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Weekly Survey of Gold and Silver Prices
Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.
Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.
Friday, December 1, 2023, 9:13 am ET
November was quite the month for stocks, with the Dow Industrials capping it off with a 520-point ramp on Thursday, which took away from the historic event for gold, which was closing out a month above $2,000 for the first time in history.
While stocks stole the limelight, precious metals investors have to be cheerful over their advancing prospects. The price of gold, as it has risen to unprecedented levels, reflects the fact that the US dollar has lost significant purchasing power. When gold was last pegged, it was $35 an ounce. That was back in the 1930s through 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window and inadvertently ushered in the era of floating fiat currencies, now nearing its death.
Massive changes to global finance are underway.
As far as the week goes, it appears the major indices will post another in a series of winners. The Dow, as of Thursday's close, is up 560 points, the NASDAQ, however, has lost ground, down 24 points on the week.
The S&P is ahead by eight points for the week, while the NYSE Composite is up 108.
A half hour from the opening bell, stock futures are fading, though only marginally.
As for gold, it appears the overlords at the COMEX and elsewhere in the suppression underground are not pleased, sending it down from $2,069 earlier this morning to $2,055.
Get ready for what should be a fascinating December, as Jerome Powell and his cohorts at the Fed try to keep the Happy Holidays narrative alive while the global financial system strains credulity.
At the Close, Thursday, November 30, 2023:
Thursday, November 30, 2023, 9:25 am ET
While the Federal Reserve's favorite inflation gauge, Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), grew three percent year-over-year in October, down from 3.4% in September, gold's recent gains has left the most precious of precious metals in an historic position.
According to James Stanley, Senior Strategist at forex.com, gold has never ended a month with a closing spot price over $2000.
The PCE reading will no doubt throw a kink into gold's plans. Disinflation is widely regarded as being a negative for precious metals and this morning's 3.0% figure, already a month in the rear window, signals that US inflation continues to ebb towards the Fed's goal of 2.0 percent. How severely gold will be affected remains to be seen.
On one hand, current disinflation acts as a headwind to gold's price. On the other hand, with inflation cooling, speculators see the Fed cutting rates as early as May of next year, which would be a positive for gold, so, it's all a matter of great speculation as November comes to a close.
Stocks, bonds, and gold have all fared well during the penultimate month of 2023, with stocks far and away experiencing the most stunning advances, the major indices putting on gains of close to 15% after declines in the previous three months.
Later today, Elon Musk will unveil Tesla's (TSLA) Cybertruck, the newest addition to the car-maker's lineup, launch slated for 3:00 pm ET. The all-electric vehicle is one of the most-anticipated new products of the year, Musk opining, "It will be the biggest product launch of anything, by far, on Earth, this year."
With less than a half-hour to the US equity market's open, stock futures are soaring once again, with Dow futures leading, up 216 points, S&P futures up 12, and NASDAQ futures lagging, up 34 points.
Spot gold is down nearly $8, to $2035.20, spot silver is up marginally, at $25.07. On the COMEX continuous contract, gold, as expected, is being ravaged, down $12, to $2054, though silver is holding steady, around $25.50.
European stocks are routinely ahead by 0.5%, and Asian stocks posted gains overnight, except for China and Russia (no kidding!).
Oil is up as well, with WTI crude testing $79, the highest price since November 6.
At the Close, Wednesday, November 29, 2023:
Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 9:21 am ET
Anybody currently aged in their 20s or 30s probably has faint, if any, memories of the manic stock market frenzy of 1999, the height of the dot-com boom, which may help explain why, 24 years later, stocks are moving higher at a fantastic rate. Doubters keep calling for stocks to cool off, but they're missing the boat, train, rocket or elevator to wealth.
There is still, despite the Fed's relentless assault on interest rates, too much liquidity in the global financial system. Fifteen years of easy monetary policy doesn't dissipate right away, especially when the biggest boost in economic history was applied just a few years ago via stimulus checks and assorted Federal Reserve programs that kept currency flowing through the "pandemic" years of 2020 and 2021.
