|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, May 26, 2023, 9:24 am ET
Did VF Corp. - parent company of North Face, Dickies, JanSport, Timberland and other popular clothing brands - throw a "Hail Mary" with the release of their Pride Month ad campaign?
With shares of the company falling from 90 just two years ago to 17 and change at Thursday's close the rationale behind what amounts to an affront to the majority of their customers (sorry, we're not going to post the Twitter feed video here - it's too revolting) is something of a riddle.
Carrying $7.5 billion in debt may provide a clue. That's a lot of debt that will need to be rolled over, at higher rates, in the near future.
Perhaps the $215 million loss in the first quarter, on reduced revenue, helps explain the situation. VF Corp. has lost money in three of the last four quarters. Clearly, there are problems the company's management hasn't quite solved. There's still around $300 million in free cash flow, but, if the company commits financial hari kari that money is going to vanish pretty quickly servicing the enormous debt load.
Of course, VF Corp. is not alone in the "go woke" parade. AmBev via Bud Light, Target, Nike, and others have poisoned their brands with pride and trans advertising, offensive to most of their customer bases, in just the past few months. It appears the examples of losing billions of dollars and millions of customers doesn't make it all the way to the C-Suite. Executives are displaying levels of incongruence and ignorance that should have them repudiated, removed and maybe drawn and quartered by shareholders. They've literally cost investors billions.
However, there's a simpler explanation for the absurd behavior of corporations going woke or otherwise abusing the good will of their customers. Bear in mind, a similar experience occurred in 2020, with the bending of corporate knees to BLM wishes. This time it's identified as the Corporate Equity Index of the Human Rights Campaign, which describes itself as "the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees."
Well, isn't that special. It's nothing short of institutionalized blackmail. Companies that don't display enough "wokeness" in their corporate policies get the backhand slap of the LGBTQ+ community via social media anti-campaigns, slurs and pretty much what amounts to slander. Having a low CEI rating subjects companies to close scrutiny and scorn by the organization (HRC, oddly enough, the same initials of the loser of the 2016 US presidential election) and its followers, ostensibly, mercenary, belligerent radicals.
As far as V Corp. is concerned, maybe they resisted the threats and low DEI scores, but could not escape the reality of sales declines and subsequently surrendered. It appears, though, that they may be too late. Already swimming in debt and the share price circling the drain, it does not appear that a last-ditch effort to appeal to the radicals is going to produce any kind of recovery. In fact, alienating the bulk of its customer base is likely to crash the stock even more and render the company a prime candidate for a trip to their regional US bankruptcy court.
VF Corp. is just the latest example of corporate blackmail and suicide. Many companies, especially those in the retail space, are under the gun from the leftist radicals which will push them over the edge, prompting what's fast becoming the hottest sport of the year, boycotts by customer bases.
Would it surprise anybody to learn that PNC Financial and Vanguard are the top two institutional holders and together with the next three - BlackRock, Northern Trust, and State Street - account for holdings of 47.54% of shares outstanding? Or that the company has been handing out stock awards to directors and officers like candy for years? Here's a list.
Where does all of this insider trading lead? When does it end?
As for the rest of the market, futures are slightly elevated heading into the final session prior to the Memorial Day three-day weekend. Markets will be closed on Monday, May 29.
As of Thursday's close, the Dow is staring at a losing weekly tally, down 662 points. For all the bluster of Thursday's NVIDIA-inspired rally, NASDAQ is only ahead 40 points for the week, and the S&P is down 40. Symmetry!
Be on the lookout for rainbow flags!
At the Close, Thursday, May 25, 2023:
Thursday, May 25, 2023, 9:18 am ET
After the bell on Wednesday, chip maker NVIDIA (NVDA) posted first quarter results that came in better than expected, with EPS of 88 cents on estimates of 81 cents, a beat of 8.64%, but that was only part of the story.
The fifth-most valuable company in the United States delivered forward guidance that sent the stock over the moon in after-market trading, up to nearly $400 per share, after closing at $305.38 during the cash session. Should the after-and-pre-market prices hold up, the gain would add more than $200 billion to the company's market value, which would be the largest one-day gain in market history.
