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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, June 9, 2023, 7:54 am ET
According to the most unreliable government sources, the Eurozone entered a recession in the fourth quarter of 2022, as GDP fell by 0.1% in that quarter and again in the first quarter of 2023.
GDP, as a standard measure of a nation's health, is a poor guide. It includes plenty of non-productive elements such as government expenditures, which make up large portions of what developed nations consider "productive economy."
The European economy hasn't been very productive - outside of Germany and possibly France - since 2008 and the economies of most of the Eurozone countries have been hard hit by inflation, unemployment, and the backfire of sanctions against Russia and money sent to Ukraine in a losing battle.
Two consecutive quarters of contracting GDP is now spoken of as a "technical" recession, since the mainstream media colluded with the US government to change the definition in 2022, when the first and second quarters showed contraction in the US.
Definitions are useful only to those of give a damn about perception and control, i.e., the US government, the EU technocrats, British political hacks and BBC commentators. The rest of the world is watching as Western economies implode in spectacular fashion. Taking the media pablum with a spoon of sugar has half of the population thinking everything is just fine and 6% inflation, an inverted yield curve, and the average credit card interest rate approaching 20% are signs of a growing economy.
Europe will remain in a recession or descend straight into an outright depression as long as the situation in Ukraine remains unresolved. The same is true for the United States and the UK. Strip out government spending and these countries are left as dying husks, overburdened by debt, the general population firmly under the thumb of excessive taxation and repressive regulation.
Being that there is no good way out of the mess the elite rulers of Western nations have created, their solution consists of continuing to despoil the land, the air, the people, the morals, the rule of law, and all decency.
The condition of Western nations has gotten well past the point of rational explanation, descending rapidly into insolvency, which was why it was so important for the Washington, DC junta to suspend the debt ceiling recently. The government needs money to operate, to spread the grift around to the members in congress and high-ranking officials in the administration, to pay off campaign donors with kickbacks, pet projects, and the usual earmarks included in all legislation. Without the ability to spend money that isn't theirs, isn't raised through honest taxation, and is wholly unconstitutional, the government rides the coattails of the Federal Reserve in the counterfeiting racket that has served the country well enough since the creation of the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax in 1913.
Since those two legislative achievements became law the value of the US dollar has fallen by roughly 98% and has accelerated recently due to inflation (excessive money supply). While the Fed makes headlines every month or so by raising interest rates, tightening the screws on the economy and making all variable-rate loans and credit a little more expensive to service, they are simultaneously slashing the money supply, the two measures combining to create an economic landscape of tight money and severely crimped lending which will eventually lead to a liquidity crisis and severe recession.
Put another way, how do you like $7 boxes of cereal, boarded up businesses, and no job?
There is no good way out of this, especially with the BRICS and SCO increasingly abandoning the US dollar and the Euro, intent upon establishing their own reserve currency, likely to be backed by precious metals and/or other commodities.
Entering Friday, the Dow is ahead by just 70 points for the week through Thursday's close; NASDAQ is down two points; the S&P is up 11, and the NYSE Composite is trouncing them all, up 157 points, just over one percent. This appears to be rotation out of large caps into small caps, and the beginning of what could - and should - result in a correction from the obscene gains made since October of last year.
The bear market which began in earnest in January, 2022, persists. The major indices continue to test resistance and fail at key levels. The Dow and S&P have basically flat-lined since mid-November, trading in relatively tight ranges, though the S&P has recently risen beyond rational levels, mimicking the tech-heavy NASDAQ. There exists significant economic data to suggest a correction is due near term.
On Thursday, silver made a strong move higher, gaining nearly a dollar, as it bounced off recent lows. The price of an ounce is trending around $24.40, and may extend further, encouraging more buying in a tight market. It's too early to call it a trend, and nobody should get excited over a silver rally until the price exceeds $26/oz.
As another - somewhat uneventful, except for the smoke - week draws to a close, the government is a shambles, the rule of law shredded, your rights meticulously stripped away, the West a fading empire.
At the Close, Thursday, June 8, 2023:
Thursday, June 8, 2023, 9:16 am ET
Rather than relying on an industrial market and companies that produce tangible products that governments, businesses, and people buy and use, the Wall Street of the past 20-some years has hung its hat on technology and fanciful - and often farcical - innovation.
