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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, May 19, 2023, 8:24 am ET
OK, we get it. Buy stocks.
The NASDAQ and S&P 500 hit eight-month highs on Thursday (August, 2022) while the DAX in Germany is within 20 points of its all-time high. Apparently, dismantling the industrial base in Europe's most essential economy is good for business.
As mentioned in previous posts, the CAC-40 in France made a new record high on April 21, and just this week, the TOPIX in Japan settled at a new high mark and the wider NIKKEI smashed through to a record high on Thursday, moving even higher Friday as leaders of the G-7 nations meet in Hiroshima, site of the first atomic bomb ever detonated on a population (August 6, 1945). Three days later, the United States detonated a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, effectively ending the war in the Pacific.
Selection of Hiroshima as the site of the G-7 summit will not be lost on historians and cynics as a signal from Western hegemonies that nuclear wars are survivable. The tactless G-7 will leave little doubt to their future intents at this meeting, planning to unveil more sanctions against Russia along with a "surprise" visit from Ukraine president Zelenskyy over the weekend (after a while, Zelenskyy's appearances at major Western confabs no longer qualify as surprises).
It's become crystal clear that the G-7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) are committed enemies of world peace, continuing to advance prospects of World War by isolating Asia superpowers, Russia and China, and, to a lesser extent, India, which has managed thus far to straddle the separation between East and West.
Mainstream media is taking the opportunity to advance propaganda of the G-7 meeting as a message to Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran to rein in their advancing militarization, while the G-7 and others pledge allegiance to Ukraine by continuing to arm the country at unprecedented levels. This article from "The Hill" offers a taste of the Western propaganda.
Well, OK, they're a sick bunch, but, buy stocks.
As of Thursday's close, prospects for a winning week for the major indices appear on track. The Dow is up 235 points, while the NASDAQ has zoomed higher by 404 points and the S&P is up 74.
European stocks are all positive and US stock futures are moving further into positive territory. Friday being options expiration day, expectations for a positive finish to the week are high.
Efforts to suppress gold and silver also seem to be well-entrenched. Gold is down 90 points from the May 4 high ($2055), but may find support - particularly from central banks - around the $1950-1965 level. Silver, less-appreciated, has entered a support level between $23 and $24 per ounce, though a breakdown through that area might quickly lead to a retreat back to an area around $20 per ounce.
While the LBMA, COMEX and assorted bullion banks work to keep fiat dreams alive and real money reality in limbo, purchases of precious metals have remained strong through the gains from March to present and premiums remain high. The general public may not be so accepting of mainstream heavy-handedness, as weakening economies, bank runs, and faux debt ceiling discussions cloud government and media disinformation.
While departures from the norm may not quite have reached extremes, the growing disdain of the general public in relation to government's continuing overreach is undeniable, though pushback and/or blowback have been largely muted.
Scare-mongering surrounding the debt ceiling will continue presumably past the supposed X-date in early June as it is becoming clear that Treasury will have more than ample funds to survive through the summer. As the Fed rolls debt off its books in an orderly manner it frees up space for more Treasury issuance, a fact that astute observers have noted, while the mainstream press contents itself with its own dramatics.
While it may be a good idea to remove funds from banks, it's by no means a necessity. The politicians will play their trite, little games and eventually resolve to keep the Ponzi scheme alive.
Life will go on.
At the Close, Thursday, May 18, 2023:
Thursday, May 18, 2023, 7:26 am ET
For whatever reason - probably only because Hedge Fund superstar Stephen Cohen tweeted that stocks are going up because AI will improve profit margins - stocks were bid higher on Wednesday.
Not that it matters much, but Target (TGT) had a rough quarter and warned that the second half of the year might be troublesome.
Walmart (WMT) reported this morning. Futures are modestly higher following the retailer's message.
Gold, on the continuous contract, fell to $1975.00 per ounce. Obviously, nobody wants any of it priced over $2000. Silver was knocked down as low as $23.58, after peaking at $26.23 on May 4.
Meanwhile, much to the amazement of even the most doltish economists, Japan's Topix index made a 33-year high, despite having a debt-to-GDP ratio over 250.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed up 480.34 points, or 1.60 percent, from Wednesday at 30,573.93, its highest level since Sept. 14, 2021. The broader Topix index finished up 24.24 points, or 1.14 percent, at 2,157.85, its highest level since August 1990.
Must be all that spanking new AI!
Joe Brandon is visiting Japan for the G7 Summit, even though he doens't know it.
Old quote of the day:
"By a continuous process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and un-observed, an important part of the wealth of its citizens." -- John Maynard Keynes, economist.
