"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


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gold Down but Holds Support at $1600

In spite of the strong wave of selling that has swept across the entirety of the commodity complex in today's session, gold did rebound from its move below the psychological round number support level at $1600. If you note on the chart, the market continues to be essentially trapped within a very broad range that with a brief exception made in late December of last year, has held the metal for the last 7 months. That range is basically bounded on the top by $1800 and on the bottom by $1600.

Within that $200 range, there has been a tighter range for the last two months bounded on the top by $1680 with the floor of support down near $1600.

Gold is now testing the bottom of this range to see whether or not there is sufficient buying to keep it elevated and within its borders. Central Bank buying has been very active on any dips below the $1600 level in the recent past and I would expect this to continue. The key is whether or not speculative dishoarding of gold will be absorbed by these buyers. If the market pops from here and recaptures the floor in the region between $1620 - $1630, that will make evident that the buying is strong enough to offset the liquidation from the risk aversion trades.

If the market cannot get back above that level and falls through the floor at $1600, we should see very active large buying down towards $1550.

I would feel a bit more comfortable about the NEAR TERM prospects of the metal should it be able to reclaim the $1650 level.

HUI Chart and Comments

The HUI is reeling once again as it continues losing value against the price of an ounce of gold bullion. The index has fallen below chart support at the round number of 400 and is currently near the lows of the day as I write this.

As you can see from the following chart, it is approaching what I consider to be one of the most significant levels of chart support from a technical analysis perspective, and that is the critical 50% Fibonacci retracement level.

The mining shares as a whole, have now retraced exactly HALF of all their gains from the bottom that was produced back in late 2008 when we got the first round of QE that was used to buy up all those "wonderful" mortgage backed securities.

If the index is going to bottom, it will bottom here and now or else it is going to experience a washout that could possibly take it down towards the 340 level at which point the shares will either reverse or basically end up back where they started from in 2008.

Keep in mind that value-based buyers are now a definite minority when it comes to investing. Actually we have very little investors left in the markets as they are all becoming traders thanks to the hedge fund crowd which in effect, has become the market.

This the reason why we cannot as of yet see a bottom in the mining shares, no matter how inexpensive they become in comparison to bullion and in spite of some very good profits being reported by some specific firms.

The hedgies are using them as the short leg of that same ratio spread trade which has been their bread and butter in the gold sector for the last two years. When they finally are forced out, that will be a sight to see but for now, they continue to overwhelm the value-based buying that is occurring in this sector.

Notice the last chart showing the CLOSING MONTHLY PRICE  - back at levels last seen at the very inception of the gold bull market in 2001!

Gasoline Prices continues Getting Knocked Lower

Count me in as one of those who firmly believes that the Bernanke-led Fed has been doing everything in its power to rescue their boss's rear end from the fire of higher gasoline prices which is sinking his poll numbers along with the rest of the economy.

How so you might ask? Simple - they are absolutely close-mouthed on any hints of further monetary stimulus to electrify the paddles on the defibulator that is now needed to stave off the contagion effects from the woes besetting the Euro Zone. As the entire commodity sector gets hit by the risk off trades, we hear dead silence from our illustrious money masters.

They know full well what will happen the moment the speculative community becomes convinced that the next round of QE is on the way.

With this is mind, note the following press release from the EIA (Energy Information Agency) that came down the wires this morning.

*DJ EIA Estimates US Retail Gasoline Won't Top $3.90 For Any Month In 2012

*DJ EIA Previously Estimated US Retail Gasoline At $4.01 For May

*DJ EIA: US 2012 Gasoline Use Seen At 8.67M B/D, Lowest Since 2001

Just what the doctor ordered for Mr. Obama who will no doubt crow like a rooster about how his "policies" are working to lower gasoline prices for the "working men and women of this great nation". Actually I think I just inadvertently cut a campaign commercial.

The point to bring away from all this is quite simple - the economy stinks to high heaven, in spite of what the RA-RA squad keeps trying to convince the nation. If it were actually in decent condition, gasoline demand would be higher. (There will be those who attribute all of this to Americans driving more energy efficient cars). The truth is Americans are cutting back on driving because they cannot afford to fill their tanks especially those who are out of work or underemployed.

So, the money masters have figured out that they can get the hedge fund computers to take the price of gasoline lower, along with the rest of the commodity world, to where it reaches a level that once they do decide the pull the trigger on the QE front to slam the stock market higher ahead of the election later this year, that gasoline will then get levitated from a much lower level.

The problem they have is if they wait too long and do not act, those same speculators are liable to unload on the equity markets which will then set off another whole set of issues for these plate spinners to deal with.

Silver Chart and Comments

Silver is being pummelled today, along with just about every other single commodity on the planet, as the combination of the Socialist win in France along with the results of the Greek elections, has traders running away from growth assets and into the "safety" of US Treasuries ( I still have trouble saying those words in the same sentence).

Many are fearing that Greece will not be able to hobble together a governing coaltion in time ot meet the detail for their loan bailout package.

Either way, the usual "sell everything in sight" mentality has taken over the markets with the result that it has taken silver down below important chart support at the $30 level. As you can see on the following chart, it is trading below horizontal support as well as Fibonacci retracement support at the 61.8% retracement level.

The price remains mired in the downtrending channel shown and if recent history is any guide, it should stabilize either today or tomorrow before grinding sideways once again and deciding whether or not it wants to embark on another leg down (there is not much support on the chart now until it gets to near $28.50 - $28.25 or so. If it falls below the downsloping red line at the bottom of the channel, it will get there. If not, perhaps the bulls can take it back towards $30.50 which is the next upside resistance level that is going to have to be cleared to rattle the bears who remain in control of this market.