Saturday, September 2, 2017

Was September 1st a Market Reality Check? Gold Hits One-Year High

On Friday, after it was announced that August non-farm payrolls had increased by a less-than-expected 156,000, stock futures ramped higher heading into the opening bell on Wall Street.

Stocks did indeed gain, on the twisted hope that a soft labor market would chill Fed ambitions to raise interest rates and/or begin to wind down their massive, $4 trillion balance sheet when the FOMC meets September 12 and 13.

Those were the thoughts of traders in the morning, but, when the NASDAQ fell briefly into the red mid-morning, sentiment seemed to take on a more sober tone, as the reality of a stuttering recovery over the past eight years - fueled primarily by massive infusions of freshly-created cash by central banks and historically-low interest rates - might actually be - rather than good news - bad news.

All of the major indices finished with gains, but they were hardly of the kind that one could take comfort in as the long Labor Day weekend commenced.

Rather, the afternoon session was mild, largely belonging to fixed assets, as precious metals traded briskly. Gold went into the weekend trading at a one-year high, $1320.40 the ounce, silver, while it didn't make any historic high marks, gains 16 cents, ending at $17.50, a mid-point range advantageous to speculation on both sides of the trade.

The 10-year note firmed up at a 2.15% yield and crude oil, in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, regained its footing, trading higher in the afternoon to $47.35 per barrel.

Was this a wake-up call for equity traders and general market participants?

Doubtful. But, it is somewhat instructive to take into account that the second-longest bull market in history has been built on promises, fallacies, distortions, and the conjuring of more than $14 trillion worldwide.

Bull markets all end. And this one, 101 months old, is more likely to end sooner than later.

At the Close, 9/1/17:
Dow: 21,987.56, +39.46 (+0.18%)
NASDAQ: 6,435.33, +6.67 (+0.10%)
S&P 500: 2,476.55, +4.90 (+0.20%)
NYSE Composite: 11,918.08, +42.39 (+0.36%)

For the Week:
Dow: +173.89 (+0.80%)
NASDAQ: +169.69 (+2.71%)
S&P 500: +35.50 (+1.37%)
NYSE Composite: +106.05 (+0.90%)

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