Enjoy the circus. Remember, you're playing with monopoly money.
At the Close, Wednesday, May 17, 2023:
Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 7:28 am ET
Mainstream media and the US congress wants everybody to get caught up in the mini-drama known as the debt ceiling debate.
It's been played before, many, many times. Can we now call it for what it is? That being a complete farce, a media circus, a congressional con job.
Depending on who is doing the research, it is said that the US has raised its debt ceiling (in some form or other) at least 90 times in the 20th century.
They (congress, with approval by the sitting president) always raise it. Always. And they will again, soon, because, simply put, not doing so ends their control of power over the public. Democrats and Republicans alike have to raise the debt ceiling. All the rancor and bluster, posing and posturing, finger-pointing and name-calling is just for show. They all know they're going to do it, but, whenever there's a split between parties - like now, with Republicans holding a majority in the House - they dance about like little kids in a third grade play.
Politicians of any stripe share a commonality: they lie. The lie to get into office and lie about what they're doing while they hold their positions of power. They even lie after they've served their terms, which, in far too many cases, is measured nit in mere years, but in decades, a condition the Founding Fathers never envisioned.
Long ago, being elected to public office (or selected by state delegation, as all Senators were prior to enactment of the 17th amendment in 1913, which allowed for direct election by the public. Incidentally, that was around the same time in which the Federal Reserve System was formed and the federal income tax passed into law. There are no coincidences.) meant leaving private enterprise to SERVE THE PUBLIC at a salary far below what one could command in the private sector. The current crop of carpetbaggers, thanks to their predecessors, have turned public service on its head. Nowadays, being elected to congress, and especially to the Senate, requires heavy financial backing, for which the reward is insider deals, insider trading in the stock market, and all manner of self-enriching schemes.
It's a travesty, and the debt ceiling "debate" - which is nothing more than a stage act - is a sham.
Just remember that whenever the compulsive liar, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, says we're going to run out of money to pay Social Security benefits, that it's just one big lie, like just about everything else that emanates from the District of Columbia and the media lapdogs who embellish the plot against the American people, AKA, serfs.
As far as the phony markets are concerned, Tuesday saw trading of a different kind than what's been common the past few months. The Dow had its biggest decline since May 2nd, a rare loss of more than one percent (1.01%), though the S&P fell by less (0.64%) and the NASDAQ was nearly unchanged, down just 22 points (0.18%).
Stocks will likely put on gains today, as the Dow is nearing the lower end of the recent range (33,000).
At the Close, Tuesday, May 16, 2023:
Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 9:14 am ET
Stocks bounced around on Monday, eventually ending somewhere near where they began. It was another nothing session guided by block trades, relentless consolidation (organized selling) in big name companies, and mysterious bumps off any and all low points. Companies that are heavily shorted were squeezed higher, to the chagrin of the bear camp.
This manner of trading has been prevalent for months, with the major indices vacillating between gains and losses, but eventually ending up back at GO. If you collected $200 on the round-trip, congrats. You've figured out the fraud. If not, you bought at the top and sold at the bottom, just as the wizards of Wall Street desire, cashing in on your stupidity and lack of seeing the larger picture.
Early Tuesday morning, Home Depot (HD) reported 1Q results, which were not pretty.
Home Depot reported revenue for the first quarter of $37.3 billion versus $38.34 billion expected, adjusted earnings per share of $3.82 per share versus $3.80 expected. US same store sales were down 4.6%. Bear in mind, these figures are not adjusted for inflation. Taking out the 20-30% lower prices from just a few years ago exposes what a real disaster these numbers represent. People are simply paying more for the same things - lumber, household fixtures, building materials, screws, bolts, etc. - than they were a few years back.
Home Depot isn't making less money, they're just fine so long as people pony up more money for the same things they bought a few years ago and probably have stored around the house in places they can't remember. It's easy to believe that if one took all the screws, nails, boards, and other hardware in people's garages and sheds, a city the size of Dallas, Texas could probably be erected.
In the best case, Home Depot may not be wildly overvalued. Trading with a P/E around 17, the share price at the close on Monday of 288 appears not unreasonable, but, when "adjusted" earnings become unadjusted and measured against inflation, expect HD shares to fall some 30-50% unless the general fraud of the Wall Street casino continues to prevail over reality. In pre-market trading, Home Depot shares are down about three percent. It's a good start, but there remains plenty of downside potential should one have the guts to entertain shorting, selling calls or buying puts.
Home Depot's somewhat chilling report sent stock futures lower, especially Dow futures, as the company is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
At 8:30 am ET, April Retail Sales, expected to rise 0.8% on a monthly basis after posting a revised -0.7 in March, came in well short, up only 0.4%.
