Friday, June 28, 2013

First Half Boffo for Stocks, But Ends on a Stinker

As odd as the recent equity market has been, today's action ranked right up there in bizarro-land.

First, the Chicago PMI was leaked a few minutes early (which has been alleged to have happened at least twice in the past), sending stocks screaming lower. The 51.6 figure was well below estimates of 55.0, sending stocks to their lows of the day just after 10:00 am EDT, the Dow off by some 140 points. An hour later, however, all was forgotten and presumably forgiven, as the Dow briefly peaked above the flat line.

The remainder of the session had the NASDAQ modestly higher, the S&P hugging the unchanged mark and the Dow drifting about in the red.

That was until the very final minutes of the day, when the Russell 2000 rebalancing sent stocks screeching lower once again, all of the indices finishing near their lows, ending the first half of the trading year with a resounding thud.

Even though US stocks have out-performed just about every other asset class on the planet over the first six months of 2013, the last month has been quite the disappointment, June being the only down month of the year for the major averages, and the first down month for the Dow Industrials since November, 2012.

For the week, the Dow gained 110 points, down both Monday and Friday, while up sharply mid-week. The NASDAQ picked up 46 points for the week, while the S&P 500 added 13.85. Each of the indices closed out the month, the second quarter and the first half below their 50-day moving averages.

While gains in equities were easy to come by in the first half of the year, the second half holds many challenges, especially with many funds and big hitters already sitting on impressive gains. Most of the major brokerages have been diddling with second half projections, most of they of the rosy variety.

We shall see as the market opens with a holiday shortened week on July 1.

Gold reversed course from yesterday's manic selloff, while silver added more than 5% on the day, a possible market reversal for the precious metals.

Dow 14,909.60, -114.89 (0.76%)
NASDAQ 3,403.25, +1.38 (0.04%)
S&P 500 1,606.28, -6.92 (0.43%)
NYSE Composite 9,121.62, -21.94 (0.24%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,274,401,750
NYSE Volume 4,899,537,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3342-3116
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 214-53
WTI crude oil: 96.56, -0.49
Gold: 1,231.30, +19.70
Silver: 19.57, +1.037

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stocks Higher for Third Straight Session; Dow Back Above 15,000; Gold Below $1200

After Ben Bernanke scared the entire investing universe last week, his captains - Fed governors from the various districts - have been talking it back, generally saying that the economy isn't strong enough to support even a tapering of QE, which comes as welcome news to the money-hoarders on Wall Street, who like nothing better than access to capital at close to zero percent with which to play about in their rigged lottery.

So much for ever having a balanced, unstructured, free market that isn't completely held hostage to central planning by the Federal Reserve Bank. With this kind of thinking predominant, it doesn't take much in the way of analytical skills or market knowledge to profit in equities, since, it is, as they say, "the only game in town," complete with the promise of higher returns than bonds and - with the Fed keeping the monetary spigot wide open - limited downside risk.

That's it. We're back to the Fed and big banks running the show, letting savers get slaughtered because the market will not be allowed to do what it normally would: take a pause, maybe a 10-15% correction, and wipe out the mal-investments.

All this means is that it will take a total collapse of the global economy (or at least a large share of it) to get markets back into what would have been considered "normal" just a few years ago.

Zero percent interest rates are not normal. Central banks purchasing every kind of asset - in quantity - that isn't tied down is not normal. The past five years since the crash in September-October of 2008 have been an aberration and when economies return to sound fiscal and monetary practices, the collapse will be colossal, sparing nobody.

Be prepared. There's a good reason for gold and silver to be selling off dramatically while equity prices soar. The fed and their cohort central bankers cannot stop the deflationary spiral their own policies have created. Continuing a non-discount of money over time is, in itself, the root of deflation, yet the Fed seems content to put their own feet forward into the abyss.

In a nutshell, the problem lies with their downward pressure on gold, which has been in backwardation for months. Gold is collateral, meaning it is at the root of the monetary system. By artificially pressuring it ever lower, demand increases, though, because of hoarding, supply eventually becomes non-existent, all other currencies become devoid of value, thus creating the Pandora's-box-like situation where the price of gold is near nothing, but none can be purchased for fiat because all faith has been lost in currencies built on sand, leading, quite logically, to barter, the most primitive, yet most reliable, form of trade.

This is precisely where the current policy-driven, over-sensitized, can't-take-a-paper-loss, unbalanced global economy is headed. It could take as little as a month or as long as 20 years for the entire system to unwind, which is the conundrum currently facing the peoples of the planet. When it does, those barren, rice-paddy farmers in Southeast Asia will be better off than paper billionaires with nothing but broken promises, McMansions and zero productive skills, because the farmers, at least, will be able to raise their own food and have something to eat.

An eye for an eye, or, more aptly, a plot of land for an ounce of gold.

Nice message for an upbeat stock market day, huh? Keep buying into the system of lies, greed, avarice and contempt for one's fellow man and see how far that gets you. When the Dow is at 20,000 or 30,000 or higher and gold is only $500 an ounce, Adam Smith's invisible hand will come clapping down on all the broken rules of economics and crush the fiat currencies flat.

Dow 15,024.49, +114.35 (0.77%)
NASDAQ 3,401.86, +25.64 (0.76%)
S&P 500 1,613.20, +9.94 (0.62%)
NYSE Composite 9,143.55, +76.28 (0.84%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,643,086,125
NYSE Volume 3,722,540,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 5311-1227
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 218-60
WTI crude oil: 97.05, +1.55
Gold: 1,198.20, -31.60
Silver: 18.42, -0.162

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stocks Higher Despite Slower Economy

Editor's Note: Due to a scheduling conflict, the normal posting of Money Daily will be delayed until about 8:30-9:00 pm EDT this evening.

Stocks are in the midst of a strong rally Wednesday afternoon, despite a sharp, downward revision to first quarter GDP - to 1.8% - from 2.4% reported a month ago by the Commerce Department.

