"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, November 18, 2013

Big Test Ahead for Gold

Gold continues to follow its recent pattern of experiencing a sharp move higher due almost entirely to short covering only to then consolidate a bit and sink lower once again. We have pointed out that hedge fund short positions are growing while their long positions are slowly being reduced. As more of these large speculators position on the short side of the market, it will be vulnerable to these short-duration rallies whenever any news comes out that can be construed as friendly towards the ongoing QE program. The flip side is that any news, such as what happened today, which can be construed as bringing about a Fed Tapering sooner rather than later, generates strong selling pressure in gold. These same hedge funds begin leaning on it once again, especially if it has popped higher and moved into a technical area of resistance on the price chart.

Gold's inability to garner much in the way of concerted buying today, in spite of general weakness in the US Dollar and some late session pressure in the S&P 500, has to be disconcerting if one is a gold bull. If gold for any reason, loses support down there at the region I have noted on the chart as "Key Support", it will be at $1220 before one can blink. Asian demand had better be strong is all that I can say.

Adding to its woes is another plunge in the price of crude oil as it broke below $93 barrel. As a matter of fact, this is the first time it has CLOSED before that pivotal level meaning odds favor another leg lower in this market. Keeping it somewhat supported is ideas that talks with Iran are going nowhere. If however, we do see some sort of agreement over there, look out for crude as that will bring Iranian supplies back onto the world market, a market already swimming in supply.

There was also weakness in nearby futures pits such as silver and copper. Cattle were pummeled lower today and hogs were also weak. Corn dropped over 2% in price as the apparent lowering of the ethanol mandate effectively undercut some of the demand from that commodity, a commodity which I might add, needs all the demand it is going to get seeing that we are looking for a record corn crop. The all-important feed grain hit a 38 month low today. Does that sound remotely like we are having inflation fears in the commodity/food/energy sector?

All in all, there was a general trend of selling across a wide gamut of the commodity sector as headlines such as "DOW 16,000" were blaring pretty much across any financially related web site out there.

Meanwhile we were treated today to the Dueling Banjos from Deliverance. Not really but it makes a nice lead in sentence. What I am referring to is contrasting speeches from two Fed governors, Charles Plosser and Bill Dudley. Dudley loves QE stating its advantages outweigh its disadvantages ( by that he must mean its destruction of safe, risk free investment alternatives for seniors and those on fixed incomes, retirees, and those contemplating retirement). Plosser on the other hand, whose idea is more to my liking, says the Fed should cap the bond buying program and state clearly how many bonds/MBS's it intends to buy. Strangely enough, both were in agreement that the US economy is slowing improving in their view. That last part should be classified under the category "Fiction" on the financial websites and broadcasts covering their remarks.

The S&P 500 generated another one of those short term sell signals today, not that it will mean a single thing since that market has become an example of life in the international space station where gravity does not exist.

Gold shares, as evidenced by the HUI has better generate some buying in tomorrow's session or that index risks moving back down towards the 210 level. I noticed that Barrick was hit again today as it was down over 2%.

We'll see if we get any followthrough to the downside in the S&P although I doubt it. The mania continues with nothing that can seemingly derail it. The only FEAR that I can see anywhere at this time is the FEAR of missing the bull train in stocks or more comically, fear of missing being a part of Bitcoin.