Doctor Copper

DEFINITION of 'Doctor Copper'

Market lingo for the base metal that is reputed to have a Ph.D. in economics because of its ability to predict turning points in the global economy. Because of copper's widespread applications in most sectors of the economy - from homes and factories, to electronics and power generation and transmission - demand for copper is often viewed as a reliable leading indicator of economic health. This demand is reflected in the market price of copper. Generally, rising copper prices suggest strong copper demand and hence a growing global economy, while declining copper prices may indicate sluggish demand and an imminent economic slowdown.

BREAKING DOWN 'Doctor Copper'

Investors are cautioned that Doctor Copper is not infallible, and should not be relied upon as the only indicator of economic health. For example, a temporary shortage of copper may lead to rising prices even as the global economy is slowing down; conversely, a copper glut may cause lower prices despite robust economic growth.



RELATED TERMS
  1. Copper

    One of the first metals extracted and used by humans, and among ...
  2. Base Metals

    Metals that oxidize, tarnish or corrode relatively easily when ...
  3. Commodity Market

    A physical or virtual marketplace for buying, selling and trading ...
  4. Precious Metals

    A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or ...
  5. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with ...
  6. Leading Indicator

    A measurable economic factor that changes before the economy ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    The Top 5 Dividend-Paying Copper Stocks for 2016 (BHP, RIO)

    Learn how the copper bear accelerated to the downside in 2015, allowing fatter dividend yields to build, but valuable only if companies can maintain them.
  2. Investing Basics

    The Copper King: An Empire Built On Manipulation

    Find out how Yasuo Hamanaka's actions in the copper market forever changed the rules for commodity traders.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Investing In The Metals Markets

    Learn the many options available for investing in the earth's chemical elements, such as gold, silver and rare-earth metals.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Base Metals As An Economic Indicator

    Base metals may not glitter like gold, but they can still guide an investor to a conclusion about overall economic health.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Performance Review: Commodities in 2015

    Learn how commodities took a big hit in 2015 with a huge variance in performances. Discover how the major commodities performed over the year.
  6. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in SandRidge Stock

    Learn about the significant risks of investing in SandRidge. Read how the company may not be able to service its substantial debt load.
  7. Chart Advisor

    These 3 ETFs Suggest Commodities Are Headed Lower (COMT,CCX,DBC)

    The charts of these three exchange traded funds suggest that commodities are stuck in a downtrend and it doesn't look like it will reverse any time soon.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    The Changing Economics of the Oil Business

    Read about the changing economics of the oil business. Discover how oil companies are using technology to increase the efficiency of old wells.
  9. Options & Futures

    Contango Versus Normal Backwardation

    It’s important for both hedgers and speculators to know whether the commodity futures markets are in contango or normal backwardation.
  10. Investing Basics

    What Does Contango Mean?

    Contango​ is when the futures price of a commodity is higher than the expected future spot price.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Who is Mr. Copper?

    A sense of mystery still surrounds Yasuo Hamanaka, a.k.a. Mr. Copper, and the magnitude of his losses. From his perch at ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can mutual funds invest in commodities?

    Mutual funds can invest in commodities. In fact, mutual funds may provide a better way for investors to gain exposure to ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  2. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  3. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  4. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
  5. Dark Pool Liquidity

    The trading volume created by institutional orders that are unavailable to the public. The bulk of dark pool liquidity is ...
Trading Center