Analysts are drooling over the future prospects for the company, along with chip rivals AMD and INTEL, both of which posted gains as a side endorsement for the sector. NVIDIA announced second quarter guidance of $11 billion, well ahead of Wall Street consensus of around $7.2 billion.
Most of the excitement is about transitioning data centers to AI-compatible chips. According to founder and CEO Jensen Huang:
"We're seeing incredible orders to retool the world's data centers. And so I think you're seeing the beginning of, call it, a 10-year transition to basically recycle or reclaim the world's data centers and build it out as accelerated computing. You'll have a pretty dramatic shift in the spend of a data center from traditional computing and to accelerate computing with SmartNICs, smart switches, of course GPUs and the workload is going to be predominantly generative AI."
NVDIA's blowout quarter and exceptional guidance marks the first big move in valuation related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing. While Google and Microsoft (Bing) have benefitted recently from roll-outs of AI search functions on their platforms, NVDIA's pre-eminent position as supplier of advanced computing chips sets a high bar for the technology that has caught the attention of just about everybody in the tech universe. Whether it pans out as predicted or becomes another false flag, like blockchain, it remains the current "cool" killer app for geeks and investors.
The huge upside in NVIDIA has NASDAQ futures ripping higher, up 280 points with less than an hour before Thursday's opening bell.
NVIDIA stock traded as low as $112 per share as recently as mid-October, 2022 and has nearly tripled since then. Shareholders are about to be richly rewarded for having faith in the company.
While everything AI-related was jumping Thursday morning, DC politicians still can't find agreement on how to raise the government's debt ceiling. Negotiating sessions held on Wednesday ended the same way as all those before them, without resolution. Administration and House negotiators remain far apart according to sources, and Speaker Kevin McCarthy is planning on a scheduled recess after votes on other legislation conclude on Thursday, according to CNN.
That would leave debt ceiling talks in limbo until at least Tuesday, May 30, following the Memorial Day holiday, leaving the White House and Congress only a few days to work out a deal before a heavy dose of payments for military, Social Security and Medicare come due in the early days of June.
Monday, June 29, is Memorial Day, a national holiday. All banks, government offices, and stock exchanges will be closed.
For her part, Treasury Secretary has no calming words for the public, stating, "we are not involved in planning for what happens if there is a default," adding that prioritizing payments is not an option.
It's total clown world chaos, every day.
At the Close, Wednesday, May 24, 2023:
Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 9:19 am ET
First, a few definitions, a couple straight from appropriately "woke" Wikipedia:
Accredited Investor: An individual or a business entity that is allowed to trade securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. They are entitled to this privileged access by satisfying at least one requirement regarding their income, net worth, asset size, governance status, or professional experience. Accredited investors include high-net-worth individuals, banks, insurance companies, brokers, and trusts.
Anomie: A social condition defined by an uprooting or breakdown of any moral values, standards or guidance for individuals to follow.
Zombie: A mythological undead corporeal revenant created through the reanimation of a corpse.
In particular, the United States, and to varying degrees, the nations of Europe, are shells of their former selves, replete with failing infrastructure, corrupt governments, future plans reliant upon destruction, helpless populations being swarmed upon by outside invaders, news and journalism replaced by jingoism and propaganda, worthless currencies, and the degeneracy of desperation swirling through the air.
Except for maybe Elon Musk and a rare, few other innovators, American ingenuity and European productivity died somewhere between the fall of the Iron Curtain (1989) and 9-11 (2001). Apple founder, Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 October 5, 2011) left behind the Iphone, which stirred creativity for a while but was eventually hijacked by spy agencies and social media, tools for population and information tracking, misinformation (what I had for lunch), disinformation (raw sewage), conditioning and control.
Prior to the demise of America's resident genius (Jobs), there was the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-09, ushering in the age of delusion, promoted by the most insidious banking elites, selling expansive houses to people who could not afford them, then packaging and selling those mortgages as securities to "accredited investors" around the world, in the process decimating the competition, decapitating otherwise sound and prudent backers.
