"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Monday, April 28, 2014

Speak Loudly and Carry a Wet Noodle

That pretty much sums up the market's reaction to the announcement of a new set of "sanctions" unveiled by the current administration against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia over events in Ukraine.

Sellers in gold wasted no time in declaring their view of the "strong message" ( note sarcasm here ) being sent to Russia proceeding to knock it back down below the $1300 level.

Further aiding the move lower was the heavy selling in Newmont and more weakness in Barrick over the announcement that any merger between the two was off the table for now.

The Yen also moved lower signaling the absence of any safe haven play as bonds also moved lower. Equities are moving in and out of positive territory as I type these comments. Safe havens are on hold, at least for today. There remains a great deal of volatility with short term technical factors dominating trading today.

I mentioned last Friday that I do not believe gold has much upside here because at this time I do not see events in Ukraine spreading outside of that region. If the market felt like those events could be a harbinger of more to come, gold would be much stronger. That it is not, is evidence enough that while the situation remains tense, most do not see it spreading beyond that region. Rallies in gold are therefore attracting selling even as dips lower are attracting buying from some due to the ongoing geopolitical developments. As stated so many, many times here now, buying gold due to geopolitical events is extremely risky. You have no idea what might or might not happen and thus it is entirely a crapshoot. That is not trading; it is not investing either for that matter; it is gambling. If you want to gamble, head to Las Vegas or Reno - at least they have some great looking showgirls while you are losing your money.

Corn continues to attract buying as traders are concerned over the slow start to planting this year. Also, the cool, wet conditions have raised concerns about poor germination of those crops which have been seeded. Soil temps are not warm enough and the market wants to see more sunshine.

This past Friday's Cattle on Feed report was considered friendly to the market as it caught some by surprise who were expecting to see larger numbers moving ahead. Feeder cattle continue to make all time highs as most small specs are caught on the short side and are getting squeezed out in a brutal fashion. How some of these guys paying the kinds of prices that they are for feeders are going to be able to make any money on them is a big mystery to me but that does not seem to be impacting things at the moment. Hogs are bleeding out of some the premium in there as traders take a "show me" attitude towards the slaughter numbers and the impact from the PED virus.

Crude oil continues weak in today's session further retreating from the double top near the $105 level.

Silver has once again attracted selling as it neared $20. It remains stuck in a narrow range between that level and $19 on the bottom.