|Commentary on Stocks - Bonds - Gold - Silver - Crypto - Oil/Gas and more|
|HOME||PRICE GUIDE||STORE||BLOGS||SPORTS||BUSINESS||WILD SIDE||CONTACT||ARCHIVES|
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, April 28, 2023, 9:23 am ET
A few choice anonymous quotes apply here:
There is no market, only interventions.
Meta's profit dropped 20%, but they mentioned AI 57 times.
Literally, it's been and up-and-down week. With the final trading day of April on deck, there may be an urge to beat the rush to "sell in May" by exiting positions prior to next week's FOMC meeting (Tuesday-Wednesday, May 2-3).
The principal rationales for bailing on stocks at this time would be two-fold: 1) the banking crisis appears to be worsening, as opposed to the recent narrative that it was "over", and, 2) profits. The two dovetail nicely into a clean exit strategy. After Thursday's blowout upside, stocks are sitting at fairly inflated levels, arguably unsustainable ones. Given the abrupt turns in stocks and even individual stocks doing loop-de-loops after-hours like Amazon (AMZN) Thursday evening - reversing a 12-point gain to a three-point loss in advance of Friday's open - one could easily envision instability just about everywhere.
As clear-eyed as investors might be at this juncture, every bit of good news is being countered or challenged by bad news. Tech is up, finance is down; there's a debt ceiling bill on the table, Brandon vows to veto it; inflation is moderating, the Fed is hiking rates; and so on...
This morning's big number was headline PCE of +4.2% year-over-year, an encouraging decline from the +5.1% in the prior month. The Fed is likely viewing this positively, noting that all the previous rate increases of the past 13 months are variously kicking in to some degree, though obviously not nearly enough to slay the beast unleashed by all the stimuli of 2021.
Somehow, through it all, the US economy continued to grow in the first quarter, albeit by a slim 1.1%, according to the initial 1Q GDP estimate released on Thursday. It's not enough to signal expansion, nor is it sufficient to make calls for an imminent recession, so, another 25 basis points next Wednesday, thank you.
The overall condition is unstable and chaotic. Trading a market like this takes either a steely will or a complete abandonment of fundamental principles, or both. Probably both.
For the week, stocks are looking pretty good, though challenged, relatively speaking. Through the close Thursday, the Dow is up 17 points, the NASDAQ ahead by 69, and the S&P barely positive, up 1.83 points. For the month, all indices are barely positive, a condition which could easily reverse, given this morning's downside indication from the futures.
On the earnings front, ExxonMobil (XOM) put up record first quarter numbers, topping expectations with net profit of $11.43 billion, or $2.79 per share. The company expanded production and sits on $32.7 billion in cash.
This market is both a trader's dream and an investor's nightmare.
At the Close, Thursday, April 27, 2023:
Thursday, April 27, 2023, 9:54 am ET
It's been a couple of rough days on Wall Street. On Wednesday, joy turned to tears as a bevy of companies posted strong first quarters, boosting stocks, only to be taken down over fears of more banking woes, as First Republic Bank (FRC) slumped to an all-time low of 5.69, a 96% decline since February 2nd.
The resultant afternoon slump left the majors at or near the lowest levels of the month (NASDAQ was actually up a bit on the day) and the Dow just 0.50% higher year-to-date. Despite better-than-expected earnings reports overall, stocks find themselves down for the week.
Elsewhere, Speaker Kevin McCarthy rallied fellow Republicans to pass a bill that would up the debt ceiling while cutting spending previously approved by Democrats. The measure was sent along to the senate by the narrowest of margins - two votes - where it is certain to meet opposition. Even if the bill makes it though the upper house, Joe Brandon has promised to veto it, a veto that congress would be unlikely to override.
Prior to the market open on Thursday, first quarter GDP was announced, coming in a very disappointing 1.1% on an annualized basis. Most of the overpaid soothsayers were well off the mark, as a sampling shows:
2.6% - JP Morgan Chase
Getting the "Price is Right" booby prize for being close without going over, Barclays predicted 1.0%, while Wells Fargo pegged it at 0.8%.
The actual figure of 1.070% contrasts with the strong earnings reports recently forwarded. Somewhere, there's a circle to be squared.
At the Close, Wednesday, April 26, 2023:
Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 9:22 am ET
Stocks took a pretty big hit on Tuesday, but, after the close, earnings results from Alphabet, parent of Google (GOOG), and Microsoft (MSFT) lifted spirits significantly.