That bit of discouraging news meant nothing to Wall Street stock pickers, who only see higher prices and speculative gains in the face of the downdraft from the past two weeks.

With the second quarter coming to a close this Friday and a new June employment report out next Friday, this appears to be a case of getting in while the getting is good. Gains may be short-lived, though the "bad news is good" crowd, who thinks that slower economic growth will forestall the slowing of asset purchases by Chairman Ben Bernanke and his merry gang of bond-buyers.

More to follow...

Update: Turned out to by a typical low-volume ramp with a huge gap at the open. Whether the fraudsters-in-chiefs can manufacture another 90 Dow points by Friday - to get that index back over the magic 15,000 mark - is still in doubt.

Anyone still bullish knows that chartists will take everyone to task if the market doesn't make new highs from here, so resolution on a primary trend should be played out within the next seven to ten trading days.

If this recent, minor downdraft turns out to be garden variety for the "Fed" era, it's up, up and away, but stocks will be valued for perfection. It is still difficult to see how the status quo can continue to maintain smug certainty about equity values in the long run.

Dow 14,910.14, +149.83 (1.02%)
NASDAQ 3,376.22, +28.34 (0.85%)
S&P 500 1,603.26, +15.23 (0.96%)
NYSE Composite 9,067.27, +78.00 (0.87%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,641,171,250
NYSE Volume 3,983,478,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4360-2148
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 160-100
WTI crude oil: 95.50, +0.18
Gold: 1,229.80, -43.30
Silver: 18.59, -0.939

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For a Change, Some Gains; Stocks Nearly Recover Monday's Losses

Stocks shook off Monday's downdraft, nearly reversing all of Monday's losses, but not quite, and the effort was very half-hearted on low-to-average volume.

This was wholly expected, as markets seldom go straight up or down. Some buyers saw value in beaten-down names; banking stocks were particularly strong with names like Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) all sporting solid gains.

Stocks were buoyed by early-day catalysts in the form of fairly robust data on durable goods, the S&P/Case-Shiller residential real estate series and an exceptionally high level of consumer confidence of 81.4 from the Conference Board, the highest such reading since January of 2008, which is somewhat ironic, as that high confidence figure came just months before one of the worst stock market crashes in history and a lengthy, deep recession.

New home sales showed gains in May up from 466K in April, to 476K, though figures may be skewed somewhat as they are for signed contracts, not closings, and are for a reporting period prior to interest and mortgage rates rising.

The major indices are still in a dicey spot, well off the May 28 highs and showing losses for the month of June, historically the weakest month for stock returns. And, with August and September - also weak months by historical standards - just ahead, the stage is set for earnings to move the market one way or the other, though indications are that the second quarter will not be favorable for stocks. Pre-announcements are running 7-1 on the negative side, a chilling effect on taking positions in advance of earnings and perhaps an element of today's less-than-awe-inspiring one-day bounce.

Plenty of technical damage has been done to markets over the past 2 1/2 weeks and the Federal Reserve is employing the only pokicy tool it has remaining - jawboning the market by trotting out one Fed governor after another with carefully crafted speech-lines, jokingly referred to as the "other" FOMC, or Federal Open Mouth Committee.

The question of the day was whether good news on the economy is actually bad news for stocks, insofar as Bernanke has promised to taper bond purchases if the economy shows strength, a move that in all likelihood will continue the rise in rates and place bonds in a much better position, vis-a-vis stocks. If such is the case, the market should have turned lower, but the recent selling prevented that, though in the back of every traders mind, the new reality of a market without artificial stimulus from the Fed looms largely.

Dow 14,760.31, +100.75 (0.69%)
NASDAQ 3,347.89, +27.13 (0.82%)
S&P 500 1,588.03, +14.94 (0.95%)
NYSE Composite 8,996.01, +103.98 (1.17%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,556,236,875
NYSE Volume 3,720,042,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4983-1582
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 105-185
WTI crude oil: 95.32, +0.14
Gold: 1,275.10, -2.00
Silver: 19.53, +0.033

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stocks Open Week to Downside on China News, Continued Bond Selling

Stocks took heavy punishment to the mid-section, right from the opening bell, rallied midday, but eventually fell out of the ring late in the session.

Much of the distaste for equities came from China, where the Shanghai index had its worst day in four years and is in a bear market. The PBOC has openly declared war on speculation, seeking to tighten via overnight lending rates, a move that cannot be good for markets in the short term, but, long term, may hold some weight as a key to global recovery.

The Dow slipped as many as 248 points in the early going, nearly erasing all of its losses mid-afternoon on some very dovish comments by usually-hawkish Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, but finished well into the red zone on very late, but very spirited, trading.

The NASDAQ suffered its first four-day losing streak since November of 2011, which says a great deal about where the market has been and maybe even more about where it is going. The Dow and S&P closed lower for the third day in the last four, with the S&P closing below key support levels. The Dow Transports were monkey-hammered, suggesting that the primary trend has changed from bullish to bearish, which, if so, would be a huge development, though it's still too early to tell.

Between China liquidity concerns and a large sell-off in the 10-year note - hitting a high of 2.63 before settling back to 2.57 - the equity markets were whipsawed though the middle of the day.

Signs that the US economy is improving continue apace, with the Dallas Fed manufacturing index posting an impressive gain in the latest survey. Naturally, the market took this as another sign that the Fed would be backing off its bond purchases in the near future, so, despite being unabashedly positive economic news, the markets took it in exactly the opposite manner.

Volume was very high for a summer session, indicative of the heightened interest since the Fed announcement last week. Declining issues outnumbered advancing one by a 4:1 margin. New lows had a 10:1 advantage over new highs, the most since March of 2009, a significant development, indicating severe short-term weakness and - to the bulls - a potential buying opportunity

With the second quarter running down and Fed speakers dotting the landscape this week, it might be a good time for traders to relent, especially those on the short side. The major indices are well into correction territory and taking some profits off the table might not be a bad idea, with a short week just prior to earnings season. Markets close at 1:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, July 3, are closed for the 4th of July and will have a full - though not well-attended - session on July 5.

