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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, July 28, 2023, 9:10 am ET
Editor's Note: Erratum: the Dow Jones Industrial Average did NOT tie the record for longest daily advances on Wednesday, as reported here. Money Daily mistakenly took the 13-day advance in 1984 to be the record, when, in fact, the record was - and still is - 14, set in 1897, a little more than a year after the index had been established.
I could have taken the weasel way out and claimed that the streak of 13 was the "modern" record, like some people do with baseball statistics, but that's not how I roll. In any case, the Dow fell just short of the all-time record, tying the 1987 mark at 13, so today's investors will just have to settle for this being the second-best Dow ever. BTW: back in 1897, the Dow Jones Industrial Average consisted of just 12 stocks. --FR
Thursday, just after 1:00 pm ET, stocks began to slide on US markets, the proximate cause being the Bank of Japan issued a policy directive that unnerved investors globally. In essence, the BOJ opined that their 0.5% ceiling on the 10-year JGB yield movements was now a "reference" and "not a rigid limit," suggesting that the new upper range was 1.0%. The rather provocative message concerning the finance industry's favorite "carry trade" vehicle, though not quite an earthquake, was a less-then-subtle reminder to the world that Japan's yield curve control (YCC) experiment cannot survive indefinitely.
Central banks and governments adhering to the fiat currency standard (all of them) just got another taste of reality, by extension, understanding that the fiat regime of unbacked, floating currencies since 1971 is nearing its dreadful conclusion. Japan, after 40 years of disinflation, now, like the rest of the developed world, has an inflation problem. For them, it's a two percent issue, but that's huge, considering that if the BOJ takes the same steps as the Federal Reserve has to control inflation (actually, currency debasement), interest rates would explode higher, destroying their banking sector in much the same manner as was seen in March of this year when three regional banks collapsed under the strain of deposit flight and upside-down reserves.
In simple terms, the US bank failures caused Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Silvergate Bank to sell bonds that were yielding one or two percent at best, into an environment wherein yields were substantially higher, effectively selling well below par, endangering their liquidity position. The end result was obvious to all, liquidation. The banks were unable to pay off depositors beacuse their investments had gone sour.
In May, First Republic Bank was taken over by JP Morgan, rescuing another failed financial institution. More are on the way. In fact, another bank just went bust, so to speak. Pacific Western Bank (PacWest Bancorp, PACW) and Banc of California (BANC) just merged on Tuesday. PacWest was in dire straits as shares of the company had fallen from around $50 in January to as low as $7.69 recently. Following the merger announcement, PACW closed at $9.26 yesterday.
Money in banks is simply not safe these days. More than just the elite billionaires and multi-millionaires have been pulling funds from banking accounts in recent days. As the era of unbacked currencies comes crashing to a cataclysmic conclusion, what is currently considered to be "money" is under attack by inflation, taxation, and competition. These are unusual times, central banks are scrambling for solutions, knowing all along there are few good choices, if any.
The Fed, ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Swiss National Bank and all the central banks of developed countries are faced with the unsavory choice of saving their underlying economies or saving their currencies. Most are trying to thread the needle and save both, which is unlikely to occur. At best, both Western economies and their currencies will be scorched, toasted, and eventually burnt to a crisp. There's really no way out other than the re-establishment of currencies backed by tangible assets, the most likely candidate being gold.
This story does have an end, but it's not today. The value of fiat currencies have been gradually eroded since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, then further during the Great Depression, later with Bretton Woods in 1944, and in 1971, when Nixon took the world off the already-weakened gold standard.
The pace of debasement has been accelerating, manifested in higher prices for everything, most notoriously, essentials, such as food and energy, the so-called exceptions from "core inflation." Everything is more expensive and the work the Fed has done thus far is only the beginning. With the most recent CPI at three percent, there's some easier breathing at present, but it's not going to last. Inflation will re-ignite, just as it did in the seventies, and that will cause the Fed to hike rates even higher.
This doesn't end well. The current condition is neatly summarized by a passage from Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, "The Sun Also Rises."
"How did you go bankrupt?"