In the early 2000s, the internet was still evolving. Companies were recovering from the NASDAQ collapse of 2000-01 which famously wiped out hundreds of start-ups and supposed "game-changers" like pets.com, eToys, Webvan, AltaVista, and a host of others. The world waved goodbye to Web 1.0 and proceeded directly to the over-hyped real estate market and sub-prime scandal that ended in tears in 2008 when dense, tiered, sliced-and-diced mortgage portfolios turned out to be piles of bad loans made by unscrupulous lenders to unqualified buyers, packaged and re-sold by Wall Street's best and brightest scam artists.
Barely escaping total collapse of the financial system, the world has been kept spinning the past 15 years alternately by dodgy IPOs, tech "unicorns" of questionable value, meme stocks, blockchain and crypto-related ventures, and now, Artificial Intelligence, or, as the cool kids say, "AI".
Hailed as the latest and greatest improvement to the human condition, AI promises everything from replacing burger-flipping Gen-Z dropouts to building a better mousetrap (something that hasn't happened since 1894). For all the promise of AI, nothing new has come to pass in the few months since it was hailed as either the salvation or ultimate destroyer of humanity.
That's probably because AI is just another in a long series of snake-oil hype developments that end up being almost completely false, like most of the news from the mainstream media. Remember how the "old economy" was giving way to the "new economy?" Didn't think so. Back before the NASDAQ crashed in 2000, the mantra was "eyeballs" and website "stickiness." That was back when website was still two words, the eventual combination a reminder that we were all hipper, cooler, and smarter, now that Steve Jobs had everybody carrying around hand-held cell phones. Actually, Jobs' introduction of the iPhone in 2007 was one of the few actual tech innovations that made sense and that people actually used. It appears to be the crowning technological achievement of the early 21st century.
Comparing modern cell phones and the limited success of blockchain isn't even close to a fiar fight. Besides cell phones being physical products that require all manner of sourcing, intelligence, and parts, blockchain can be accessed by anyone with a computer and put to use. We were all supposed to be using smart contracts, transacting in virtual currencies and making money off NFTs by now, but none of that has happened because blockchain turned out to be another of Wall Street's highly-touted duds.
AI will be the same. Since the big move by Nvidia (NVDA) in late May, which saw the stock jump roughly 25%, from around 300 to over 400, it's languished, closing Wednesday at 374.75.
Judging by just one company's results could be a mistake. But, so many analysts and pundits hung their hats on Nvidia's "revolutionary" technology, watching the stock linger below the recent highs must give one pause to consider that maybe AI could be the shortest-lived hype mechanism in the history of investing.
AI is probably "new Coke" without the can.
With the NASDAQ already having scored gains of over 25 percent this year, maybe it's time to take a step back, peer into the AI future and realize that burgers will still need to be produced by humans and machines, the meat of cattle ground up, pressed into patties, slid onto a grill and flipped at least once. AI isn't going to change any of that. Nor is it going bring forth robots which become sentient and take over the world from unsuspecting humans.
AI is 95% hype, as are the gains of the past... um, 25 years?
Anybody with an ounce of common sense would be looking for a not-insignificant pullback in the tech space. Put that in your Webvan and smoke it.
At the Close, Wednesday, June 7, 2023:
Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 9:03 am ET
There's really no news worthy of any movement in stocks, except that they just keep going up, no matter what happens, what data (mostly bad) is released, how badly Ukraine is losing their struggle with Russia, even going so far as to blow up their own dam and flood their own towns (soon to be Russia's).
America and the rest of the Western alliance can continue down this idiotic path of self-destruction for a long time, but, in the end, the narrative falls on deaf ears and the reality of a failing empire emerges.
So, take a side. There are many from which to choose. You can be pro-Russia, anti-American, pro-Deep State, a Democrat, a RINO, a MAGA supporter, a normie, a silver surfer, gold bug, Nazi sympathizer, communist, BLM friend, Chinese influencer, Tik-Toc video star, humble gardener, gun-grabber, homeschooler, etc. The choices are endless and you don't need pronouns.
What is not... endless, is the money supply and the extent to which the administration and mainstream media hides facts from the public.
In the meantime, your "markets" are shams, trading in stocks is mostly done by computers, the AI hype is already well overblown (take a look at NVDA. After its initial burst from $300 to over $400, it's been lower, closing yesterday at $386. But, Goldman Sachs says the S&P is undervalued because of AI. LOLOLOLOL. Remember, Goldman also predicted $150 oil and said crypto market would boom. Basically, when they say buy, sell, and vice versa. They're crooks.
The SEC has sued both Binance and Coinbase, the two biggest crypto exchanges in the world. Since the government can't beat it, they've resorted to just trying to regulate bitcoin out of existence. That's still not a good enough reason to buy what basically amounts to vapor, even though bitcoin has some appeal. All other alt-coins, tokens, and so forth are pure fantasy junk.