Any good trader and even some marginal ones, should have been able to book solid profits on the downside move from the prior two weeks and may want to reassess while the market gyrates through the end of the quarter and a holiday week.

The volatility of the past few weeks may subside somewhat, having moved sharply during that time, so taking a break in what is traditionally a time to do so, seems not only smart, but almost instinctive.

Dow 14,659.56, -139.84 (0.94%)
NASDAQ 3,320.76, -36.49 (1.09%)
S&P 500 1,573.09, -19.34 (1.21%)
NYSE Composite 8,892.02, -126.53 (1.40%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,980,708,750
NYSE Volume 5,304,444,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1306-5469
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 68-683
WTI crude oil: 95.18, +1.49
Gold: 1,277.10, -14.90
Silver: 19.49, -0.466

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dead Cats Don't Bounce... Much; Stocks End Worst Week Since Obama Re-election

Hey, we're screwed.

Anybody buying stocks today must have had money to burn because the direction is definitely to the downside for the foreseeable future.

Interest rates kept creeping higher and stocks met what used to be support, now known as resistance. The S&P couldn't get past 1600 and the Dow failed repeatedly at 14,850, the previous intra-day low.

Stocks had their worst week since November 5-9, 2012, the week inclusive of the re-election for Bachus Obummer. It's not a coincidence. Thank you , thank you , thank you, Mr. Bernanke. Volume was even heavier than yesterday, likely the highest of the year. Love volatility or go home.

Watch closely the new highs vs. new lows, which have shifted to heavy overweight in new lows. This is not a drill. A bear market forecast could appear any time, since the Bull is already well past four years old.

In keeping with the spirit of hating stocks and loving arable land, tools, machinery, goldfish ponds and pre-1965 silver coins, here's Billy Preston, circa 1974 (ugh, a bad year, but check out the hair)...

Dow 14,799.40, +41.08 (0.28%)
NASDAQ 3,357.25, -7.39 (0.22%)
S&P 500 1,592.43, +4.24 (0.27%)
NYSE Composite 9,018.57, +22.60 (0.25%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,685,610,750
NYSE Volume 6,174,438,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3467-3076
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 80-343
WTI crude oil: 93.69, -1.45
Gold: 1,292.00, +5.80
Silver: 19.96, +0.136

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Day After: Stocks take Biggest Losses of Year; Gold, Silver Smashed

There was no place to hide for investors of any stripe on the day after the Fed's dramatic announcement on Wednesday that it planned to reduce asset purchases later this year.

Stocks, bonds, and commodities were all priced lower, reflecting the possible reality that the world's economy would not be propped up indefinitely by the Federal reserve's money-printing schemes of quantitative easing (QE) and zero percent interest rate policy (ZIRP).

Following Wednesday afternoon's sharp selloff, Thursday quickly turned into a blood bath, with all of the major averages breaking through support at 50-day moving averages and precious metals dropping to levels not seen in roughly three years.

Godl was down nearly $100/ounce at 4:00 pm EDT, with traffic shifting from the Comex and Globex to Asian markets which are sure to feel the after-effects of the West's massive breakdown.

Despite the huge moves in equities, the major indices are still only down less than five percent from all-time closing highs made late in May, but the abruptness of the moves in all markets was an unexpected shock to portfolios everywhere.

The 10-year note hit a three-year high yield, but pulled back slightly to end the day at 2.39. The five-year also closed at multi-year highs of 1.26% and the 30-year bond finished at 3.48%, 33 basis points higher than a month ago.

Fallout from today's moves in the markets will be far-reaching and should be considered the beginning of a new paradigm, one in which interest rates will continue to rise as (and if) the economy continues to improve, a scenario not fully bought into by everyone. While housing has shown strength in recent months, higher interest rates can only slow the growth potential as home-buyers will be able to afford less for their money or may delay purchases altogether.

Gold and silver were especially hard hit, with gold finishing below the $1300 level and silver under $20 per ounce.

With no real economic data of note and earnings still two to three weeks away, the markets will have to find some kind of stabilizing catalyst in the final week of June or heading into the Independence Day holiday the first week of July, investors will find themselves truly independent... of profits, assets and good trading ideas.

Everybody knew this day of reckoning was coming, though few thought it would be so soon and appear with such ferocity. Trading volume was at the highest level of the year, significant in that tomorrow's quarterly options expirations may have been closed out earlier than most had planned, rendering tomorrow's triple-or-quadruple-witching day moot.

Advancing issues were dwarfed by decliners, which outpaced them 9-to-1. New lows exceeded new highs, 436-59.

The losses on major indices were the worst since November 7, 2012, the day after the re-election of Barack Obama. It's not just coincidence that stocks would take their biggest tumbles on the day after electing the worst president in American history (he's easily outdone GW Bush, already) and the day following the tactical blundering of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We are a nation of sheep led by abject morons.

Dow 14,758.32, -353.87 (2.34%)
NASDAQ 3,364.64, -78.57 (2.28%)
S&P 500 1,588.19, -40.74 (2.50%)
NYSE Composite 8,996.35, -259.36 (2.80%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,961,153,875
NYSE Volume 5,276,584,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 685-5966
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 59-436
WTI crude oil: 94.94, -3.30
Gold: 1,278.00, -96.00
Silver: 19.56, -2.063

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fed Clarifies Position on Bond Purchases; Markets Hate It

The widely-anticipated June FOMC meeting was worth the wait, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his merry bank of economic soothsayers proved once and for all that they haven't got a clue what they're doing and that the market controls their actions, not the other way around.

Key take-aways from the policy decision (unchanged) and Bernanke's press conference were that the Fed saw downside risks to the economy "diminished," and that asset purchases - given improved economic conditions (pipe dream) - the Fed would begin to unwind, or, taper, those purchases from the current monthly level of $85 billion a month by the end of this year and end them completely by the middle of 2014.