Thursday's announcement by the Bank of Japan signaled that the world's financial condition has proceeded from "gradually" to "suddenly."
At the Close, Thursday, July 27, 2023:
Thursday, July 27, 2023, 8:35 am ET
As widely expected, the Fed's FOMC raised the federal funds target rate to a range of 5.25-5.50%, the eleventh increase in sixteen months, taking the benchmark to its highest level since December of 2001.
On the heels of the Fed's announcement, stocks wavered, with the NASDAQ and S&P ending in the red, while the NYSE and Dow gained, the blue chip index tying the record of 13 for the longest consecutive daily gains set back in 1987. On Thursday, the Dow will attempt to set a new record at 14.
Was there ever any doubt? Here's a not-so-bold prediction: The Dow will break the record today, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Not a doubt, because, as we all know, the US economy and the 30 stocks on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are so AWESOME, like Barbie, or Spider-Man, or Ukraine.
Here's another, even bolder prediction: A year from now, EU, UK, US support for Ukraine will be nil. Russia will have won and taken territory, though the official word in the US, UK, and EU will be something along the lines that the Russians were desperate to get to the negotiating table and the Western powers offered a way out. Take that any way you like, but reality says it's almost nearly a fait accompli. The attempt by the West to attack and destroy Russia has clearly failed.
The grain deal - of which the West, with Ukraine, failed to honor the guarantees made to Russia - has failed. NATO is a failure of leadership. The EU is disintegrating, US and UK not far behind. Russia, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa are rising.
From August 22-24, the five main BRICS countries and the more than 50 wishing to align with them will unveil some form of international payment system. Rumors abound that it will be gold-backed, though James Rickards, who knows a bit about currency, money and gold, believes that whatever the BRICS put forward it only needs to be anchored or pegged to gold to effectively compete and do damage to the dollar, the euro and other fiat currencies.
See the interview with Greg Hunter's USA Watchdog on Rumble.
Almost unnoticed, countries from the EU and Latin America met last week in Brussels, ostensibly to bolster trade and renew alliances, though the event was overshadowed by most Latin American countries refusing to support the Ukraine war and Western sanctions and thus, under-reported by Western media. Most Americans, in fact, didn't even know the meeting took place.
Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve rolled out it's instant payments FedNOW service on Tuesday. ITM Trading's Lynette Zang, a national treasure, has been paying attention:
Fast forwarding to the latest news, Meta (META), reporting after the close Wednesday, blew away earnings estimates, reporting earnings per share of $2.98. Shares are up between eight and 10 percent in pre-market trading.
For the quarter ended June 2023, eBay (EBAY) reported revenue of $2.54 billion, up 4.9% over the same period last year. EPS came in at $1.03, compared to $0.99 in the year-ago quarter, but the stock is selling off prior to market open, down five to six percent.
Chipolte Mexican Grill (CMG) reported second quarter adjusted earnings per share coming in at $12.32, ahead of estimates, but the stock is falling, down more than eight percent.
Others reporting included General Dynamics (GD), which beat top and bottom line. Dow component, McDonald's (MCD), trounced estimates and is about two percent higher pre-market. Mattel (MAT) reported a surprise profit for the second quarter. Despite that and their huge success with the recently-released Barbie movie, shares are trending lower, though only marginally, between one and two percent.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) reported record revenues, but profits were trimmed by soaring labor costs, sending shares lower by five percent pre-market.
An hour prior to the opening bell, stocks appear poised to resume rally mode, the Fed's rate action barely registering amid the flurry of earnings reports.
At 8:25 am ET, Dow futures were up 91 points, NASDAQ futures up 213, S&P futures ahead by 31. WTI crude oil ($79.67), gold ($1,976) and silver ($25.26) are also indicated higher.
At the Close, Wednesday, July 26, 2023:
Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 9:24 am ET
Upon completion of its 12th consecutive day on the upside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average looks to tie the record for winning streaks at 13 on the day the Fed's FOMC is expected to announce another 25 basis point advance to the target federal funds interest rate.
