How Swine Flu Fears Are Affecting the Market

Commodities are seeing some irrational sell-offs.

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The market has been in flux this morning following news of a possible flu outbreak. Not surprisingly, commodity prices have been affected, including grain prices and hog and cattle futures. "For the moment, nothing else… not even rationality… means anything," according to Dennis Gartman of the Gartman letter (via FT Alphaville). Here's why.

Clusterstock is already talking about swine flu winners (is this wrong?), including small biotechs and makers of vaccines, and also losers: airline stocks and pork. Despite the fact that this swine flu is transmitted person to person, the stocks of Hormel, Smithfield Foods,and Tyson Foods are all down (you probably know Tyson mainly as a poultry brand, but the company also deals in pork products.) Emerging markets and Latin American stocks could also take a hit.