The two tech giants, currently embroiled in a battle over AI, returned outstanding first quarter earnings, both companies beating estimates, top and bottom line.
As Tuesday rolled into Wednesday, more positive earnings reports were filed, with Dow component, Boeing (BA) crushing estimates and providing solid forward guidance.
Humana (HUM) recorded a profit gain of 33% to $1.24 billion in the quarter. Adjusted earnings totaled $9.38 per share. Revenue grew more than 11% to $26.74 billion. Both EPS and revenue were better than Wall Street expectations. The health care provider also delivered stunning forward guidance, expecting adjusted earnings for 2023 to be above $28.25 per share. In pre-market trading, shares were higher by nearly $10, or 2 percent, to $511.50.
Shares of Hilton (HLT) were trading higher in the pre-market as the hotelier blew past estimates and forecast solid growth, revenue, and profit through the remainder of 2023.
Not unexpectedly, General Dynamics (GD) continued the parade of positive results as the neocon favorite posted a 5.2% rise in quarterly revenue, boosted by strong demand for munitions amid geopolitical instability. Profiting from the war in Ukraine, orders were at an eight year high.
Putting a bit of a damper on the morning, Advanced Data Processing (ADP) reported reasonably good results [PDF] for their fiscal third quarter, though shares of the company were trading about four percent lower prior to the opening bell.
The overnight and early morning string of positive earnings results pushed equity futures higher. With a half hour to go before the US open, Dow futures were up 71 points, NASDAQ futures ahead by 143, and S&P futures up 12.75 points.
With the open likely to be wildly positive, investors may have gotten more solid earnings news than is good overall. The Fed will be gauging results as they prepare for the upcoming FOMC meeting next week (May 2-3, Tuesday, Wednesday). With the US economy continuing to run quite hot, expectations for a 25 basis point hike may be less than what is necessary. A hike of 0.50% may come into play on the heels of these and other strong earnings.
The Fed now finds itself in a bind, seeking to cool off the economy and inflation while the stock market turns higher. Also on the minds of FOMC voters is the ongoing fight in Washington, DC over the debt ceiling. Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy has put forward a proposal that would raise the debt limit while cutting some spending. Biden, being his usual stubborn self, has promised to veto the measure.
At the Close, Tuesday, April 25, 2023:
Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 9:14 am ET
Not to sound alarmist, but, the biggest news story on Monday was not about earnings or inflation or even Russia. It was about Tucker Carlson, host of the most popular (and profitable) TV news show of all time - Tucker Carlson Tonight - fired by Fox (FOXA).
That's right. In what appears to be one of the most egregious examples of bad company behavior - on a level with "new Coke" or putting a transvestite's picture on cans of Bud Light - Fox executives have managed to kick themselves between the legs, repeatedly. Sound financial management obviates the need to promote and defend popular products and brands. In each of the cases cited above, company management found suitable rationale to detonate what was the leading product or brand in its given category.
Coca-Cola (KO), though the story is decades old, decided to change the formula for the world's most popular beverage, introducing "New Coke" to shrieks and wails of outrage from the consuming public. In response, the company brought back the "Old Coke" after weeks of protests and financial damage. Perhaps Americans should have paid attention and asked why a company would purposely destroy a leading product.
A few weeks back, Bud Light, the flagship beer of Anheuser Busch Inbev (BUD), emblazoned some commemorative cans of its beer with an image of Dylan Mulvaney, a transitioning person celebrating one year of "womanhood." The result was predictable. Sales of Bud Light fell off a cliff as hard-working, beer-guzzling, mostly mainstream Americans were offended by the stunt and vowed never to consume the swill ever again.
So, now, Fox commits the same blunder, though there appears to be more devilishness beneath the surface of Carlson's unexpected and untimely firing. The ouster comes days after Fox News Corp. settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems (Fearless Publisher Rick Gagliano coined a tag line for the company after the 2020 election: "we count, because you don't") for $787 million dollars, and, apparently, other concessions, one of which may have been the firing of Tucker Carlson, and possibly the removal of firebrand Dan Bongino, who "voluntarily" severed ties with the media conglomerate days ago. Their crimes: not adhering to the spoon-fed, chosen narrative, questioning it, and trying to reveal the truth about any number of topics, from election rigging to climate change to January 6.
