In addition to the daily NEW QE/LSAP/ZIRP On again/Off again rumors, one of the most memorable aspects of a vacation-heavy August was the pervasive weakness in corporate top lines, coupled with a substantial portion of the S&P guiding lower into a very uncertain future. Perhaps this explains why when looking at the best performing asset classes of the past month, it is precisely those 'barbeque relish' vqrietals silver, and gold that shone, despite offering no dividends, and despite having not a single earnings call or forecast revision between them. Or perhaps in spite of.
As for Year To Date performance, it is easy to say that the two factors having the biggest impact on the two best performing asset classes of 2012 - wheat and corn - are those that have precisely nothing to do with actual fundamentals, namely the weather and CTRL-P'ing. Perhaps that explains why armies of once-gloriously paid analysts are now unemployed, playing COD and fondly remembering the times before central planning.