Noted in the US Census Bureau press release, "Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2023, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $686.1 billion, up 0.4 percent (±0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and up 1.6 percent (±0.7 percent) above April 2022."
Since these figures are unadjusted for inflation (price changes), they constitute nearly a complete ruse on the general public. Since inflation was at least six percent and probably much higher over the last 12 months, the +1.6% gain the Bureau is reporting should be rightly reported as -4.4% yoy, at least.
Futures reacted negatively to the news, with the various index-related futures slipping deeper into the red. However, as more people are beginning to notice, once the opening bell is rung, stocks will slip, slide, rise, leap, and eventually revert to the mean, close to unchanged. No economic or corporate data is going to change the course of stocks from flat-lining until the debt ceiling is settled.
Brandon's gang and congressional leaders are due to meet again today to try to settle on some sort of compromise. Expectations for a deal to be struck are extremely low.
Elsewhere, gold and silver, each hammered lower overnight, rebounded with the retail sales release, but gold is still below the NY close from Monday of $2021.30, while silver is up two cents, at $24.23.
Regarding precious metals - gold, in particular - a note from Gold Switzerland's Egon von Greyerz strongly suggests that gold will be revalued at multiples of its current price given the evisceration of fiat currencies well underway. It's a sobering read which should be taken quite seriously.
WTI Crude Oil is trading steady, just above $71/barrel.
At the Close, Monday, May 15, 2023:
Sunday, May 14, 2023, 11:36 am ET
Hard Times make Hard Men
It's not a stretch of the imagination to believe that many elderly Americans are bewildered by the current circumstances presented to them in the country they were raised. A far different America has emerged in the 21st century as compared to the glory days of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Back then, there weren't rules for everything and laws restricting everything else. American's freedoms were sacrosanct, unassailable, and well-attended. We pledged allegiance. WE SPOKE FREELY. Schools had open doors. It wasn't wrong to be white.
All of that has changed in many parts of America, though less extensively in others, mainly the South, Midwest rural areas. Cities have become unlivable hell-holes and not just New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Detroit and St. Louis. The filth and crime has made its way to smaller cities like Rochester, NY; Trenton, NJ; Louisville, KY, Memphis, TN, to name just a few. A severe decline in the morality of the population has occurred, due largely to politicians pushing liberal polices that fail to punish criminals effectively, that promote deviant behaviors, and are as corrupt as political establishments on the national level.
Not only has the level of violence in cities reached crisis proportions, the politics of the elitist class in Washington, DC, have put America on the brink of disaster. From allowing open borders to toying with the nation's solvency via the debt ceiling (non)debate, current policies have taken a wrecking ball to the fragile conscience of America. It's gotten to a point at which mainstream media can only be trusted to embellish the lies promulgated through government. People are tired, sick, afraid of what's ahead, and, for good reason, many are making alternative plans.
Operating a business in the United States, especially starting one from scratch, as most small businesses are founded, has become a nightmare of rules, regulations, laws, taxes, and obligations that dampen prospects for success but also take away valuable time from founders and company leaders. The smallest, those with less than five employees, are nonetheless deluged with paperwork, licensing, multiple regulatory bodies and taxing authorities to which they must answer, fill out forms, and comply, lest they run afoul and face heavy-handed fines or criminal charges.
What used to be one of the most business-friendly places in the world has become a nation where only the brave or foolish dare to tread. Try starting a business and hiring just one worker. It's a nightmare and one of the main reasons people prefer to have a job or collect a check before taking the risk on small business profit. Good luck!
As the number of people willing to engage the risk of running their own business, there's also a growing trend of people not willing to even work. They see the taxes taken before the paycheck is even in hand as a primary insult to their freedom. All the other deductions, from local taxes to Medicare to Social Security withholding, just add to the level of distrust, disdain and detachment. Eventually, people working 35-40 hours a week simply don't see the gain in it, especially as the cost of rents, food, fuel, and everything else continues to spiral higher. They give in, they give up, they seek refuge in a parent's basement, a friend's couch, a social service, the street, or drugs, leading to crime and eventual suicide.
These are people who were led to believe that America was an open opportunity, but later found the promises to be mostly lies and deceptions, delusions. Some opt out, some check out, some permanently.
Choices offered in the current theft system of debt-backed currencies, fractional reserve banking, income stratification with limited upside potential, and the worst wealth disparity in more than 100 years are to either trudge along as normal, hoping tomorrow or next week or next year will somehow be better, or to take action on one's own volition and detach, Go Galt. Other options include shutting out all the media and noise and living for the moment, or shifting assets from those controlled to those without counter-party risk, like gold, silver, and other hard assets that aren't easily tracked, traced, or even visible. The government's done a good job of de-anonymizing cryptocurrencies and threatens to introduce CBDCs, possibly as early as July.