Add in stock buybacks, holiday themes, the AI craze, and fundamentals thrown out the window and you've got the perfect storm for a replay of Alan Greenspan's "irrational exuberance" of the late 90s. By the way, Greenspan, aged 97, is still alive, as opposed to Warren Buffett's BFF, Charlie Munger, who passed away yesterday at 99. He's gone to the great hedge fund in the sky.
Anybody who isn't invested at this juncture will surely experience a degree of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), which exacerbates the condition. "Everybody into the pool," as the case may be.
Bears, who had their way with stocks in August, September, and October, are being slaughtered. The wiser ones have gone into hibernation, awaiting any kind of pullback, though not in any kind of rush to call their shots and set their shorts.
How high stocks will ascend before they cool off is not the question for today. It seems to be better to hitch one's wagon to the train that's already left the station and is well down the tracks.
Since October 27, when the frenzied buying began, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 3,000 points (32,417.59 to 35,416.98). The NASDAQ has added 1,686 since October 26, a gain of more than 13 percent. The S&P 500 hasn't done badly, up 437 points during the same span.
No, this isn't going to end soon, nor badly. The possibility for reaching new all-time highs within months, even by year's end, is apparent. Once stocks leap past the 2023 highs from July and August 1st, it's off to the races. This is a sprint, not a marathon. The mantra is likely along the lines of getting in while the getting is good, and it's been very good for over a month.
If, by some act of God or human miscalculation, stocks do begin to decline, such an event is likely to be more in the way of profit-taking. Money's been made this year and it is being reinvested as quickly as possible, so, any pullback might be seen as just another opportunity to hitch a ride on the express train to fabulous.
Not to be deterred, gold and silver have also been on quite a tear. Gold is threatening all-time highs, while silver has passed the $25 mark. Gold hit a high of $2,069 on Tuesday and has pulled back to $2,060 on the COMEX continuous contract as the opening bell readies to ring.
Futures are solidly positive. Other than the FTSE, European stocks are also posting gains, especially Germany's DAX, ahead by more than one percent. Asian stocks were lower. India's SENSEX was up more than one percent.
Don't look up. You might get a bit dizzy.
At the Close, Tuesday, November 28, 2023:
Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 9:30 am ET
Stocks lower on a Monday after a holiday?
Something is definitely not right about stocks. Maybe they're just a little overextended?
Despite all the good news coming out of Israel and Gaza, much damage has been done to the global psyche after weeks of relentless pounding of the Gaza strip by the IDF. Whatever the mainstream media wants to call the month-old conflict, scenes of brutality and human suffering - on both sides - have left painful reminders that the evils of governments and the people who run them usually result in hard times for the average folks.
Somehow, Ukraine has been pushed to a back burner in the geo-political kitchen. Too many lives have been lost for a cause ill-defined by the aggressors from the NATO alliance. Much of the eastern half of Ukraine has been utterly destroyed by Russian and Ukrainian bombardment and the "stalemate" spoken of by Western media appears to be more of a Russian conquest.
Now that the Biden people have moved onto an election year footing, people are just supposed to forget about the fighting, the bloodshed, the worthless sanctions and policies imposed by the US, UK, and EU nations. That's not likely to happen. While memories are often short, the pain and suffering of two years of COVID lies overlapping the Ukraine conflict will not go away easily.
Trust has been lost and its boundaries extend from Washington DC to the concrete canyons of lower Manhattan and the Wall Street casino.
Should the rally of the past four weeks suddenly dissipate and stocks decline, it will likely be more caused by actions from the political realm rather than fundamental analysis. Stocks may indeed be over-extended, but so is the patience of the middle class. Heaped on top of the rhetoric were two years of rampaging inflation, soothed by the Federal Reserve's resolve to fight against rising prices. The Fed has done its job, so to speak, ramping up interest rates to the highest levels in years, along with them mortgage rates, credit card interest, and people's nerve endings.
Americans and Europeans are tapped out, ticked off, and fed up.
If stocks take a bit of a stumble over the next few days and weeks, it will surprise only those who initiated the problems to begin with: politicians and sleazy bankers.
