"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


Friday, December 30, 2011

Monthly Gold Charts - December 2011

Silver ends DOWN on the Year

First of all I would like to publicly thank one  of my readers, "Silverwood", for noting that I erroneously reported in an earlier post that silver had ended the year 2010 at the $28.00 level. I mistakenly used the LOW for the month of December 2010 instead of the closing price which on the front month futures contract was $30.93.

Based on that price, Silver is ending DOWN on the year 2011.

Note on the following chart that it has retraced 50% or half of the entire rally made from the lows in 2008 which marked the bottom during the eruption of the credit crisis and the inception of the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing program. That rally took it all the way to $50 before it then promptly collapsed.

Bulls would have preferred to see it close the year ABOVE that 50% Fibonacci retracement level near $29.30 but alas, it could not do so after staging a decent bounce off of this week's low near $26.

A period of base-building in a sideways trend would benefit this market as many players are simply too worn out from its wild swings up and down to mess with it right now. Silver is a seductive lover which promises all manner of satisfaction only to then break your heart with its fickleness. If it can settle down some and grind sideways ABOVE $26 for some time, then we should start seeing some confidence towards it on the part of more investors outside of the dedicated silver bulls.

If you note on the chart the line marked "SUPPORT"  in dark red. That line comes in near $26.30 and extends down towards $26.15. THREE times over the last year it has held price and attracted sufficient buying to take the price higher. IT MUST HOLD in order to prevent a drop all the way down towards $22 - $21. If the bulls can take price back above that 50% retracement level near $29.30 and preferably put a handle of "3" in front of the price once again, then I think silver will be okay and attract some new buying as well as minor short covering.

In order to get a sustained uptrend going however, it is going to have to convincingly clear $35.50. If risk trades come back into vogue early next year, then this should be a relatively easy matter for the bulls to accomplish. If however risk aversion is still the order of the day, then this market is going to struggle.

Thankful for Gas Shale

One of these days the politicians are going to wake up and realize that America is sitting on so much natural gas that we could kiss the Mid-East and its problems goodbye if we actually took steps to convert to a larger use of this valuable "home-grown" natural resource.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to ignore the mullahs in Iran as demand for the only thing they have to sell of any value evaporates up into smoke.

Look at this price chart of natural gas and see what American ingenuity and technology can do when once it is unfettered and allowed to thrive. I for one am thankful that it does not cost a small fortune to heat one's home or generate the electricy produced during the summer when we are running air-conditioners to cool our homes. Imagine what we could do if we had more and more cars, buses, trucks, etc, running on natural gas or LNG.

US Dollar looks to squeak out a Winning Year

The Dollar is being sold down today in the year's last trading session as bulls book profits and window dress their accounts after the nice run higher over the last two months in the greenback.

This is allowing the commodity complex in general to rally and is benefitting both gold and silver.

Reading too much into one day's trading action at this time of the year is generally not wise. Volume is simply too low to validate any moves and with liquidity quite low, it does not take much in the way of order size to move these markets around. Also, some of the pit locals particularly are fond of separating traders from their money in this kind of holiday trade.

That being said, the Dollar has managed to finish the year of 2011 on a positive note, even if barely. It is hardly a ringing endorsement of the greenback however as it was more a "get the hell out of the Euro" trade than anything. Risk aversion and a flight to cash were the main culprits behind the Dollar's rise, especially over the last few months. Fundamentals cannot be said to be strong for the Dollar, not when we are running over $15 trillion in federal debt and are at 100% on the Debt to GDP ratio. If that were not bad enough, the president just asked for ANOTHER $1.2 TRILLION in additional spending limits.

Getting a read on things as we head into the New Year is a bit tricky since the same problems that have plagued Europe still remain and China, while still growing, is slowing down a bit. The US economy is working along a bottom and while recent economic news has shown some signs of stability and extremely modest growth, the idea that the economy is going to expand at a rate fast enough to do much if anything to cure the ailing jobs picture or even put a dent in the federal debt is wild and wishful fantasy. The US economy has bottomed out but that is a far cry from signaling halycon days are ahead.

It does help to put things in perspective however and that is what the long term monthly charts are good for. This chart is hardly a vote of confidence in the US Dollar which has declined 30% over the last ten years as of the end of this year. While recent Dollar bulls may be congratulating themselves for making a wee bit of money this year, try telling one's kids and grandkids that their future looks rosy based on this chart.

As we start the New Year next week, the Dollar has a chance to extend the rally of the last two months if it can better the initial resistance level near 81.40. That would set up a push to 83, which if the Dollar can take this out, would pave the way an eventual run towards 89 - 90. Much depends on the state of mind of traders regarding risk and whether they are willing to commit capital that is sitting on the sidelines or to continue keeping their powder dry and hoping for signs of improvement in the global economy as a whole.