, we in the metals trade can be forgiven for not understanding how and why the markets do what they do. In any event, the cautionary flags were put up again last week, as the dollar rose; most metals fell, crude held above $50 all week, and politics fell to a new, all time low.

Focusing in on copper specifically, Big Red closed at $2.10 on Friday, giving up 5¢ on the week, following a similar loss the previous week. Although copper remains range bound, the lower end of the band is getting ominously close. A breach of $2.07 . . . Well, you know how the song goes.

If you would like to learn more about how to manage your wire and cable inventory in this volatile market environment, email John at by clicking here or by calling him at 631-824-6486.