With the government dawdling over the debt ceiling, Americans are moving on their own, fleeing banks, cashing out 401k and IRA accounts, moving from stocks and bonds to gold and silver and canned food, planting gardens, buying arable, rural land for their own development and enrichment and leaving society behind.
There's plenty of rational for such a national movement as we're witnessing these days. Americans, as a whole, are aging. Birth rates are down while life expectancy has risen for decades. When we were young, we were naive, and maybe curious. As we aged, we became increasingly skeptical and eventually, reaching retirement years, we became cynical. Americans no longer trust their institutions. That's largely because those institutions didn't respect the social contract well enough. Government especially has been a massive failure of deception and delusion, leaving most Americans with severe distrust and rancor towards them.
We voted for politicians and their promises and got politics and lies. It's time to move on. Congress, the presidency, the courts are all corrupt. We can do better without them and many Americans are awakening to that reality.
Only the NASDAQ finished positive for the week, up a mere 49 points, thanks to a late-day rally on Friday based entirely on delusions of grandeur and the need for narrative (and maybe some AI). As bubbly as it has been, the NAZ was on the winning side for the seventh time in the last nine weeks, though it ended Friday only marginally higher than the 2023 peaks of 12,200.82 (Feb. 2) and 12,221.91 (March 31). Considering that February into the first ten days of March was a slump (-1062 points) and the gains in March came prior to earnings, it puts into perspective the six point gain of April, when all the major tech companies reported first quarter earnings.
Something is rotting on the server farms, mostly the accounting, valuations, and importance of the newest whirligig, Artificial Intelligence (AI). Think about it. Artificial Intelligence. Isn't that a little bit akin to what 60s hippies used to call "Pseudo-Intellectuals"? You know, all those pipe-smoking, woman's lib promoting, card-carrying Mensa-ites who thought themselves the smartest persons in the rooms who were really nothing more than smart people with over-inflated egos.
Back in the 60s and 70s and even a bit into the 80s, these types were typically found on college campuses, think tanks, political campaigns, and media. They gave us, in no particular order, inflation, gas rationing, two-earner households, a lower standard of living, and, eventually, participation trophies for their Millennial and Generation X offspring, who became the "woke" people blotting out the best of Americana.
Thus, if one was inclined to reject the Pseudo-Intellectuals (PI), it might be best to examine closely the people programming the Artificial Intelligence (AI), and measure their levels of "wokeism." With any luck, humanity might just barely avoid extinction by Brilliant Idiots, aka, morons.
With the Dow and S&P having already done about-faces, the next shoe to drop will be one of a Zuckerberg, Cook, or Gates. The decline may be deep and of very, very long duration (think years, not months).
Note at the end of this post the troubling week for the Dow Transports, down nearly 2.50%. Nothing reeks of recession like stuff not moving. Energy stocks will be next.
With debt ceiling negotiations making little to no progress, fixed-income buyers are growing increasingly wary of anything with a date for return of principal attached to it. Far and away, demand for the shortest-term, 1-month maturities has dried up precipitously, kicked up another 20 basis points over the course of the week. Since April 21, yield on 1-month bills has skyrocketed by 243 basis points, an amazing 72% increase to the sellers.
Other than 2-month bills, all other maturities offered yields that were stable to slightly higher than the previous week. Apparently, the two month window offers some kind of hedge against "X-date" scenarios, though it's not readily known just what that may be. Perhaps investors are thinking that one-month bills wouold be sacrificed in the case of a default, sparing the rest of the treasury offerings. It's difficult to tell, given the intricacies of the game of chicken being played with America's government funding and credit rating.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, whose dovish monetary policies when she chaired the Federal Reserve are partially to blame for the current crisis, made the almost mandatory fear-mongering rounds this week, especially focusing the scare tactics on seniors...
"Whether it's defaulting on interest payments that are due on the debt or payments for Social Security recipients or to Medicare providers, we would simply not have enough cash to meet all of our obligations..."
‹ Janet Yellen
Few are taking the Secretary seriously, as she's proven to be just another Brilliant Idiot on the national stage. Whereas a credit default is certainly in the cards for the US government, this impasse seems a little too early in the grand scheme to stop making Social Security payments. Anybody supporting such an outcome would bear the scorn of not just the 70 million current recipients, but also of millions more paying into the scheme.