This, of course, will never happen, as economic conditions are not improving, and, even if they are, are not improving quickly enough to warrant removal of the Fed's substantial monetary stimulus.

Market reaction was a bit slow to coalesce, but when it finally got the drift of what Bernanke was saying, sold off hard, with both stocks and bonds going into the tank. The Dow suffered one of its worst days of the year, off more than 200 points, while bond yields rose to 14-month highs on the ten-year note, at 2.33% and two-year highs on the five (1.26%).

What Bernanke didn't say was almost as intriguing as what he did, refusing to comment on why he is not going to attend the annual summit at Jackson Hole, sponsored by the Kansas City Fed, or whether or not he had plans to retire when his term expires early next year, though it appears, especially after President Obama's off-the-cuff remarks to Charlie Rose two nights ago, that the Chairman's tenure is at an end.

Bernanke did make one other clarification of note, that the Fed would hold its mortgage-backed securities to maturity, rather than sell them into the secondary market. Again, what he didn't say may be notable, as the decision to hold to maturity may be predicated on these securities (some of which are toxic to some degree or another) may not have the value at which the Fed is holding, or, since the Fed is pretty much 60% or more of the entire MBS market, maybe there is no secondary market of value.

Overall, it was a constructive session on the markets, but one which, unfortunately for bulls, appears to be in furtherance of the downward trend in equities.

With today's selloff, the bias has returned to the sell side and it seems as if the smart money is getting out while the getting is good.

Dow 15,112.19, -206.04 (1.35%)
NASDAQ 3,443.20, -38.98 (1.12%)
S&P 500 1,628.93, -22.88 (1.39%)
NYSE Composite 9,255.71, -143.93 (1.53%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,698,203,375
NYSE Volume 4,021,718,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1357-5161
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 254-125
WTI crude oil: 97.97, -0.47
Gold: 1,350.20, -16.70
Silver: 21.25, -0.427

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When Three Strikes Is a Home Run

In the game of baseball, there are rules, immutable and unchanging. Three outs per inning. A caught fly ball is an out. Three strikes and you're out.

The world of high finance, as demonstrated daily on the trading platforms, carries no such rules, other than simple casino-style paradigms. Make the right bet, at the right time, and you're a winner, after the various parties to the trade take their respective cuts, of course. The broker gets theirs, the government, another. It's more about timing and luck, especially these days, when nothing much matters other than the directionality of the various computer algos plying and playing the indices.

So it is that in stocks, you have situations like today, wherein three strikes equates to hitting a home run. Prior to the opening bell, three different sets of economic data were presented, and, against expectations, all were swings and misses, except maybe the seasonally-adjusted building permits, which could be weighed as a foul tip into the catcher's mitt, a strike by any other name.

First came the May CPI, up 0.1%, on expectation of a rise of 0.2%, well short of the Fed's annualized two percent inflation target. Strike one. Next up, housing starts, which banked 914K, well below expectations of 950K. Strike two. As mentioned above, building permits, which mean nothing other than somebody is planning to do something, like put up a fence or remodel a bathroom, were just under the expected annualized rate of 975K - at 974K. Strike three.

The market response was as expected, with deference and possibly blissful ignorance toward the headline numbers, straight up all day, a veritable home run, even as auto sales in Europe reached 20-year lows and an agent of our very own secret police, the NSA (No Such Agency, to wise guys) testified to congress that the wholly unconstitutional massive spying program that filters every American's phone calls, emails and internet activity, prevented the bombing of the NY Stock Exchange by some nefarious, insidious suspect known only as "the doctor" in 2008. The NSA says more than 50 terrorist plots were uncovered by their spy programs since 9/11/2001. Not even the best Hollywood script writers could have come up with a better narrative to deprive citizens of their fourth amendment rights. Those NSA guys hire only the best, you know.

Thus stocks ended the day close to all-time highs once again. The Dow Industrials are within spitting distance - less than 100 points - of the May 28 closing high of 15,409.39 as the Fed ponders what to do next, wrapping up their two-day FOMC meeting on Wednesday. A policy decision is due out at 2:00 pm EDT, followed by a reading of the statement and press conference, by everybody's favorite "doctor," the dis-honorable Ben Bernanke, balding, bearded, wizened Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

With recent jawboning efforts pointing toward some tightening of Fed policy, the markets seem to be expecting no change in course for the every-easy Fed, and, while there's some nervousness over the wording of the statement, one might suspect that an even more important date - expiry of June options contracts on Friday - may be what's really driving the markets higher this week.

With baited breath we await the words of fearless leader the Chairman. Can't wait.

Dow 15,318.23, +138.38 (0.91%)
NASDAQ 3,482.18, +30.05 (0.87%)
S&P 500 1,651.81, +12.77 (0.78%)
NYSE Composite 9,399.63, +61.74 (0.66%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,593,283,375
NYSE Volume 3,392,735,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4430-2051
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 327-76
WTI crude oil: 98.44, +0.67
Gold: 1,366.90, -16.20
Silver: 21.68, -0.081

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nowhere to Run for Suckers

There was nowhere to run for anybody who bought into today's "rally" - and how can it be called a rally if the only people participating are pumping futures from some back office in Hoboken just to get an imaginary boost in the equities markets, shooting everything higher right at the open only to close below that starting point.

Around 2:00 pm EDT there was a major selloff, telltale of the gutless rip-off merchants which have been roaming the canyons of Wall Street the past decade or two. All the markets gave ground, only because those who had bought in the morning, pushing stocks to artificially-inflated levels (they've only been doing it for the past five years, without pause, so they should know what they're doing), decided that it was time to skin some of their own clients, and those of other firms, such is the nature of the game they play.

The equity markets are a sick, tired, stupid joke. One would think that after five years of stimulus by the Fed, the US economy, and maybe even the world economy, would be cranking along at a better clip than what amounts to the "new normal," which is nothing but vapor and badly over-managed economic data that is so far off the mark from reality to be laughable if only it wasn't so sick and perverted.