Meanwhile, smart eyes are on gold, which continues to threaten all-time highs. And on the BRICS, which are quietly, incrementally destroying dollar hegemony, thought they're getting plenty of help from the dollar hegemon itself, the US government/monetary authorities. Janet Yellen? Really?
Precious metals have made enormous strides over the past 25 years in spite of the purposeful suppression of gold and silver prices. Since the late 1990s, gold has skyrocketed, from around $275 an ounce to over $2000 today. Silver was $5 or $6 back then. Today, it's $25 because the operators of the fiat regimes simply cannot hide the fact that dollar, yen, pound, and euro erosion is real, persistent, and headed toward the wall of extinction.
As the opening bell approaches, European stocks are mostly lower, US equity futures are down, gold is soaring, silver is tagging along for the ride.
What happens today, tomorrow, this week, next, etc., is mostly noise. The larger trends are emerging and while the powers that think they have control will push the "election" agenda, there are multitudes of people no longer paying attention to them.
Stolen elections have consequences, as does genocide, lying, and stealing. Don't cry for them. Argentina.
At the Close, Monday, November 27, 2023:
Sunday, November 26, 2023, 1:15 pm ET
There was plenty to be thankful for this short holiday week, especially for those invested in precious metals or fixed income. Stocks continued to rise, albeit at a slower pace than previously.
The Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ notched their fourth consecutive weekly gains, though the short week resulted in it gaining the least of that span. The best of the bunch was the Dow, up 1.27%. Astonishing as it may seem, the NASDAQ actually lost ground on Friday. The S&P 500 has closed to the upside 16 of the last 19 sessions.
Along with the NYSE Composite, Dow Transports gained for the third week in the past four. Both indices were ahead by 1.08%.
Among the major events of the week was Nvidia's (NVDA) quarterly earnings report, which smashed expectations thoroughly. Investors were not so keen on the stock, however, holding back due to the impact of US restrictions on AI chip exports to China. After making a record high of $504 per share on Monday, the stock wavered Tuesday, closing at $499.64, prior to the earnings news after the bell.
Shares of the chipmaker sank on Wednesday and continued to slide on the half-day Friday session, ending the week at $477.76.
There was little in the way of data to move equities in either direction. Outlooks for a Santa Claus rally appear solid.
Concerning investors is how quickly and how close to the highs of the year the majors have gotten, shrugging off three straight months of declines (August-September-October) with a mammoth rally in November. The NASDAQ is a lttle more than 100 points away from advancing past the summertime high for the year (14,358.02), while the S&P is also close, finishing the week less than 30 points from the July 31 high (4588.96). The Dow needs to advance just 240 points to match the high of the year from August 1 (35,630.68).
The week ahead is light on economic reports. Consumer confidence, new home sales, and PCE core inflation the the few highlights.
A light earnings calendar includes Intuit (INTU) on Tuesday; Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Foot Locker (FL) before the bell, and Salesforce (CRM), Victoria's Secret (VSCO), and Five Below (FIVE) after the close Wednesday. Thursday sees Kroger (KR), Big Lots (BIG), Academy Sports (ASO), Cracker Barrel (CBRL), and TD bank (TD) report before the open, and Dell (DELL) after the close.
Treasuries basically took the whole week off. The largest move on the short end was six basis points up on four and six-month bills' yield. On the long end, two, five, and seven-year note yields each advanced four basis points, the 10-year was up three, to 4.47%, while the 30-year finished essentially flat, up one basis point to 4.60%.
Spreads continued to move away from normalization. It seems that inversion, which began in March with 7s-10s, then 5s-10s, and continued its pathway to completely upside-down as the Fed hiked the federal funds target rate at breakneck pace, may be longer-lasting than most would expect. Now past 18 months, the notion that the Fed would reverse course and begin cutting at the two-year anniversary (March, 2024) has gained some traction, especially with the FOMC paused now since July, freezing the target at 5.25-5.50%. If the FOMC declines to raise rates at the December 12-13 meeting and again in January (30-31) 2024, March would mark eight months without moving in either direction.