(Aside: Accredited Investor: An individual or a business entity that is allowed to trade securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. They are entitled to this privileged access by satisfying at least one requirement regarding their income, net worth, asset size, governance status, or professional experience. Accredited investors include high-net-worth individuals, banks, insurance companies, brokers, and trusts.)
Simply put, some of the world's wisest, smartest, experienced investors in the world were swindled by unsupervised banks at the behest of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. It was their own fault for lack of due diligence. The swindling banks were later reprieved of any wrongdoing and bailed out by the public. This was the initial phase of zombie-frication.
After COVID-19 and the various restrictions and requirements were forced upon the populations, proving that humans could indeed be corralled and herded like sheep, much of the world's people were turned into zombies, aimlessly following instructions on their devious hand-held communication devices. It was during that period (2020-21) that zombie leaders were installed in the United States, Australia, Canada, England, and elsewhere in the Western democracies. Undeniably, the worst-case was wrought upon the US, in the sham election that appointed brain-dead Joe Biden the purported leader of the free world. In effect, Joe Biden has become the ultimate metaphor and figurehead for Zombie Nations everywhere, wandering about aimlessly from one meeting to the next, fully unaware of his surroundings without purpose.
(The conceit of calling the president of the United States the "leader of the free world" is, in itself, pompously misleading. There is little to no evidence that Joe Biden is capable of leading anything more serious than a sush to the ice cream truck, nor is there substantiated proof that the people of the United States, countries of the UK Commonwealth, or of the European Union are in any way "free.")
Thus, former democracies have been shadily transitioned to oligarchies or autocracies in which rules and productivity are both defined and controlled by the government, no dissent is allowed, transgressors are violated, the rule of law shattered, the entire operation of economy, business, and taxation at best a massive skimming operation by those holding power.
Meanwhile, the sheepish populations follow their phones into their own destruction, without purpose or norm, i.e., anomie.
America has a vegetative, reanimated executive, companies operating within a fictionalized reality fueled by un-repayable debt obligations, banks suffering liquidity drain, and a population of "normies" following the directionless rudder of whatever inane and implausible dictates masquerade as public policy.
For those still mesmerized by the ongoing debt ceiling charade game and the phony market manipulations, stocks took a bit of a beating as Joe Brandon and his associates ramped up the rhetoric against any form of fiscal restraint. The Dow was dumped, the NASDAQ had its worst day in a month, and the S&P laid an egg larger than any of the past three weeks.
With less than half an hour to the opening bleat on Wall Street, Asian stocks were sold overnight, European bourses and US stock futures are tanking, all supposedly tied to the gibber-jabber of political puppets and their failure to reach any form of compromise over the national evil. They are largely in agreement, however, of sending more money and aircraft to the snakepit that is Ukraine.
Gold has vaulted beyond $2000 this morning, though silver remains mired below $24.
God (or gold) help us.
At the Close, Tuesday, May 23, 2023:
Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 9:21 am ET
Following Home Depot's lead earlier this month, Home improvement retailer, Lowe's (LOW) lowered its guidance for the remainder of 2023, citing slumping demand from tapped-out consumers.
Lowe's reported EPS of $3.67 in Q1, topping estimates, though revenue dropped more than 5% to $22.35 billion. Notably, same-store sales decreased 4.3% in the first quarter, another sign that inflation is taking a bite out of everybody's lunch money.
With debt ceiling talks on a track to a federal government default sometime around June 1, stocks continue to languish in murky trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 140 points on Monday, while the NASDAQ continued its winning ways, up more than 23% on the year. The S&P was essentially flat, gaining less than one point for the session.
With DC drama unfolding like the cheap suit it is, it's worthwhile to consider the lie about the US never defaulting on its obligations. Truth, insofar as it even matters these days, is that the US defaults on a regular basis, rolling over bonds, notes, and bills, paying interest only, never touching the principal. In effect, the US defaults all the time.
Imagine the shrieks of laughter from a credit card lender upon hearing that you'd prefer to pay only the interest on your bill, all while you rack up more debt. That's exactly what the federal government does all the time, and, if that's not a default, it's pretty darn close.
