Why the extremes in the commodities complex?

Another morning of extremes, at least in the Treasury and commodity complexes. 10-year bond yields are at 18-month lows. Gold touched a 12-week high. Oil plumbed a nearly 6-year low. Copper is down another 2.5 percent at a 5.5-year low, with similar weakness in Nickel and Zinc. Aluminum has also fallen 1.4 percent.

The drop in copper comes despite good news out of China, where December exports rose 9.7 percent year over year and imports contracted 2.4 percent, both better than expected. However, total Chinese trade increased only 3.4 percent in 2014, well short of the 7.5 percent goal. China should release its annual GDP figure for 2014 next week.

The UAE energy minister again said OPEC would not cut its oil output, reiterating a decision OPEC made at its last meeting in November. There are no prospects for an emergency OPEC meeting, despite pleading from Venezuela and Iran.

The energy minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, did have one sage comment. He admitted neither he nor anyone else had any idea what oil prices would be in the future: "History tells us whenever we try to predict what will happen we will get it wrong. What I would say is that it is unlikely we will see a sudden rise—it will take some time..."

Read MoreOil falls below $45 as OPEC plays hardball

At least natural gas is up 2.5 percent, as we face another cold snap in the northeast United States.

Europe is strong, with many European banks up two to five percent. The Greek stock market also bouncing.


1) KB Home reported a huge income tax benefit of $842.2 million, but back that out and the numbers were still strong. The homebuilder's average selling price was up 17 percent, and net orders rose 10 percent. KB Home had previously written-down a number of assets, which are now being used to offset income taxes.

Speaking of homebuilders, the iShares Home Construction ETF has broken out to its highest level since 2007. Raymond James upgraded the homebuilders yesterday, but the more important news is President Barack Obama's efforts to lower Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance premiums.

Read MoreCharts: Fear not, the S&P's uptrend will continue

2) Alcoa's earnings beat and the company gave decent guidance for aluminum growth: 7 percent in 2015. But perhaps more important than the company's cost-cutting efforts is its investment in new technology.

The company recently introduced Micromill technology that will enable it to manufacture aluminum that is 30 percent stronger than existing aluminum products. Aluminum automotive parts made with Micromill will also be 30 percent lighter than comparable steel parts.

This has the potential to be a game changer for Alcoa and aluminum use in cars. Nomura says it could be a $3.5 billion business for the company.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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