Whether the Fed moves to cut rates in March or at any other time depends entirely on events and data. With the CPI steadying around three percent annualized, getting it back down to the preferred two percent might not be as easy as it sounds. Major corporations, prime progenitors of the inflationary spike, are loathe to reduce prices, on the grounds that their stock prices and investors may suffer. The federal government's raging desire to borrow and spend also throws a spanner into the Fed's calculus. It will likely take a crisis or some very disturbingly manipulated data (or both) to push the Fed to cut rates.
It being an election year, and the Fed being highly politicized, rate cuts are almost 100% certain to occur no later than June or July, if conspiracy theory proves correct, as it usually does (Russia, Russia, Russia, anybody?). After all, this election has to be the most important of our lifetimes, just like the past eight of them were. It's a holiday weekend, so let's leave it at that.
Those who recall the inflation of the 1970s and early 80s might consider this current bout to be much more severe than those, especially regarding food prices. Gas prices were a main issue back then, but they were mostly due to pressure from the newly-formed OPEC cartel. Food and housing prices did not go up as severely as they have over the past two years. The United States was a more dynamic economy back then, and much less controlled by government intervention, big corporation price gouging, or media. Credit card usage was also not as widespread as it is today.
Even though today's interest rates are a mere shadow of the 15-21% Volker rates from the 70s, consumer prices have taken a serious toll on America's finances. Calculation of CPI was radically redesigned after the Volker years. While officially, it's not as bad as the 1970s or 80s, it actually is because the rules has changed, and not for the better.
Full Spectrum (30-days - 30-years)
WTI crude ended Friday at $75.18, down from $76.08 the week before. Prices surged early in the week, then calmed down, peaking above $78 on Monday before cooling down to just above $74 on Wednesday, the big drop attributed to a delay on the OPEC+ meeting, originally slated for November 26 (today), but moved back to the 30th, due to differences of opinion between members on production quotas.
While OPEC+ nations might find quotas distasteful, they're likely of similar opinion when it comes to demand, which has slowed over the past six months. A hard landing may not be in the cards for the US or Europe, but all economies have suffered through COVID, lockdowns, war, and inflation and consumers have just about had it.
According to gasbuddy.com, the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas at the pump fell six cents, from $3.30 last Sunday, to $3.24.
With Florida at $3.00, the entire Southeast is currently at or under $3.00 a gallon, led by Texas ($2.66) and Mississippi ($2.70). A widening swath of the states, from South Carolina across to New Mexico ($2.96) and north through Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa ($2.88), all the way to Wisconsin ($2.94) are below $3.00 (14 in all), even with a large contingent of Americans traveling and shopping this weekend.
California dropped seven cents, to $4.89. Prices eased elsewhere in the West, with Washington ($4.38) down another three cents. Nevada fell to $4.17, down 11 cents for the second straight week. Oregon ($4.06) remained the same; Arizona ($3.51) is dropped 12cents. The $4.00+ club, consists of just four states.
In the Northeast, New York and Pennsylvania are the highest ($3.55). The lowest prices in the region are found in Ohio, down eight cents this week to an even $3.00. Despite dropping a dime, Illinois ($3.37) remains on top in the Midwest, followed by Michigan ($3.15) and South Dakota.
This week: $37,217.80
Bitcoin, the only crypto that might even matter long term, remains range-bound between 35,500 and 38,000 since November 7.
Gold:Silver Ratio: 81.83; last week: 83.45
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 10/27: $2,016.30
Silver price 10/27: $23.24
It may be time for people to expect the gold price to start with a "2" instead of a "1". This week's Friday closing price for gold on the COMEX continuous contract is the second time in a month it's finished over $2000/troy ounce and the 11th time this year.
While the Federal Reserve insists that it is fighting inflation via higher interest rates while reducing the size of its balance sheet, they continue to supply massive liquidity via other means. Added to the government's spending spree that produced a deficit of $1.7 trillion for fiscal 2023, and is expected to match or exceed that in fiscal 2024, much of it due to higher borrowing costs, the Fed doesn't need to print (keystroke) money into existence. Alongside the treasury extravaganza, the market is doing it for them.
Gold and silver prices continue to experience high price levels, as they have throughout the year. However, in order to confirm and solidify the rally, gold needs to reach new all-time highs (over $2050) and silver needs to exceed and hold above $25/troy ounce.