The debt ceiling debate is a canard of massive size. Raising it is routine, but, whenever there's a party split between congress and the executive branch, Americans get to be entertained by dancing morons on the left and right. Raising the debt limit only allows the government to pay back interest on money its already borrowed (now at over a trillion a year, the largest item on the expansive list of expenditures) and to borrow more to keep the doors open.
It's a total sham, as cutting back on spending and possibly paying back some of the principal are seen in Washington as impossible tasks. Should the government fail to raise the debt limit, bond holders should be the first to be skewered. Nobody on Capitol Hill or its environs will entertain the notion of holding back payments to Social Security recipients or halting welfare payments or food stamps. The outrage would be over the top. Besides, those outlays of spendable cash and equivalents are vital to the GDP and any number of corporate takers.
Considering the cavalier posturing on both sides, there remains a real possibility that some carnage will occur, even as not raising the debt limit would constitute a measure of fiscal responsibility, a thing absent from the political landscape for decades.
Whether the brilliant idiots in federal fantasy land do or don't really doesn't matter. Whatever they do will be of no gain to the forgotten American public.
Meanwhile, gold and silver continue to exhibit weakness, at least on the COMEX and the normal execution of the London "fix." Gold touched down around $1975 overnight, with silver dopping as low as $23.26 per ounce. Price suppression continues as the world drowns in fiat currency debt. A wholesale change is in the forecast concerning the United States and its so-called leadership role in the world.
This time actually does look different.
At the Close, Monday, May 22, 2023:
Sunday, May 21, 2023, 10:40 am ET
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
-- origin uncertain...
Also uncertain are prospects for a resolution to the US debt ceiling dilemma. Republicans walked out of negotiations on Friday, sending stocks reeling, gold soaring, and tensions rising.
While the knee-jerk market reactions were somewhat expected, much of the commentary by sane people was of a kind suggesting that the dealing were just more Washington, DC drama, a worn-out story that most have seen too many times to be influenced by yet another round of worthless chatter, arm-waving and hysterical rhetoric.
It's nearly a certainty that the parties will come to some kind of agreement before the economic applecart is overturned. Just in case this bunch of feckless politicians might be more reckless than anybody imagined, it's not a bad idea to hedge with gold and silver, cash on hand, canned goods, cases of bottled water and plenty of aspirin. They're probably going to find a way out of their self-conceived morass, but, given they - congress and Brandon's White House gang - have entirely bumbled and fumbled every issue for two years running, there's surely no guarantee that they'll figure out a way to keep the money spigots open flowing into the troughs from which they feed.
There should be a resolution, though it may come at a date later than most assume. Last-minute heroics by the mentally-crippled midgets will be loudly proclaimed, accompanied by the usual back-slapping and congratulations for having saved the world (from themselves) again.
Quarterly reports from retailers Target (TGT), WalMart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) allowed some air to escape from the equity balloon this week. Though the separate reports for first quarter earnings were not catastrophic, neither were they encouraging. Worse, future guidance was disheartening, all three pointing to a second half recession and deteriorating conditions for consumers.
It's hardly rocket science. Higher interest rates on all forms of credit - from commercial loans for business to credit cards for consumers - have exacerbated the already untenable conditions brought on via inflation. One caveat is that food and fuel prices have moderated, albeit at higher levels; at least prices aren't increasing at as fast a rate as previously.
With the US economy roughly 70% dependent on consumer spending, April's 0.4% gain in retail sales figures released on Tuesday was another disappointment. Measured against inflation, both the monthly and annualized figures are exposed as lies. Turns out, people are buying less, but spending more. Thanks, Brandon.
The major indices all posted weekly gains, led by the extremely overbought NASDAQ, up an incredulous three percent on the week. By comparison, the S&P gained 1.65%, the NYSE Composite, only 0.51%, and the lagging Dow Industrials, a paltry gain of +0.38%.
Overall, the week's gains were fueled by optimism for a debt ceiling deal, though most of that hopium was dissipated when Republicans walked out on White House non-negotiators, citing their absolute refusal to consider any spending cuts. Brandon, meanwhile, was hobnobbing with the gang of clueless G-7 leaders in Japan. As a group, their plans to blow up the global economic system and maybe the entire planet seem to be right on track, issuing a Sunday morning statement that further alienated Russia and China. Visiting the world "leaders" was Ukraine president Zelenskyy, another slap in the face to the Global South by the ignorant Brilliant Idiots of the West.