Journalists are the first to be alarmed by actions such as those taken by FOX. Firing the leading news and opinion figure on TV doesn't just violate capitalist principles, but also strikes at the heart of natural and civil liberties, be they in America or any other place. A free press is essential to protection of human rights. Without journalists being free to question and examine human actions and speak their minds, there is no freedom of speech, not for Tucker Carlson, or Dan Bongino, or Matt Taibbi, who has been threatened with jail time after voluntarily testifying to a panel of House representatives over the so-called "Twitter Files", which revealed the scope and extent to which government operatives will go to suppress the truth.
Journalists like Carlson, Taibbi, and others who have been censored, de-platformed, or otherwise silenced have sounded the alarm, not just for themselves and their colleagues, but for all Americans, and, ostensibly, the world. Without a free press, other freedoms and rights are drawn into question, in threatening ways, by the very government that has a duty to protect those rights and the citizenry. Unfortunately, elected officials the the bureaucracy beneath them have been quite derelict in their duties for a very long time and people should be aroused over the repeated assaults on liberty, rights, and freedom.
One can hardly blame the American public for their seeming complacency over the many issues that have arisen over the past few years. The obvious flaws and fumbling of authority are three for all to see, from the White House, to congress and even to the Supreme Court. The constitution which the government and the people are sworn to protect, has been slashed, trashed, and stomped upon with increasing force. The unrelenting attack on human rights in America has grown to crisis levels, yet nobody raises a hand against the tyranny and oppression emanating from Washington DC and amplified by the knee-bending mainstream media.
Americans have been paralyzed more by fear than complacency. Who alone can stand up to the awesome power of the federal government and the tools they employ to enslave and subjugate every man, woman, and child? It's a condition contemplated by many, acted upon by none, and for good reason: it's a death wish. The government is in a position by which they can dominate and determine the fate of individuals, companies, cities, and even entire states. Choices are quickly becoming clear. One either quietly acquiesces to the whims and demands of the all-powerful government or makes plans to escape it by leaving its jurisdiction. There is no in between. The former solution isn't really a solution at all. Eventually, the government will grow so powerful and awesome as to be completely unassailable, which may already be the case. The latter means pulling up one's roots and leaving, hoping to find more friendly accommodations in other countries.
In the short and long term, neither attempt at a solution is adequate.
Let's leave it there, for now.
Stocks continued their lazy trading patterns on Monday, entirely range-bound, gripped by uncertainty on many fronts. Even though this week is the busiest of the current earnings season, the good news and bad news appear to have reach a compromised, leaving passive investors at the mercy of the market or lack of one. Active traders find comfort only in being long. Shorting this market has been nothing short of a suicide mission.
Results from First Republic Bank (FRC) dominated the overnight, as the bank returned fair results for the first quarter, but revealed the extent to which it employed various lifelines to survive, needing $100 billion just to remain a going concern. In Monday's after-market trading, the stock initially rose, but nose-dived during the conference call, as the dirty details were revealed.
Tuesday morning is busy. Here's a quick rundown of stocks reporting prior to the open:
After the close, Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOG), Visa (V), Chipolte (CMR) and mothers report.
A half hour prior to the open, futures are down across the board: Dow, -77; S&P, -19; NASDAQ, -60.
At the Close, Monday, April 24, 2023:
Sunday, April 23, 2023, 12:56 pm ET
Warring factions in Ukraine, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere, tensions building on the Pacific (Taiwan, Korea); munitions buildup by NATO and others for Ukraine; strikes, protests, and demonstrations across Europe, especially in England, France, Denmark, and Germany; inflation wreaking havoc on established Western economies; a government funding standoff looming; rampant criminality in US cities, and mainstream media is entirely focused on the 2024 presidential election, permeating American minds with gun control, deviant behaviors, and meaningless polls.
If not already apparent to most of the American public that is not compromised by big pharma concoctions, the US economy is in tatters, with wages falling against the inflation rate for 24 months - two years - running, it was well-reflected by the fall-off in tax revenue as the tax filing deadline passed on Tuesday.
Against this backdrop, there's a large faction - probably in the range of 30-40% of the adult population - that has given up on a fair government above all and elections in general. Many Americans are moving on, working from home, becoming more self-reliant, and avoiding any unnecessary interaction with overbearing government institutions. Full faith and credit of the US government is fast becoming a relic of a bygone era.
As dollar hegemony comes under assault on a regular basis - from the BRICS, South America, Africa, and most of Asia and the Middle East - government and financial managers are running out of excuses and are even shorter on solutions. Recent bank runs have made conditions perilous.