Speaking of sick and perverse, those who run the show on Wall Street and in the central banking cartel that is destroying the global economy - mostly alumni of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan - are nothing but small, twisted creatures, afraid primarily of their own shadows.

But, it matters none to them, because the people they deal with as clients are smaller, and more frightened, and venal and ignorant and important only to themselves, so the narcissism carries through the entirety of the upper crust, as does vanity and pride and probably a whole of of more than just the seven deadly sins.

These people think their money has value in a better regard than say, friendship, honesty, morality, decency or truth, but, as they have learned from their role models in the political vein, those values don't matter. At the end of the day, everyone is supposedly measures in dollars. And if you ain't got 'em, you ain't nothing.

It's too bad. Seriously, because their pride will bring a fall, as sure as the sun follows the rain and bees make honey. These folks - the bankers and politicians - are nothing but cheap criminals, skimmers, really, who would steal the diamonds off their mother's engagement ring if in dire straits. The people who get nozzled into the game through IRAs, 401ks, pension and other products of financial scammery are suckers only by their willingness and play along because they have not an original idea in their heads.

They might as well just crash the whole thing and start over, The current flimflam that poses as wealth creation or preservation or management is nothing but a semi-sophisticated game of three-card monty. The dealers take their percentage, as does the house, and players chasing the dough generally end up with less on the way out than they had on the way in.

Tough. Win, lose, or go home. Somebody needs another dollar.

Dow 15,179.85, +109.67 (0.73%)
NASDAQ 3,452.13, +28.58 (0.83%)
S&P 500 1,639.04, +12.31 (0.76%)
NYSE Composite 9,337.89, +74.20 (0.80%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,580,505,125
NYSE Volume 3,464,888,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4272-2241
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 259-47
WTI crude oil: 97.77, -0.08
Gold: 1,383.10, -4.50
Silver: 21.76, -0.196

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stocks Finish Lower; Dow, S&P Down 4th Week of Last Five

Bears took back control on Friday, sending the major averages to their fourth session loss of the week. Thursday was the only up day for the markets.

In case anyone wants to figure out what's going on, good luck. Between Fed jawboning and interest rate speculation, VIX movements and the Fed's relentless bond-buying, it's a mixed bag, but the bears seem to have an edge during this period between economic data and second quarter earnings releases, which begin in just over three weeks time.

The Dow and S&P registered their fourth weekly loss in the last five. The strangest indicator came in the form of new highs vs. new lows, where the string of wins by the new 52-week lows was cut off at three, Friday's tape showing the new highs with an unusual advantage on such a largely lower day. Those are telling signals, but more will be revealed about direction upon the conclusion of the FOMC meeting, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, culminating in Bernanke's press conference.

Bias still remains to the downside.

Outside the market, continuing scandals are rocking the capitol, and the US has committed "something" to the Syrian rebels, though details thus far have been sketchy.

As they say in the old school of hard knocks, "another week, another half a dollar."

Dow 15,070.18, -105.90 (0.70%)
NASDAQ 3,423.56, -21.81 (0.63%)
S&P 500 1,626.73, -9.63 (0.59%)
NYSE Composite 9,263.69, -67.69 (0.73%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,422,469,500
NYSE Volume 3,241,179,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2534-3951
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 161-53
WTI crude oil: 97.85, +1.16
Gold: 1,388.10, +10.30
Silver: 21.96, +0.377

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Only Banksters Like Rigged Markets

Japan's Nikkei was down more than six percent on Thursday, the US$/YEN carry trade busted as that fell below 94. Stocks in Europe were down hard. By all indications, US stocks should have taken another serious leg lower, but instead, we got an algo-driven, out-of-the-blue hockey stick magic rally that erased the declines of the past two days on marginal volume.

This is why individual investors don't trade in or trust the stock markets. They are rigged - and broken - beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

Dow 15,176.08, +180.85 (1.21%)
NASDAQ 3,445.37, +44.94 (1.32%)
S&P 500 1,636.36, +23.84 (1.48%)
NYSE Composite 9,331.37, +141.93 (1.54%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,548,629,625
NYSE Volume 3,840,153,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 5176-1318
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 155-395
WTI crude oil: 96.69, +0.81
Gold: 1,377.80, -14.20
Silver: 21.58, -0.213

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stocks Erase Early Gains; Dow Down Three Straight for First Time in 2013

Equities took another shot to the ribs on Tuesday as bears took control of the trading.

After an initial gain of 119 points on the Dow, sentiment turned radically negative for really no apparent reason, as selling into strength became the preferred strategy after months of buying dips.

The Dow posted its first three-day losing streak of 2013, with the other major averages following suit. Today's closing numbers put the S&P and the Dow dangerously close to their 50-day moving averages: 1610 for the S&P; 14970 on the Dow, and, any troubling signs from Thursday's initial unemployment claims could shoot the averages right through support and into a proverbial no-man's land.

Trading volume was rather tepid, but losers outnumbered gainers again, by a roughly 3:1 margin. The major indices now have entered an area that is decisively below the midpoint between recent highs and lows, trending lower, as has been the mantra for most of the month of June.

The dark lining inside the silver cloud came in the form of WTI crude oil prices, which hit a three-week high.

Bias remains bearish short-term, as new lows outpaced new highs for the second straight session and are deteriorating.

Where this goes from here is anyone's guess, though most are placing their wagers toward continued weakness in stocks as interest rates bumped up slightly again today, the 10-year closing at 2.23%, but that's what makes gambling investing so interesting.