Having faded close to the unchanged line on Friday and again on Tuesday with gains of just two, and 26 points, respectively, the rally that advanced the blue chip index more than 1700 points appears a little sluggish, though a record-setting earnings report from Microsoft (MSFT), in which the tech giant posted $56.2 billion in sales and $2.69 in eps for the three-month period ending June 30, should give the index another boost.
Other Dow components reporting included Visa (V), Coca-Cola (KO), AT&T (T), and Boeing (BA). After Tuesday's closing bell, Visa reported a profit of $4.2 billion, or $2.00 per share, in its fiscal third quarter compared yo $3.4 billion, and $1.60 a share, in the same period a year ago.
Early Wednesday, Coca-Cola beat estimates and raised full-year guidance, citing robust demand and higher prices for its lines of drinks and snacks. Shares were trending up about two percent in the pre-market.
AT&T (T) posted adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, down three percent from a year ago, but btter than most analyst's projections. Revenues rose less than one percent from last year to $29.92 billion, which were short of forecasts. Shares were between one and two percent higher in the pre-market.
Boeing's second quarter revenue jumped 18% from a year ago to $19.75 billion, but the company still reported a net loss of $149 million, or 25 cents per share. Investors didn't seem to mind, sending shares up about three percent prior to the opening bell.
Even with the positive earnings news, equity futures were trending lower across the board with the Dow lower by 97 points, NASDAQ futures down 51 points and S&P futures off 11.
Attitudes may be adjusting to the idea that stocks are well above where they should be according to bearish analysts. Also, front of mind this morning is the Fed announcement of another 25 basis point hike at 2:00 pm ET, which may cast a long shadow on at-risk equity investments, especially when yields of five percent or higher can be achieved through various fixed-income instruments including treasuries, high yield, investment grade corporates, and even short-term CDs, money markets or bank deposits.
Will the Dow rally flame out in face of the Fed's brave new world of nearly risk-free offerings or will number 13 turn out to be lucky for blue chips? It's apparent that markets will provide an answer after the open and especially in the two hours post the FOMC announcement.
The Dow looks to tie the 13-session streak which ended on January 14, 1987 with a gain of 7.33%.
At the Close, Tuesday, July 25, 2023:
The Communist Party held its midyear Politburo meeting on Monday and vowed to strengthen countercyclical efforts amid global headwinds. The statement omitted the "housing is for living in, not for speculation" mantra, mentioned streamlining of property policies, and called for measures to defuse risk in local government debt.
In the US, earnings were the story of the morning, with Verizon, GE, 3M, Raytheon, Spotify, General Motors, and a spate of others posted second quarter results.
Verizon (VZ) missed on revenue estimates, but delivered increased profit as wireless subscribers grew. General Electric (GE) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 68 cents a share on sales of $15.9 billion, topping than Wall Street estimates. Shares were trending four percent higher in pre-market activity.
General Motors GM +1.95% (GM) managed to earn $1.91 a share on an adjusted basis in the second quarter, bettering estimates. Revenue of $44.8 billion also beat forecasts of $42.1 billion. Shares were up nearly two percent.
Shares of Dow component, 3M (MMM), rose between two and three percent after the company posted solid profits for the second quarter and raised its full-year outlook.
Spotify Technology (SPOT) spoiled the party, getting hammered by six to seven percent in premarket trading as revenue fell short of expectations. Subscriber growth in the second quarter exceeded forecasts, but top-and-bottom line misses sent shares South.
The audio entertainment service lost the equivalent of $1.70 a share on sales of $3.46 billion in the June quarter. Spotify reports financial results in euros. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted Spotify would lose 70 cents a share on sales of $3.57 billion.
The company lost $34 million in 2022, but has already posted losses of $430 million in just the first half of 2023. Investors haven't exactly panicked yet, but the share price has fallen from a high of 365 in February, 2021, to 163.72 as of Monday's close and looks to open around 152 on Tuesday. A low of 71.02 was put in last November (2022).
Overall, earnings for mainline companies are coming in as expected or better, fueling rallies in all of the major indices, but especially on the Dow, which posted its 11th straight winning session on Monday, two shy of the all-time record of 13. An hour before the opening bell, on the heels of China's dovish out look for its housing sector and solid earnings by 3M and Verizon, Tuesday appears to be a slam-dunk for a 12th consecutive day of gains for the blue chips even though Dow futures are only up single digits.