Shagging bond-holders might be a more palatable solution, though it would send financial markets into a dizzying, global tailspin. What never seems to be mentioned is the obvious and not far-fetched concept of cutting spending in all areas of the bloated federal government, something House Republicans have offered, but has so far been rejected by the White House.
With the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue not only illegitimate, but also a well-known scoundrel and probable criminal of the highest order, there's reason to believe that defaulting on the debt may be part of the overall nefarious plan. After two years of watching this administration make every conceivable move contrary to the well-being of the country, it just falls right into line. As millions of illegals stream across the Southern border, in a month's time, America might be facing anarchy, martial law, civil strife or all three at once. Nothing is off the table with the current pack of liars and thieves purposely destroying the country.
The timetable for the government to either raise the debt ceiling or default is less than three weeks hence, the X-date for default June 1 or soon thereafter.
WTI Crude ended the week at $70.09 as Biden continues to drain the SPR, keeping prices somewhat restricted. Down from $82.59 a month ago, boosting the US supply may not be all that's keeping a lid on oil's price. Cuts by OPEC+ nations haven't had any effect whatsoever, though there's growing consensus that demand destruction is well underway as the economy begins to crater.
The week ended with the national average for a gallon of gas at the pump nearly stagnant at $3.53, just slightly higher than last Sunday's $3.50, according to gasbuddy.com.
Prices are lowest in the Southeast with Mississippi lowest in the nation, at $2.94. From Kansas east to South Carolina, souther states are all trending in the low $3 range.
California still tops the list with a price of $4.76. High prices continue to dominate the West. Washington ($4.57) and Arizona ($4.69) are close behind. Oregon ($4.11), Nevada ($4.18) make up the final four over $4. The Northeast/Midwest continues to range between $3.36 (Wisconsin) and $3.89 (Illinois).
This week: $26,855.00
Bitcoin took one for the cryto team this week, dropping to its lowest level in nearly two months. Could this be the end of bitcoin's latest rally, which took it from the range of $15-16,000 to above $30,000 over the past six months. It's been able to maintain a price structure above $26,500 for the past two months, so the question remains whether the recent gains are sustainable, or, as many suggest, bitcoin and most of the rest of the alt-coins in crypto-land are going into a tailspin along with stocks, which, oddly enough, cryptos mirror to a high degree.
Still an interesting concept, crypto in general and bitcoin, in particular, don't really measure up well in terms of stores of value presently. While they remain somewhat underutilized as a means of exchange, adoption rates have fallen off through the past two years. Once Wall Street got involved, it was pretty much game over for bitcoin and most other crypto-coins. It's morphed into just another speculative asset class, a plaything for the rich, a concept ambushed by traditional traders.
Best of luck, hodlers.
Silver:Gold Ratio: 83.50; last week: 78.63
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 04/14: $2,015.80
Silver price 04/14: $25.46
Despite the best efforts of the gold and silver pric riggers at the COMEX, LBMA, and elsewhere, buyers of finished goods aren't taking them seriously, with gold and silver prices on eBay and at online dealers remaining elevated. Premia for gold pieces are typically running $100 or more over spot for 1 oz. gold products, and $12-15 over spot for 1 ounce silver products.
There's ample reason to believe that fiat currency is being largely rejected by skeptics and much of the non-anglo world and people are increasingly turning to harder assets - like gold and silver - in deference to what they consider counterfeiting of fiat currency in dollars, pounds, euros, francs, and yen.
A Gallup poll revealed this week that gold has overtaken stocks as an investment choice. While real estate remains the top choice, its preference has fallen from 45% to 34% in just the past year. Gold overtook stocks and mutual funds, with the shiny metal the choice of 26% of respondents while certificates of ownership of publicly-held companies fell from 24% to just 18%. That massive shift underscores how widely-accepted precious metals are becoming while the idea of a return to gold-backed currency gains traction.
The major news piece out of China this week was barely exposed to the Western public at all. A well-deserved tip of the hat goes out to Vince Lanci of Goldfix and Chris Marcus of Arcadia Economics for alerting subscribers and youtube viewers to the momentous changes underway in China, where bank account holders can now hold gold and silver in separate accounts. See the video below.
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) remains elevated, but stable, finishing this week at $40.14, an drop of 16 cents from the April 30 level of $40.30.
This may not have been the most upbeat WEEKEND WRAP, but it likely was the most honest and forthright. Led by people who are either criminally insane, completely incompetent, or devilishly dishonest, America has been maliciously destroyed from within.
In case you think this missive has been a little harsh, imagine that it is highly likely that conditions will get proceedingly worse.
I have been curious, skeptical, and now am cynical.
-- Fearless Rick, Publisher
At the Close, Friday, May 12, 2023:
For the Week:
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