Despite heavy earnings report flows, stocks stalled as tax day came and went, negative sentiment overriding early in the week giddiness, which saw the S&P top out Tuesday at an obviously-overheated 4169.48, well short of the 4195.44 February 2nd prior high. Failure at the key level was also a feature of the NASDAQ, which shaded the February 2nd high of 12,269.55 with a swing and a miss of 12,245.43 on April 18, and the Dow Industrials, which peaked a day earlier, February 1, at 34,334.70, and fell short at 34,018.62, on Tuesday, the 18th.
The nearly imperceptible decline Wednesday through Friday (getting only a slight bump on options expiry) is very clear to expert investors, analysts, and chartists. In terms of Dow Theory, failing to exceed the previous high was a reaffirmation of the primary bearish trend in tandem with the Dow Transports, which peaked on February 2nd at 15,888.39, and backed far away on Thursday, April 20, at a high of 14,578.06.
Unless market insiders have more games and, more importantly, ammunition, to put into play the apparent direction of stocks heading towards sell-and-stay-away May is to the downside. Stock boosters have played their hands, made clear in Money Daily's Tuesday, April 18 report on major funder, State Street Bank (STT).
State Street, a key custody bank, dropped 14% at the open on Monday following its first quarter earnings release. Clearly, there was more to this drop than indicated by the headline numbers, which did not indicate the severity of damage done to the bank internally. The insiders, consistently backing heavily-shorted stocks, squeezing them higher, have played their collective hands. They don't like to lose, but, barring further attempts at dislocation and distortion in the general market, the likes of major omnipresent shareholders Vanguard and Blackrock may be forced to swallow a bitter pill in weeks and months ahead.
Things could get very ugly, very shortly.
The week ahead features earnings releases from about a third of all S&P 500 companies.
On Monday, Whirlpool (WHR) and Coca-Cola (KO) are the two American heavyweights. Failed Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) shows their books. Also of interest will be First Republic Bank (FRC), which received a $30 billion in deposits from a consortium of banks, after the bell.
Tuesday is a blockbuster, with 3M (MMM), Alphabet (GOOG), Chipotle (CMG), automaker General Motors (GM), Microsoft (MSFT), UBS (UBS), PepsiCo (PEP), McDonald's (MCD), UPS (UPS), Verizon (VZ), and Visa (V) reporting.
Wednesday covers a host of sectors, including Dow component Boeing (BA), online retailer eBay (EBAY), military contractor General Dynamics (GD), hotelier Hilton (HLT), health care provider Humana (HUM), railway Norfolk Southern (NSC), and social media stalwart Meta Platforms (META) along with Raytheon (RTX), Spotify (SPOT)
Dow components Merck (MRK), Intel (INTC) and Caterpillar (CAT) headline Thursday's releases, along with Altria (MO), Amazon (AMZN), American Airlines (AAL), Eli Lilly (LLY), Mastercard (MA), US Steel (X), and Southwest Airlines (LUV)
The flow concludes Friday with energy producers Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Dow component Chevron (CVX), plus consumer brands giant Colgate-Palmolive (CL), and Charter Communications (CHTR).
The massive flight to 1-month bills illustrates just how precarious is the US condition, especially concerning the debt ceiling. There's growing concern that House of Representatives, Senate, and the White House usurpers can come to consensus for funding the government.
Yield on one-month, or, 30-day T-bills fell an unprecedented 93 basis points (0.93%), obviating the conclusion that nobody on earth desires carrying any kind of US sovereign risk more than 30 days out. Magnifying the rush into the shortest duration is the 162 basis point difference between one-month and two-month bill yields.
Current yield curve structure is that of a fat belly, protruding out from 2-month bills to two-year notes, the most outward-looking the four-month bills, government's favorite funding duration. With interest payments on federal debt about to exceed $1 trillion for fiscal year 2023 (ending September 30) there are no willing buyers of that paper. Spread on 2s-10s is at 60 basis points. Six weeks ago it was 42.
It took only a week for WTI crude to fall from $82.59 to $77.95, dropping below $80 Wednesday and continuing lower, to the dismay of many an oil baron.
Last week's national average for a gallon of gas at the pump was $3.67, though that figure may turn out to be a near-term high. Prices are moderating as oil has temporarily declined.
As the transition to summer blend gas takes effect, AAA reports: "Even though prices are slightly higher for summer blend fuel - because it contains less butane - the summer blend contains 1.7 percent more energy than the winter blend. As a result, your gas mileage should be a little higher in the summer months to offset some of the added cost you pay at the pump."