Dow 14,995.23, -126.79 (0.84%)
NASDAQ 3,400.43, -36.52 (1.06%)
S&P 500 1,612.52, -13.61 (0.84%)
NYSE Composite 9,189.42, -66.06 (0.71%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,501,521,500
NYSE Volume 3,677,878,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1675-4828
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 129-428
WTI crude oil: 95.88, +0.50
Gold: 1,392.00, +15.00
Silver: 21.80, +0.15

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stocks Decline Globally as QE and ZIRP Show There are Limits

With losers outpacing gainers by a 4:1 margin, stocks got trashed today around the globe, starting in Japan - which triggered the entire equity rout - and ending here in the USA where the Dow lost 108 points, and, despite that stiff selloff, was still easily the best performer of the major indices on a percentage basis.

The NASDAQ and NYSE Composite took the day's losses the worst, off 1.06% and 1.10% respectively. The S&P dropped by just more than one percent.

The worldwide selling spree was set off when the Japanese leadership declined to extend their bond and market easing measures past what was already in place. Speculators expected the BoJ to increase bond and ETF purchases, but came away disappointed.

That sent the Nikkei and Topix tumbling to the downside, and greeted European investors with markedly negative prospects as their trading day began.

In the US, futures were heavily to the downside, resulting in the indices hitting their lowest points just minutes into trading. Remarkably, stocks came nearly all the way back - with the Dow going positive for a few moments before noon, but the low-volume rally fooled nobody and sellers came back in force to take stocks back down for the rest of the session.

Adding to the already nervous environment, the 10-year note bounced up as high as 2.28%, but ended the day at a relatively benign 2.18%, though fear of higher rates and a tapering of the Fed's bond buying program remained a key market driver in both stocks and bonds.

A fortnight of protests in Turkey finally exploded into a somewhat violent repression by government forces, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse about 10,000 protesters. Also, late in the day, news broke that the ACLU had filed suit against the US government over the NSA's recently-exposed monitoring of nearly all domestic communications, calling the activity unconstitutional.

This is truly a dangerous environment, both for investors and ordinary citizens. Stocks are hovering in a range just below all-time highs and recent lows, while Washington is awash in scandals ranging from covering up the assassination of a diplomat and others in Libya (Benghazi), to wiretapping reporters to having the IRS harass political opposition. In another time, there would be protests all over the Washington Mall and cries for impeachment of president Obama would be drowning out reasonable discourse. But, Americans have grown so used to government malfeasance and the country has become so dependent on government entitlements that nobody seems capable of raising their voice to an administration and a congress that has trampled the constitution ever since 9/11/2001.

What will it take to shake things up and clean the garbage out of our corrupt-to-the-core political and financial system? A severe market crash? A politician with will and integrity? A hot war in Syria? Something else?

Stay tuned for what should develop into a very contentious, heated summer of pandemonium in markets and politics. The events of the past two to three weeks have been just the warm-up act. The main attraction begins when the cronies turn on each other.

Dow 15,122.02, -116.57 (0.76%)
NASDAQ 3,436.95, -36.82 (1.06%)
S&P 500 1,626.13, -16.68 (1.02%)
NYSE Composite 9,255.44, -102.56 (1.10%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,477,085,500
NYSE Volume 3,854,662,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1286-5251
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 131-308
WTI crude oil: 95.38, -0.39
Gold: 1,377.00, -9.00
Silver: 21.65, -0.279

Monday, June 10, 2013

No Follow-Through after Big Friday Run-Up; Stocks Open Week Flat

Stocks meandered along the unchanged line all day in a fairly tight range (90 points top to bottom on the Dow), just one trading day removed from the second-largest gains of the year, attributed largely to the benign number supplied by the BLS on jobs.

The only news worth noting were S&P revising the US credit rating from neutral to stable and the weekend revelation that the whistleblower who exposed the wide-ranging NSA data collection of Americans' phone and internet dealings is a 29-year-old named Edward Snowden.

Neither story had much of a macro-level impact on markets, though the coming forward of Snowden has raised the stakes in the game of chicken the government is playing with the American public (remember, you're being watched right now... creepy, isn't it?).

Volume was typically summer-light, as many investors or traders have already gone into "stay away" mode for the season.

The market is desperate for direction, stuck between recent new all-time highs and the bottoms of last week's abbreviated pullback.

Where it goes from here depends largely on whatever comes out of the mouths of varius Fed governors and officials, leading up to next week's FOMC policy meeting, so this languishing could last a while.

Stocks haven't been in such a ho-hum mood since... well, last summer.

Dow 15,238.59, -9.53 (0.06%)
NASDAQ 3,473.77, +4.55 (0.13%)
S&P 500 1,642.81, -0.57 (0.03%)
NYSE Composite 9,353.20, -2.21 (0.02%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,495,601,750
NYSE Volume 3,068,391,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3326-3162
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 258-120
WTI crude oil: 95.77, -0.26
Gold: 1,386.00, +3.00
Silver: 21.92, +0.182

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stocks Pop on Jobs Data; Gold, Silver Smashed Again

Was there ever any doubt?

After a volatile week, stocks staged a huge run-up on Friday - the second-best advance for the Dow this year - after the non-farm payroll report from the BLS showed a gain in employment of 175,000 jobs for May.

The number, always an important one - or so we're led to believe - was really of the Goldilocks variety: not too hot to encourage tapering by the Fed, and not too cold to actually show weakness in the US economy. The BLS delivered a number that was "just right" and it was off to the races, right from the opening bell.

Stocks finished near the highs of the day, but for the week were less impressive. The Dow closed up 133 points for the week, but that was six points below Monday's close. The NASDAQ added 133 points, while the S&P was up 12. The 10-year note closed out at 2.17, a somewhat scary number, the highest in more than six months.

Whether the day's gains were due to the employment figures or the fact that it was a Friday - a day in which stocks have shown a great propensity to fly, with or without wings - is one for the theorists to argue.

The question is where do stocks go from here, as they are smack-dab in between all-time highs and a nasty little bottom from the middle of the week. In normal times, one would expect a retracement to re-test the lows, but these are anything but normal times.

Gold and silver were beaten down once again, this time, silver being the main target of the central banks, sending gold's shiny cousin to its worst closing level since September of 2010, though it needs to be pointed out that the spot price no longer correlates to the actual price of acquiring physical metal, that being currently around $28-30.