Looking forward to data drops, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index is due out at 9:00 am ET. At 10:00 am ET the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence gauge and Richmond Fed's Services Index will be released.
After the close, all eyes will turn to tech earnings, with Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG) reporting second quarter results. Texas Instruments (TI) and Visa (V) also report after the closing bell.
Oil and Gold are flat, while silver is ahead by $0.25, after being beaten down on Monday.
Europe is struggling to make gains with most of the major bourses hugging the flat line.
At the Close, Monday, July 24, 2023:
Sunday, July 23, 2023, 1:15 pm ET
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its 10th straight winning session on Friday, but by the narrowest of margins, 2.51 points. The run has been remarkable, rising from a closing price of 33,734.88 on July 7, to Friday's finish at 35,227.69, an increase of 1,492.81 points, or gain of 4.24%, a pretty fair return for two weeks.
Over the weekend, the NASDAQ 100 will be rebalanced, lowering the emphasis on the "Magnificent Seven," consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla, and Meta. It's likely to iron out some of the extremes, mostly to the chagrin of long options players.
On Wednesday, the Fed is expected to hike the federal funds target rate to 5.25-5.50%, after pausing in June. The rate would be the highest in 22 years. If the Dow is to equal the longest winning streak in its hallowed history, 13, it would have to do so on the same day as the Fed announcement, and, to better it, break higher the following day, a questionable situation. The 13-session streak ended on January 14, 1987 with a gain of 7.33%.
Earnings made headlines over the past week, but the next two will see the bulk of the Dow, NASDAQ 100, and S&P 500 report. The coming week will feature earnings from many of the tech behemoths, including Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOG), Meta (META), and eBay (EBAY).
Nearly a third of S&P 500 companies will report in the week ending July 28.
Here's the rundown:
Monday: Whirlpool (WHR), Domino's (DPZ), Cleveland Cliff's (CLF)
Tuesday: Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOG), Spotify (SPOT), 3M (MMM), Raytheon (RTY), Texas Instruments (TXN), Verizon (VZ), Visa (V), General Electric (GE), General Motors (GM).
Wednesday: Meta Platforms (META), Boeing (BA), Coca-Cola (KO), AT&T (T), Union Pacific (UNP), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), General Dynamics (GD), eBay (EBAY), Mattel (MAT).
Thursday: Royal Carribean (RCL), Ford (F), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Mastercard (MA), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), McDonald's (MCD), Comcast (CMCSA), Intel (INTC), T-Mobile (TMUS). Valero (VLO), Honeywell (HON).
Friday: Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Chevron (CVX), Exxon Mobil (XOM), AstraZeneca (AZN), Charter Communications (CHTR).
Thus far, earnings have proven to be mostly in line with expectations, with the usual share of surprises to the upside and a few outright swings-and-misses. Stocks have been getting strong boosts in share price on beats. NASDAQ tech stocks have been under some pressure, partly due to results, but also to the special rebalancing, and forward guidance. Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) serve as cases in point on the guidance front. Investor sentiment will be further revealed when Meta, Microsoft, and Alphabet report this week. Amazon and Apple come up the first week of August (8/3). Nvidia (NVDA), the Big Kahuna of AI chips, reports August 23.
Not much movement to speak of this week, the biggest upside was in the 3-year note (+9 basis points) 2-year note (+8). The slower pace is likely due to the Fed's expected rate hike on Wednesday, after which there could be some notable activity.
Spread on the 2s-10s was -98 basis points, on the entire curve (1-month out to 30 year), -152 basis points. Both remain headed in the wrong direction. Last week saw 2s-10s at -91, 1mo-30yr at -144.
Looks like Jay Powell and the FOMC Members (not a doo-wop group) are insisting on higher for longer and getting it. Implications to the general economy are frightening, and that's putting it lightly.
$76.83 was the closing price Friday in New York for WTI crude, up from $75.20 the prior Friday, but lower than the peak at $77.25 made just before 3:00 pm ET on Friday, which could indicate some profit-taking.