Absolutely, there's plenty of loose money floating around, worldwide, especially now that the US dollar - and all fiat currencies - faces an existential threat from the BRICS countries, Russia and China, in particular. The two giant Asian nations have been hoarding gold in massive quantities and accepting it in payment for international trade since 2000, and in Russia's case, mining copious amounts.
China has been incrementally introducing gold and silver as investments and payment options to their citizens. Additionally, many US states have liberalized their policies towards precious metals, with all but 12 of the 50 offering either no sales tax on gold and silver purchases or significant exemptions.
As prices for everyday items continue to approach absurdity (like four bagels for $6.45), people are rudely awakening to the value propositions afforded by gold and silver. While they are not as yet widely accepted as means of exchange, they have never lost their quality as stores of value.
Argentina's election of Javier Milei as president may mark a turning point for the world's currencies. As a serial poster child for inflation, Argentina has defaulted on external debt on a regular basis over the past 50 years. Now, with Milei's election, currency reform is possible. In what Milei calls a "non-negotiable" promise, he plans to close down the nation's central bank, largely the cause of financial repression, inflation, debt, and defaults. The president-elect, who takes office officially on December 10, also has made overtures to replacing the Argentine peso with the US dollar, though that transition is not etched in stone.
Adding to the drama was Western media's repeated attempts to frame Milei as opposed to joining the BRICS alliance. The country was invited to join as of January 1, 2024. Argentina has a $15 billion line of credit with China. Last year, 92 per cent of Argentina's soya beans went to China, as did 57 per cent of its meats. China also has significant infrastructure and other strategic investments in Argentina, as the country was the first South American nation to embrace China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in 2022.
It would not be an easy task for Argentina to turn its back on BRICS membership, especially since one of the founding members happens to be their neighbor to the north, Brazil. How Milei and his new cabinet handles the intricacies of instituting a new monetary authority and keeping old alliances - with the US and Europe, as well as with BRICS nations - intact will likely be pivotal as the global financial evolution proceeds.
Argentina is home to some 46 million people and is the eighth-largest country in the world by area. Reforming its national currency and finances will be no small task.
Argentina ranks #25 in global gold production and was ranked ninth in silver production for 2022. Precious metals adherents would be wise to keep abreast of developments not just in Argentina but in all of South America, as the continent may be on the verge of a renaissance in the aftermath of centuries of neocolonialism.
Here are the most recent prices for common one ounce gold and silver items sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, free shipping included):
Prices on eBay continue to rise. Ample supply and eager buyers are converging towards a potential mania, though central bank meddling and price erosion cannot ever be ruled out of the supply/demand equation.
The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) continued to add to recent gains, at $37.27, a gain of 36 cents over the November 19 price of $36.91 per troy ounce.
In case you haven't noticed, government and media (same thing) policy has shifted from clown world to election year politics. All of a sudden, funding Ukraine is no longer important. Israel and Hamas are swapping prisoners amid a cease fire. Gas at the pump is down. Some food prices are dropping. Retail stores and online merchants are in price-chopping, holiday mode. Biden hasn't done or said anything stupid in almost a week (don't worry, he will).
While it may be a bit morally repulsive, a government and media shift from all-inclusive warring, name-calling, and invective-flinging to a calmer posture is a welcome relief. Seriously, who, besides the cretins who created the mess to begin with, needs wars, inflation, crisis after crisis?
If the stock market neither crashes nor melts up, all the better. It probably won't last long, so best enjoy it. Presidential primaries begin on January 15 with the Iowa caucuses, followed by the New Hampshire primary on January 23.
On the upside, you don't have to engage with politics. College football will wrap up an exciting season in December and January, the NFL playoffs commence through January, with the Super Bowl in February, and soon after that, pitchers and catchers begin to arrive at Spring Training sites in Arizona and Florida. There are other things to do.
Before you know it, crocuses will be blooming.
At the heart of contentment is a vessel of tranquility. Happy Holidays.
At the Close, Friday, November 17, 2023:
For the Week:
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