There is a ton of bunk, noise, distraction, fraud, corruption, liars, and misinformation. Try your best to sift through it and determine what is real and what is not.
Easiest trade from now until January 1, 2025: converting Federal Reserve Notes into physical gold and silver.
At the Close, Tuesday, June 6, 2023:
Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 9:13 am ET
As the time-worn adage, "nobody rings a bell at the top," instructs, Wall Street rarely makes obvious market-turning events.
On Monday, however, our boy, Apple CEO Tim Cook, may have done just that when he unveiled the company's latest whiz-bang gizmo, the pricey Vision Pro virtual reality headset/computer, dubbed by some as the "Appulus" in deference to Meta's failed Oculus Quest line of VR headgear.
Unveiled at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is hailing the device as the "most advanced personal electronics device ever," and, while that may in fact be the case, the complexity of the unit and it's $3,499 price tag isn't exactly making the usual Apple fanbois delirious over its coming out, which is supposedly some time in 2024.
Apple stock reached an all-time high on Monday, just as the keynote of the conference was taking place. Upon the unveiling of Cook's new toy, the stock began to nose-dive from its high of 184.95 (around 1:15 pm ET) all the way down to 179.58 at the close of trading.
[insert sarcastic rim-shot HERE]
Cook might as well had just announced the death of the company he's steered since the death of Steve Jobs in October, 2011. Cook's had nearly a dozen years of tugging on the late founder's pursestrings, but among his failures, the one glaring thing he hasn't done is introduce a game-changing product on the level of Jobs's Apple computer, the Mac or the iPhone. Jobs was an inventor, a visionary. Cook is a manager, a placeholder not nearly on the level of Jobs or even the faker and plagiarizer, Bill Gates.
The $3,499 price tag on this device alone renders it a niche product rather than a ground-breaking new development in the tech space. Let's face it, people just aren't going to want to walk around wearing a pair of goggle streaming funky videos and AI suggestions full-time... or even part-time. The mask mania of 2020 taught us at least that. With the product not due for release until next year, Cook and his team were really reaching for the stars, attempting to kick-start another stock surge when tech stocks are already wildly overvalued.
Incidentally, with the rollout at least seven months down the road, there are sure to be setbacks and testing glitches. Maybe when the first few beta testers complain of headaches, vision failure, or electrocution, Apple may tone down the rhetoric and turn off the headset.
This is a product launch the appears doomed from the start, like a Space-X launchpad explosion, a cloud of smoke and fire which might engulf the entire Apple product line. Somewhere, Elon Musk is smiling.
Whatever Cook and the Apple team were trying to accomplish, the reaction from the market indicates failure straight ahead, though it could have been worse. Cook could have launched the headset exclusively at Target in rainbow colors with a Bud Light app available. The Vision Pro flop-ola may have been not just the bell-ringer for Apple, but the stock market as a whole.
Ding, ding, ding, we have... a loser.
At the Close, Monday, June 5, 2023:
Sunday, June 4, 2023, 10:30 am ET
Once the US Senate approved the Fiscal Responsibility Act late on Thursday night (June 1), the stage was set for a massive rally on Wall Street and the market movers certainly didn't disappoint, as Friday's stiff upwind provided the bulk of gains for the week among the major indices. In the case of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Friday's boom was good for all of the week's gains and then some, as the world's most-widely watched index was down 31 points as of Thursday's closing bell.
The shortened four-day trading week left little to the imagination. It was always going to be about the debt ceiling, in spote of the huge May jobs number posted Friday morning. The BLS calculated hat the US grew by 339,000 jobs, despite the unemployment rate rising from 3.4% to 3.7%, which all makes sense using the new clown world approved math.
The bill, signed into law by Brandon the Terrible on Saturday, does not actually raise the federal government debt limit, it suspends it, not by accident, until January 1, 2025, putting the onus on whoever "wins" the 2024 presidential election and which of the favorite parties control congress following the November elections to raise it by whatever amount the congress has overspent between now and then. On January 2, 2025, the debt limit would automatically increase to the level of debt accrued.
While the consensus is that the US debt will rise by roughly $4 trillion, from its current $31.8 trillion to more than $36 trillion, there's no guarantee that it won't jump by even more. Considering the lack of fiscal responsibility shown by congress over the past 40 years, deficits of $2 trillion or more in the current fiscal year and next ought to be a baseline, especially when interest on the debt alone will run well beyond $2 trillion over the same time span.