As summer has progressed, the price of crude has been rising at a fairly steady pace. It remains to be seen whether the recent higher levels can be maintained. There are significant forces - mostly inflation-related - that may put a lid on crude very shortly. As geo-political tensions increase and the East-West rift becomes more pronounced, crude's price could also just as easily rocket higher. The coming six to eight weeks appear to be crucial.
The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas was up just about a penny this week, to $3.56/gallon, basically flat.
The Southeast retains the cheapest prices, but, for the first time in nine weeks, Mississippi surged past the $3.00 mark, checking in at $3.04, still the lowest in the nation.Tennessee is next-lowest at $3.17, a 10-cent bump higher from last week, followed by Louisiana ($3.18), Alabama ($3.18), and Arkansas ($3.19). Everywhere else across America is $3.20 or higher, some places significantly so.
Washington ($4.90) keeps the top spot in the country, with California next at $4.86 this week. Oregon ($4.57) and Nevada ($4.18) complete the the $4+ club, though Utah ($4.94), up 14 cents this week, threatens to re-join..
Prices in Illinois remain elevated at $3.82, the highest in the Northeast/Midwest region. The remainder range between Ohio ($3.25) and Pennsylvania ($3.70), which took over the top spot in the region from New York ($3.66) this week.
This week: $29,904.10
A little downside this week in vapor-land.
Silver:Gold Ratio: 79.25; last week: 77.87
Per COMEX continuous contracts:
Gold price 06/23: $1,930.30
Silver price 06/23: $22.45
Both gold and silver were significantly higher mid-week compared to the closing Friday prices. Gold was as high as $1,988.90, while silver peaked at $25.45 early Thursday morning. Meddling by the LBMA and COMEX were the usual suspects blamed for the trend lower late in the week.
Overall, the prices of gold and silver have maintained good posture over the past two weeks after bottoming out late June and early July. Supplies may be tightening up. August is usually a solid month for metals, so active traders may be ramping up, or already have done so, purchases in anticipation, especially with the BRICS summit August 22-24.
News and rumor surrounding the summit have left everybody wondering about the launch of a trading currency backed by gold. There have been countless breathless accounts of how this will change the world, but actual participants of the summit, particularly the Indian and South African finance ministers, have downplayed the event, going so far as to say that a gold-backed currency is definitely NOT on the agenda.
While their remarks may be a deflection toward the West with blind-siding the intent, the possibility that they're telling the truth is equally plausible. It's a toss-up at this point, but, whether the BRICS launch a trading currency or not, the West's prospects continue to be diminished.
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) declined over the course of the week, to $37.48, a decrease of $1.03 from the July 16 price of $38.51 per troy ounce.
If you owned Dow stocks, the past two weeks have been simply heaven. Complacency may be friendly to passive investors, as the narrative of a strong, united America would likely feature stocks regaining all-time highs. As they stand today, the major indices have crept closer to the prize. The Dow (35,227.69) is only 4.3% from its record close of January 4, 2022 (36,799.65). Another two weeks of seamless gains like the prior two would just about do the trick.
The S&P (4,536.34) is 5.4% away from the record close on January 3, 2022 (4,796.56), but the NASDAQ (14,032.81) is still quite a way off, 12.61% away from its own all-time high closing price of November 21, 2021 (16,057.44), the one and only time the NASDAQ closed above 16,000. Tech stocks would have to really bubble over to retake that lofty level.
There are two ways to see this, and much of it depends on one's own world view and how much of that is shaped by mainstream or alternative media. Fans of network TV will cheer on the rallies and believe that Russia is losing to Ukraine and may be on the verge of somehow scoring an own-goal.
Those capable of critical thinking face a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they might believe the mostly honest alt-narrative and data that sees Western economies in a world of trouble and begin taking profits, which are plentiful at this juncture. On the other hand, they can believe what they see and hold, thinking that markets are irrevocably broken and rigged and stocks will continue to fly higher in advance of Joe Biden's second term.
We do indeed live in "interesting times." Everything is at risk.
At the Close, Friday, July 14, 2023:
For the week:
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