WTI crude oil continued its relentless ascent toward the $100/barrel mark.

The games continue.

Dow 15,248.12, +207.50 (1.38%)
NASDAQ 3,469.21, +45.16 (1.32%)
S&P 500 1,643.38, +20.82 (1.28%)
NYSE Composite 9,356.91, +96.41 (1.04%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,600,646,875
NYSE Volume 3,439,967,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4318-2217
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 204-41
WTI crude oil: 96.03, +1.27
Gold: 1,383.00, -32.80
Silver: 21.74, -0.964

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Terrific Turnaround Thursday Presages Friday's Key Jobs Report

Whipsawing the markets today in the US were a variety of cross-currents that send stocks screaming into the red in the morning and elevating to new heights in the afternoon.

Most important of all was probably the US$/Yen carry trade, in which the dollar, weakening over the past few days against the Yen took a very large hit just prior to the noon hour in New York, sending the pair below 97 (it had been as high as 105 recently), shaking investors and proponents of Abenomics, the massive stimulative package that has the imprimatur of Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

The Nikkei had closed modestly lower, keeping intact the downside move that has been in place the past few weeks, but the slide in the dollar was against more than just the Yen. The Euro was especially strong, after comments from ECB head Mario Draghi buoyed European markets. On the dollar dive, stocks also took it on the chin, with the Dow losing 117 points at the bottom of the day's trading range.

Also weighing on the markets were the week-long riots and demonstrations in Turkey, a key player in world markets and something of a hinge between the Middle East and the European Union. Turkey also borders Syria, as dangerous a place as there is in the world today, and tensions in Turkey could signal more widespread discontent of the citizenry from Ireland to Ethiopia, to say nothing of its value as a NATO ally and buffer against Russia, with whom we are still at war in a protracted, proxy kind of way.

Earlier in the morning, figures on initial and continuing unemployment were released, and though they were moderately improved, investors were looking past them, toward tomorrow's non-farms payroll release by the BLS.

That number is supposed to come in at around 165,000 new jobs created in the month of May, and speculators are placing bets on both sides of the coin. If the number comes in below 140,000, it will be viewed as a weak labor market, meaning that the Federal Reserve cannot - or at least should not - begin tapering its massive bond purchases. Any number over 190,000 would register as a strengthening of the employment market, meaning that the Fed could begin considering tapering as soon as their June meeting in less than two weeks (June 18-19).

Thus, a stronger US economy (unlikely) would be bad for stocks, and a weak employment picture would be good. Such is the strained logic permeating Wall Street in these strange days.

From top to bottom, the range on the Dow was nearly 200 points, but even with the rise - set off when the S&P and Dow Industrials almost simultaneously pierced their respective 50-day moving averages - the rally (or was is just a dead cat bounce) failed to erase half the losses from Wednesday's melt-down.

Sentiment appears to be changing slightly, however, as more and more speculators become aware of the inept nature of the Fed and central banks everywhere, unable to stem the tide of deflation and a sluggish global economy.

Tomorrow's jobs reports may be important to some, though it is more than likely to be a non-event, with a wide berth given to gauge the response of the Federal Reserve. Besides, it's going into a weekend and none of those Wall Street hotshots want to head to the Hamptons in a bad mood.

Of course, there's more at stake than just jobs and the economy and whether stocks should be the primary asset in one's portfolio. Bonds, buffeted about by the changing paradigm of currency devaluation and rapidly escalating trade wars have firmed up somewhat, with the ten-year closing just above a two percent yield.

On Tuesday, the EU imposed stiff tariffs on Chinese solar panels, and yesterday, the Chinese retaliated by suggesting levies on imports of French, Italian and Spanish wines, hitting the Europeans where it hurts.

With the late-day rally, the advance-decline line was positive and new lows - new highs were nearly even. Much of today's rally was likely built off of short-covering, as shorts remain gun-shy, stung by the continued beatings they've taken over the past four years, though that condition appears prime to undergo some significant change.

The wheels are beginning to come off, as Fed policies are being seen as largely ineffective and a massive waste of money, while world events should continue to heat up in coming weeks and months. Volatility could not be subdued forever and the risk that the bull market is over continues a distinct possibility.

Volume in equities was strong. Gold and silver had solid showings, especially gold, which breached the key $1400 mark to the upside.

Dow 15,040.62, +80.03 (0.53%)
NASDAQ 3,424.05, +22.58 (0.66%)
S&P 500 1,622.56, +13.66 (0.85%)
NYSE Compos... 9,260.47, +82.05 (0.89%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,732,547,125
NYSE Volume 4,008,892,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4676-1833
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 89=87
WTI crude oil: 94.76, +1.02
Gold: 1,415.80, +17.30
Silver: 22.71, +0.235

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stocks Clipped; Maybe Bad News isn't So Good After All

This was a bit of a shakeout. There was no late rally to save the day, nor was there - oddly enough - any talk of tapering by Fed officials.

No, today was just one of those days that the market had a good look in the mirror and didn't like what it was seeing. Smart money is already out of the equity markets, but the dumb money will probably be looking to buy the dip, as has been the modus operandi for the past four-years.

It was mentioned here yesterday that this appeared to be an opportune time to go to cash or go short. That call could not have been more prescient as stocks fell out of bed and continued to roll on the floor, writhing in pain the rest of the session, having the worst two days since mid-April, which, considering where the market has traversed since then, could be only the beginning of a long, deep decline.

Marketeers will blame today's selloff on poor ADP numbers and maybe the ISM Services index, both coming in with disappointing reports, but data has been trending poorly for the past two months (some say four years) and the market is just now beginning to wake up to the reality of the depression being felt across the country and around the world. Business activity has slowed in almost every sector or has not grown at any kind of solid, sustained pace for most of the past six months, all the while equities were going through the roof.

If this is the beginning of a serious correction or the end of the bull and the beginning of a bear market, today and yesterday's action was just a warm-up.

