"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


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gold testing Chart Support

Not much to add to my earlier comments about gold from today as well as those of yesterday. A 3.8% drop in the HUI pretty much guaranteed that gold was going nowhere today.

As a matter of fact, very few commodities were in the green today - just about everywhere one looked, it was lots of RED on the screen. The reason - hard to say for certain but with the Dollar up more than 1/2%, it would have taken some pretty firm fundamentals in these individual markets to shrug off the macro-related selling. As it was, any market whose fundamentals were weak, was especially prone to a bout of selling today.

Gold simply had no reason to move higher today against those headwinds. As can be seen on the chart below, it is working its way down into a chart support region. If it holds here, the bulls can claim a sort of moral victory given the strength in the Dollar and the continued weakness in the Commodity Sector, especially the grains and crude oil (think food and energy and then think no inflation issues there).

Tomorrow, Friday, is the usual "no fun" day for gold as it tends to get whacked a lot at the end of the week for some reason. This is however a seasonally strong period for the metal so it might be able to dodge a bullet. We'll see. Right now the short term momentum is with the bears after the failure at chart resistance. The probe lower is meant to uncover whether or not the bulls are hanging around or not.

here is one of the commodity sector - the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index. There is certainly nothing in this chart that would indicate the least bit of fear in regards to rising commodity prices. If you want to know why silver puked today, just study this chart - silver is joined at the hip with the broader sector.

By the way, gold failed to extend much past the 50 day moving average and has instead plunged back below this key level. This is one of the reasons the selling is now coming back in once again. Hedge funds see that failure as another sell signal. It is going to be up to Asia to put a floor in this market once again.

More Bad News for Consumer Spending

As most of you who are regular readers of this site know by now, I am of the opinion that the US economy is extremely weak in spite of the massive bubble in the equity markets. My reason for having this view is that the consumer, the backbone of this debt-based system, is not in a happy mood.

Opinion polls reflect the pessimism of the public at large as the majority believe the US is in decline as a nation and is on the wrong track. Wages are stagnant and as a result of that abomination known euphemistically as the "AFFORDABLE" Care Act ( it is anything but that for the vast majority), many workers have been cut from full time to part time status or have lost their health insurance benefits. That means they will have to foot the bill for that out of their own pockets now. Translation - that leaves less money for discretionary consumer spending.

Now comes the news that as of this Friday, the temporary boost in food-stamp benefits that was passed not all that long ago will expire. Analysts are projecting that will leave 48 million Americans with an estimated $16 billion LESS to spend over the next three years - according to an article from Dow Jones Wire Services this AM.

This will hit low-income shoppers the hardest. That demographic tends to frequent the discounters, dollar stores, mini_marts, etc.

Also, the story relates a fact that I had forgotten but was glad to be reminded of - the temporary payroll tax cut which was enacted but expired some months ago  also leaves consumers with less money to spend.

Perhaps the one saving benefit of these deflationary type pressures has been the drop in crude oil and by consequence gasoline prices and heating oil prices. If we get the type of winter that some of the firms are suggesting, consumers will be thankful for that at least.

Regardless, my take remains the same - there are too many deflationary factors at work from a structural standpoint to allow the Velocity of Money to increase any time soon. That will be a tough headwind for gold to deal with without some sort of other catalyst that cracks the confidence in the Dollar.

I am carefully monitoring interest rates here in the US as that will also have a significant impact on the consumer borrowing and spending issue.