Runaway spending (and stealing) by congress can only be partially countered by the Fed increasing marginal interest rates. Inflation is likely to come roaring back late summer and into the fall, which will prompt the Fed to hike rates even further. At the upcoming FOMC meeting, June 13-14, voting members are expected to pause the federal funds rate at the current range of 5.00-5.25%, though a 25 basis point hike is not out of the question.
Putting all of the data into perspective, American citizens have been granted roughly another two years to prepare for the promised "Great Reset", otherwise known as the end of civilization. Normalcy bias will provide a good enough shield for what's left of the middle class and upper 10% of the population, leaving roughly 250 million people scrambling for food stamps, disability benefits, social security, tents, improvised lifestyles, and 401k balances.
Lots of luck, folks!
For the second straight week, US equity indices were guided to weekly gains by a strong Friday rally. Prior to the Memorial Day weekend, the Friday gains were attributable to growing optimism that a debt ceiling deal would be reached. This past Friday's soaring rally came on the actual news of the deal done, as the Senate signed on, and passed the legislation on to the White House, where it was signed, officially becoming law. Of course, the entire event was planned well in advance, the DC drama meticulously laid out for the peon population.
The NASDAQ has now posted six consecutive weekly gains. Obviously, the index is overvalued, though various individual stocks may indeed be undervalued, given that five stocks - Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), and Nvidia (NVDA) - account for 96% of this year's gains.
The unbalanced trading in the NASDAQ - which also contributes partially to the S&P and the Dow - is a kind of reckless speculation that has rarely been successful long term. The NASDAQ itself is reaching bubble proportions and there seems to be no stopping it.
With the number of cross-currents at play in markets, a severe correction in tech would be a likely event, though, given the newly-released "free money" in the hands of the US Treasury (the thought of Grandma Yellen handling the nation's finances is a terrifying thought), this particular craze could last months longer. There's even talk of new all-time highs. Yikes!
With the debt ceiling drama out of the way, the yield curve began normailizing, though remaining inverted. As of the prior Friday, May 26, the extent of inversion from one-month yields out to 30 years was a whopping 206 basis points, shrunk down to 140, as of June 2nd, a monumental shift of 66 basis points, most of it at the short end (-74). Yields declined on all maturities save three-month and six month bills, their utility compromised by Treasury's latest unlimited funding potential.
As the yield curve begins to normalize and un-invert, a long, tortuous flattening is the most likely result. 30-year bonds should eventually rise to a 4.25 to 5.00 percent range, though it will take longer for the short-dated bills to yield less than five percent. It will take more than a few months for the Fed to finally clamp down on inflation, pivot and reverse course toward lowering the federal funds rate back to something in a range of two to three percent. At least that's the plan, and it bears watching spreads closely over ensuing months.
Spread on the 2s-10s pair actually worsened, from 74 to 81 basis points, the 10-year note falling 11 basis points while short-term funding (2s, 3s, 5s) remains somewhat stickier.
Total inversion may have peaked as of last week. The FOMC decision on June 14 will go a long way toward indicating the Fed's intent and commitment. Since jobs data given for public consumption (May, +339,000) is probably in the major canard camp, insiders will be betting on worsening financial conditions through the rest of 2023 and into 2024, prompting Fed rate cuts rather than the steady diet of hikes seen the past 14 months.
There's one very good reason for interest rates to decline, that being the rate paid by the federal government on its outstanding debt, all $32+ trillion of it. Currently at a run-rate of over $1 trillion per year, bankrupting the federal government is surely not part of the Fed's plan nor in the best interest (no pun intended) of the keepers of the commodious federal spending-spree budget or lack thereof. Yields on four-month to seven-year maturities must fall in line.
$71.87 was the closing price for WTI Crude in New York on June 2nd. During the week crude traded as low as $67.14, putting in a near-term bottom on May 31. The drop in price comes before the meeting of OPEC+ ministers taking place this weekend.
According to reports from US sources - which may be biased in order to show discord among the OPEC+ nations - African delegates have been reluctant to cut production further at the behest of leading Arab nations. According to the Wall Street Journal (which was, incidentally, denied access, so the veracity of any of their reporting is questionable) there was some squabbling among the ministers, though their lead (rest of story behind paywall) included the phrase "people familiar with the matter," indicating that the story was not first-hand reporatage.