Wall Street may be blind to poor economic data for a long time, but when the selling starts and there's real money to be lost, the traders all act like herd animals, rushing for the quickest way out.

Even though volume was not magnificent, the declines speak for themselves. The Dow Jones Industrials took a 1 1/2 percent hit today and are now three percent from the top, made on May 28.

The A-D line continues to deteriorate, with today's coming in a 4-1 for the losers; new lows exceeded new highs for the first time in months. Keep an eye on that metric for more clues to where this is going.

A June swoon or a hungry bear?

Dow 14,960.59, -216.95 (1.43%)
NASDAQ 3,401.48, -43.78 (1.27%)
S&P 500 1,608.90, -22.48 (1.38%)
NYSE Composite 9,189.21, -130.88 (1.40%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,728,689,625
NYSE Volume 3,620,423,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1369-5151
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 69-108
WTI crude oil: 93.74, +0.43
Gold: 1,398.50, +1.30
Silver: 22.47, +0.063

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dow Ends Absurd Tuesday Streak; Stocks Breaking Down

The Dow Jones Industrials ended a string of 20 consecutive gains on Tuesday, with a blood-red beating on this day. The streak of ending positive for 20 consecutive Tuesdays was probably due - more than anything else - to POMO dates, but the concept is that the market is becoming like fantasy baseball, where stats on every conceivable construct are trotted out, such as a player's propensity to steal a base during a day game with his team ahead after three straight wins against a left-handed pitcher with a non-Latino playing right field.

That comparison may be a touch on the deep side, but the pint is that market statistics are useless in the past unless they offer some meaningful insight into the future and Tuesday gains do not pass the smell test.

There is nothing good about this market. Now would - in some people's opinions - be a good time to go short or go to cash.

Of course, since many readers of this blog are already in cash, that would mean going short is at an optimal point.

If one would like the comfort of shorting an entire index, the S&P is a good bet, for individual stocks, there are many from which to choose, but the most enticing are social media companies with extreme valuations, such as Facebook. Zynga was a disaster waiting to happen, and it did, though its low share price (threes and change) seriously precluded any dowside participation. Yahoo (YHOO) also appears ripe for a substantial revaluation to the downside. Industrials also seem to be at risk, but the market has yet to price in any effects of a global slowdown.

At the bottom of everything is currencies, and they remain the key element in the ongoing destruction of all fiat currency not backed by tangible assets. There is a severe collateral crisis combined with grand theft at the pinnacle of government worldwide, a now-vicious devaluation regime and capital velocity fast approaching zero.

Blackrock and Nuveen funds were prominent among new 52-week lows.

Any kind of growth reported by any government anywhere has to be suspect and viewed with a maximum of skepticism.

Despite cutting lossed roughly in half by the close, there was nothing to like about the overall action in equity markets. What began as a bit of slippage a few weeks ago is quickly turning into a correction, most of which will be predicated upon the numbers released by ADT (tomorrow) and the BLS non-farm payroll report, Friday.

15,000 on the Dow and 1600 on the S&P are major psychological levels which should not be overlooked.

Dow 15,177.54, -76.49 (0.50%)
NASDAQ 3,445.26, -20.11 (0.58%)
S&P 500 1,631.38, -9.04 (0.55%)
NYSE Compos 9,320.08, -37.01 (0.40%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,767,142,375
NYSE Volume 4,025,642,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2263-4193
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 228-145
WTI crude oil: 93.31 -0.14
Gold: 1,397.20, -14.70
Silver: 22.41, -0.312

Monday, June 3, 2013

Good News Is OK, but, Bad News is Awesome, Baby!

When the ISM Index posted a May reading of 49 today - showing contraction - there wasn't much reaction in the markets.

That release came at the same time - 10:00 am EDT - as the Construction Spending data, up 0.4%, though on expectations of a gain of 1.1%. For the general economy, neither data point would, could or should be considered good signs.

It took a while for investors speculators to figure it out, but, essentially, bad news for the general economy is really great news for stocks, because it suggests that the Federal Reserve, under the guidance of the spectacularly inept Ben Bernanke, will continue to goose stocks by supplying enormous amounts of stimulus via their bond-buying program without pausing, tapering or even considering slowing down at all.

When San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that tapering of the bond buying program could occur as early as this summer, he was shortly thereafter countered by Atlanta President James Lockhart who said the FOMC backs the stimulative measures.

After 2:00 pm EDT, the computers had it all figured out and sent stocks to the highs of the day into the close.

As long as the cheap (nearly free) money keeps flowing, the banks love it and will keep bidding up stocks to the sky and maybe beyond. One would tend to believe that in the event of a nuclear holocaust or the earth being hit by a giant-sized meteor, wiping out 90% of the global population, stocks would stage a rally that would make 16,000 on the Dow look like a spec in the rear-view mirror.

That's the twisted view that permeates the granite canyons of Wall Street, with no end in sight. For the bankers and their stock-trading units, the computer algos and the big bonuses, the Fed is the gift that just keeps on giving, depriving savers of any reasonable options and the worse the economy goes, the more money will be pumped into the global stock market Ponzi.

Too bad that gold and silver out-performed all of the major indices today, by a bunch. Besides that, the number of advancing issues just barely beat the decliners, and the new highs-new lows reading finally succumbed to the pressure and went negative for the first time in quite a while, a signal that should spook investors (how it affects computers is not well-known).

Whatever the case, it's all good, or bad, or, um, oh, forget it.

Dow 15,254.03, +138.46 (0.92%)
NASDAQ 3,465.37, +9.46 (0.27%)
S&P 500 1,640.42, +9.68 (0.59%)
NYSE Composite 9,356.14, +53.87 (0.58%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,965,356,375
NYSE Volume 4,495,515,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3409-3093
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 189-262
WTI crude oil: 93.45, +1.48
Gold: 1,411.90, +18.90
Silver: 22.72, +0.478