The G-7, or, rather, the loose alliance of the British Commonwealth, United States, and European Union, continues to throw around their military and economic might, both of which have been on the wane for years. The last, gasping breaths of empire are clearly evident by their desperate pronouncements on the world stage. It's disheartening.
Good luck getting out of this mess alive. Outside of the shortest duration, one-month bills, which moderated by 17 basis points over the course of the week, the rest of the yield curve elevated significantly. Yield on two-month bills was goosed higher by 40 basis points; yield on the two-year note was up 30 bips, the 10-year up 24, and even the 30-year bond gained 17 basis points.
Spreads remain inverted to the extreme, with 2s-10s 58 basis points upside-down, and the entire curve boasting an inversion of 167 basis points. As economic conditions continue to deteriorate globally, yield-seeking has become an international sport, with buyers demanding more risk-averse pricing.
While this is a relief for savers and wealth managers after decades of ultra-low returns, rates are still insufficient in terms of inflation protection, which is still running at an annual rate of five to six percent. Either inflation has to moderate or rates increase further still. Nothing else will do. At the end of the day, the Fed has, for once, stuck to its guns and delivered as promised. Should they continue to do so, savers will be rewarded handsomely and the profligate spenders punished accordingly.
WTI Crude ended the week modestly higher at $71.90, rising from last week's $70.09. Demand destruction is helping keep a lid on prices along with inventory builds.
The week ended with the national average for a gallon of gas at the pump absolutely unmoved, at $3.53, according to gasbuddy.com.
Prices remain lowest in the Southeast with Mississippi the only state averaging under $3.00, at $2.94. From South Carolina west to Kansas, southern states are all trending in the low $3 range. Texas and Louisiana have dropped to $3.04/gallon.
California still tops the list with a price of $4.78. High prices continue to dominate the West. Washington ($4.57) and Arizona ($4.65) are the two closest to the Golden State. Utah ($4.09) has joined Oregon ($4.15) and Nevada ($4.22) in the $4+ club, making six in the mix. The Northeast/Midwest continues to range between $3.30 (Virginia) and $3.92 (Illinois).
This week: $26,889.90
No comment. Exasperating for vapor lovers.
Silver:Gold Ratio: 83.20; last week: 83.50
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 04/21: $1,994.10
Silver price 03/17: $25.16
Precious metals have been assaulted, price-wise, the past two weeks, though the decline has had little influence over buying trends. Both metals were beaten down mercilessly until Friday's re-acceleration on the heels of the "no-deal" debt ceiling talks.
Whatever the outcome from politics or war, gold and silver will still be money and there's nothing anybody can do about that other than bad-mouth and suppress against fiat currencies. Some pullback was to be expected, but higher prices are almost a certainty, given the absurd lack of gamesmanship by the US, COMEX, BIS, etc., and growing influence of Asian and African nations, led by the BRICS.
Buyers of precious metals can rest easy, even if prices should dip even lower. The metals are still metal, and the metal is money, plain and simple. Gold and silver continue to be the very best hedge against anything the lunatics can dream up.
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 lower, finishing this week at $38.47, a decline of $1.67 from the May 14 level of $40.14.
There were some winners this week, though few, and more losing and failing is clearly needed to clear out the excesses of the past 20 years of low interest rates and risk-free, easy money. Losing and failing will be more prominent features of the economic landscape in months ahead because the Fed isn't about to pivot, politicians continue to promote horrible policies, and corporate margins are being squeezed, first by inflation, soon by disinflation and a dose of deflation, and widespread consumer thriftiness.
People who work for a living are going to figure out ways to either escape the system or cope with it through various means. Nobody and no nation can continue on a path such as the US has embarked, depriving the bulk of the population of rights and living standards. Policies pursued mostly over the past two years will be reversed, by choice of by force.
Within short order, failing and losing will be all the rage on Wall Street and in the nation's capitol.
At the Close, Friday, May 19, 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.