Taking that calculus another way, should demand fall off or even stabilize, that added energy in the summer blend might actually keep the price of gas down through the summer months. Any increase in fuel efficiency naturally decreases demand. Drivers can go further on the same amount of fuel.
Despite any fuel economy or demand hedges, California ($4.84) was three cents lower, but Arizona increased from $4.52 to $4.69, Washington went to $4.52 from $4.44, and Nevada ($4.23) was two cents lower. Illinois remained at $4.07, while with Oregon joined the club at $4.04.
For the third week in a row, Mississippi has the lowest price, at $3.12, with the rest of the Southeast and lower Midwest states over $3.20. Next closest were Louisiana and Arkansas, both at $3.22. Pennsylvania ($3.77) was the highest of East Coast and Midwest states.
This week: $27,645.00
Bitcoin took a thumping this week, failing to maintain the $30,000 level for more than a week. From April 11 through April 18, hodlers had hope, only to see realists come in a sweep up the short-term gains. That's how it goes in the crypto-casino.
Silver:Gold Ratio: 79.26; last week: 79.18
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 03/24: $1,999.00
Silver price 03/24: $23.36
As has been clearly demonstrated over millennia, there is no better long term store of value than precious metals.
For the small percentage of investors who hold gold and silver dear, calm sleep and a hedge against any and all government and central bank madness are assured, but, lately, as dollar hegemony has come under attack and fiat currencies are being devalued at an ever-quickening pace, the near-record high price of gold and the relative strength of silver pricing are finally becoming manifestations of the truth behind sound money.
Despite pullbacks from recent highs, demand for bars and coins is putting pressure on supply in addition to record central bank purchases of gold. Increasingly, central banks are stepping up their bids and offers, just as reports from local coin shops, online retailers and eBay sales exhibit colossal demand.
Prices for this week's eBay survey are close to record highs for gold and are beyond year-ago levels for one ounce silver pieces. What the COMEX and LBMA fear most now are that pricing levels will exceed their abilities to keep the lid on the viable alternatives to fiat, as the East-West schism becomes more pronounced. The potential for losing control has seldom been greater.
For now, central banks are being cautious about gold purchases, buying more time to replace US$ and euro holdings with gold in reserves. They are eager, but not yet rushed. A swelling of demand at the retail level may soon force their hands as supplies grow thinner. Exacerbating the conditioning of central bank buyers are hints of a grave impasse in US debt ceiling negotiations. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's "extraordinary measures" are now rumored to run dry sometime in June, pressuring all parties to act soon to avoid a debt default by the world's most indebted nation.
With money continuing to flow out of banks into better accommodations, some of that has certainly found its way into precious metals. Further gains (and those could come quite soon) may spark a 21st century gold and silver rush, sending prices skyward. It behooves stackers and hoarders to accelerate their buying plans before prices become exorbitant.
Behind the massive buying of gold and silver is the underlying need for collateral in a world of shifting priorities. Precious metals will be used to fill as gaps develop and will eventually return to their rightful places as the foundation of money as we know it.
Here are the most recent prices for common one ounce gold and silver items sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, free shipping included):
The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) exploded higher this week, finishing at $40.89, an advance of $2.05 from the April 16 level of $38.84.
While the week just past did not excite from an earnings standpoint, the plumbing got a full work over and signal strength was evident in 30-day treasury bills and the failure of the major equity indices to move past the prior highs. Not to be ignored, the usual knockdown in precious metals was delivered like a blaring siren, indicating the inside money was not yet ready to throw in the towel.
Regardless of flat-lining stocks, the markets - Adam Smith's "invisible hand" - were speaking loudly.
Notably, the Wall Street Journal reports, "The Federal Home Loan Bank system - established during the Great Depression to help promote mortgage lending and now a source of liquidity for banks of all stripes - issued a record $495 billion of debt in March to fund loans, which are called advances, the system's Office of Finance said."
The banking crisis is by no means "over." Rather, it's just gotten started. The fallout from a commercial real estate bust will tip everything heads over heels. Black swans - Ukraine, Taiwan, debt ceiling, liquidity, inflation, crime, growing detestation of the federal government - are circling.
At the Close, Friday, April 21, 2023:
For the Week:
Sign up for the Back Issue Price Guide newsletter to receive updates and special sale info.
Subscribe by entering your email address:
All information relating to the content of magazines presented in the Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide has been independently sourced from published works and is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. All pages on this web site, including descriptions and details are copyright 1999-2022 Downtown Magazine Inc., Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide. All rights reserved.