As of this writing, early Sunday morning in the US, the ministers continue to discuss options and iron out details. A statement is expected shortly. UPDATE: 6/4/23, 5:09 PM: Saudi Arabia has agreed to a voluntary production cut of one million barrels per day, beginning July 1. The entire OPEC+ group has decided to reduce overall production targets through 2024 by a further total of 1.4 million barrels per day, though that number is unreliable, as some members, including Russia, were not producing up to agreed-upon quotas. In total, the cumulative cuts amount to spit in a bucket. OPEC+ knows they are facing lagging demand and a potential oil glut. Slowing production will only help keep the price somewhat stable, though furhter declines are possible. The message out of Vienna was one of keeping the market in balance for both producers and consumers. Prices should remain in the $60 to low $70/barrel range in the near to mid-term, and possible even lower.
Gas prices remained somewhat static over the course of the week, the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular dropping just three cents, from $3.55 to $3.52, according to gasbuddy.com.
Prices are lowest in the Southeast. For the second straight week, Mississippi is the only state averaging under $3.00, currently at $2.94. From South Carolina west to Kansas, Southern states are all trending in the low $3 range. Texas and Louisiana both register at $3.05, followed by Arkansas ($3.08) and Alabama ($3.10).
California keeps the top spot, averaging $4.79, same as last week. Prices in the West, particularly coastal states, remain elevated, with Washington ($4.62) and Oregon ($4.23) both higher over the week. Arizona ($4.37), Utah ($4.13), and Nevada ($4.22) make up the rest of the $4+ club, totaling six.
Prices in Illinois dropped nine cents last week ($3.85), remaining the highest in the Northeast/Midwest. Other than Illinois, prices in the region range between Virginia ($3.31) and New York ($3.66).
Overall, gas prices should be coming down, considering the price of crude oil, though it usually takes a couple of weeks for older inventory to be sold off and new, lower-priced fuel to come online. Should demand remain soft, drivers may get an unusual surprise this summer, with lower prices across the country, depending upon the wishes of the oil-producing nations of OPEC+.
This week: $27,203.10
There's really nothing deserving of comment in the world of crypto-faddishness. The entire industry needs to be demolished ASAP. Maybe AI can do it.
Silver:Gold Ratio: 82.91; last week: 83.83
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 05/05: $2,024.90
Silver price 05/05: $25.74
Gold and silver received their usual punishments with the debt ceiling suspension, gold back to its support of last week, silver only slightly better. How far the price suppression will lead the metals lower is fair game for debate. It would appear that silver would head back below $20/ounce within the next three to six months, and gold down to a bottom of $1800.
One caveat for gold, however, is the consistent bids by central banks, in the main from Eurasia, with China, Turkey, and some Mideast nations doing the bulk of the buying. As a central bank Tier 1 asset, the buying spree witnessed in the latter part of 2022 and extending into the first months of 2023 could keep gold from sinking much further. Weeks and months ahead will offer more indications.
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) took a severe downturn, to $37.52, a decline of $2.39 over the past week, from the May 28 level of $39.91.
Silver prices were all over the map, as indicated by the highs and lows in the table above. There remains the makings of a mania in silver. Assuredly, lower prices won't persist for long. A dive below $20 would encourage many true believers to "back up the truck."
Pardon my blunt - and possibly offensive - conclusion to this installment of the Weekend Wrap.
Count FoxNews (with Shannon Bream) as the latest official organ of the deep state. This morning's gab-fest began with 30 minutes (and more later) devoted to analysis of the Republican party event in Iowa this week and the 2024 presidential race in general, focusing on lightweights like Mike Pence, Ron Desantis, and Nikki Haley, none of whom have a snowball's chance in hell to assail the well-established lead of Donald Trump, which is as high as 43 percentage points in some states and is 42 points in Iowa itself (Trump 62, Desantis 20).
There is only one true candidate for the American people. Donald Trump. And that's why Fox and other mainstream media outlets remain completely out of touch, promoting a narrative designed to deny Trump the White House for a second term. The deep state - with ample assistance from the media - already stole the 2020 election from Mr. Trump and they are planning to do it again, by any means necessary.
The media's consistently-twisted false narrative is a leading contributor to the decline of the United States of America. NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, New York Times are all pure propaganda from their morning shows and editorials all the way through to evening and late night "news." Pull the plug on these deviant threats. They are completely out of touch and promote issues that may prove fatal to the nation and its culture.
Hey, FOX, and your mainstream media pals, the 2024 general election is 17 months from now. At this point nobody give AF, so, STFU.
-- Fearless Rick
At the Close, Friday, June 2, 2023:
For the Week:
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