Today’s AM fix was USD 1,353.75, EUR 1,051.95 and GBP 890.86 per ounce. Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,376.75, EUR 1,069.15 and GBP 903.62 per ounce. Gold fell $22.20 on Friday to $1,364.90/oz and silver closed at $23.632.
Moe Zulfiqar writes: As the risks in the stock market increase, investors most often run towards defensive stocks. The main reason behind this phenomenon is that companies that are considered defensive provide investors with a stream of dividends, even when the markets, as a whole, crumble. They are generally strong players in their industry, with healthy market shares and stable earnings year-over-year.
Diane Alter writes: One year ago, Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) made its trading debut in one of the most highly anticipated initial public offerings ever. While it's okay to offer a congratulatory happy anniversary, it's been anything but a honeymoon for the company and investors.
Tim Melvin writes: In New York City last week investors from around the country gathered for the Ira Sohn Conference to pitch their lists of the best stocks to buy in 2013. One of the more interesting presentations this year featured Steve Eisman of Emrys Partners, who gave a presentation that was very bullish on the prospects for the U.S. housing market.
Keith Fitz-Gerald writes: There's a lot of buzz that President Obama's current scandals - Benghazi, the IRS and the Department of Justice - may bring down the financial markets. I disagree - if anything, they'll provide fuel for another leg up.
Over the past month there has been a statistically improbable concurrence of events that can only be explained as a conspiracy to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing (QE). Quantitative Easing is the term given to the Federal Reserve’s policy of printing 1,000 billion new dollars annually in order to finance the US budget deficit by purchasing US Treasury bonds and to keep the prices high of debt-related derivatives on the “banks too big to fail” (BTBF) balance sheets by purchasing mortgage-backed derivatives. Without QE, interest rates would be much higher, and values on the banks’ balance sheets would be much lower.
I am getting more and more upset about the future of the economy, especially the part where I will probably still be alive to suffer through it, instead of being safely dead and gone, laughing disdainfully from whatever circle of Dante’s hell that is reserved for us lousy fathers, worthless husbands, lackluster employees and all-around lazy bastards. “Hahaha!” I will bellow. “Now suffer! Suffer, you morons who actually believed that the idiocy of Keynesian economics would NOT end in disaster! From the heart of hell I strike at thee!”
There has been a growing shift in favour of assets relative to bank deposits. This was initially encouraged by zero interest rates, but more recently there is little doubt that Cyprus's bail-in has accelerated the trend. This explains the bull markets in bonds and equities, which conveniently underwrites the entire banking system. It is however too early to offer evidence of falling deposit balances held by non-banks and the general public because depositors as a whole have been remarkably complacent, but there is ample evidence that liquidity from monetary expansion is inflating financial assets faster than bank deposits.
"What do you expect when you target the President?" This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave "special scrutiny" to organizations opposed to the current administration's policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the President's opponents is part of their job.
Much of what is written about the macro factors affecting gold applies equally to silver, and will not be repeated here. Silver's post plunge relief rally was considerably weaker and more stunted than gold's, and with it now back near to its April plunge lows after the drop last week, the chances are considered high that it will break to new lows soon. That said, its latest COTs and sentiment indicators are now strongly bullish, so that although it may well break to lower lows soon, it is thought unlikely that there will be much downside follow through before it hits bottom. We can see all this on its 9-month chart below, and how it is clinging on by its fingernails to the support at the April lows. Before leaving this chart, notice the large gap between the price and the 200-day moving average, which just by itself is a positive factor.