Dr. Steve Sjuggerud writes: "Today may be the very top in the U.S. dollar," I said on Fox Business two weeks ago.
I was wrong. I need to learn from my mistake…
If you want to get better at investing, you need to analyze your mistakes. That way, you don’t make them again.
Gap openings continued to be the theme for January with four more this week, and 15 in 20 trading days. The market started the week at SPX 2052, bounced to 2058 on Monday, declined by Thursday to 1989, bounced, and then ended the week at 1995. For the week the SPX/DOW were -2.85%, the NDX/NAZ were -2.90%, and the DJ World index was -1.65%. On the economic front reports came in even. On the uptick: consumer confidence, new home sales, the Chicago PMI, the WLEI, and weekly jobless claims improved. On the downtick: durable goods, Case-Shiller, pending home sales, consumer sentiment and the GDP declined. Next week’s economic reports will be highlighted by Payrolls, ISM and the PCE.
Britians’ self assessment tax payers have just 12 hours left to go (Midnight 31st Jan) in filing online returns and paying any taxes due to avoid the automatic £100 fine and interest due on outstanding tax that could easily see the total penalty mushroom to over £1000!. Whilst those who have put off filing returns maybe thinking it is now too late to start need to realise or recall just how easy it has become to file online returns with the HMRC that includes as you go input validation and automatic calculation of tax due.
Mention is often made that one should wait for confirmation of a particular move in
futures before making a commitment, either way. Last week, it appeared evidence was
mounting that November could be a possible low for the correction since late 2011.
Then, we run across this graph from goldchartsrus.com which shows an inordinate
build-up of short positions in silver by what we would call “smart money,” “insiders.”
These large traders do not make such overtly strong commitments to the short side
without expectations that things will go their way. If anything can be said about the
market manipulators, mostly the elite’s central bankers/Wall Street/Fed, it does not
really matter as to accurate identity, for they hide their source[s] very well. What matters
is the outcome from the effort, and to date, there has been a lot of “smashing” success in
taking both silver and gold lower, at will, and with no opposition.
Antonius Aquinas writes: As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) headed by former Goldman Sachs executive, Mario Draghi, announced a massive bond-buying program of more than one trillion Euros in the hope of improving a stagnate European economy and to combat “deflation.”
“What monetary policy can do,” Draghi declared, “is create the basis for growth.” The ECB President added that “structural reforms” by the various Euro member states need to accompany the monetary stimulus if it is to succeed: “But for growth to pick up you need investment; for investment, you need confidence; and for confidence, you need structural reform.”*
The European Central Bank (ECB) finally pulled the QE trigger by committing to purchase 60 billion euros of government debt and other assets every month until September of 2016 or until inflation gets closer to 2 percent.
The made-up excuse for this legal counterfeiting is that Europe is dangerously close to having (a very flawed) index of consumer prices drop below zero; as though calamity would strike Europe if the index were to register a negative number. The ECB claims it needs to print money because lower oil prices and — previous to that — a stronger euro were causing average prices to deviate from its 2 percent inflation target. It’s like having your supermarket run a 50 percent off sale on steak one weekend, and then having the ECB try to make all other prices in the supermarket go up so your total bill at the cash register goes up.
On January 15, 2015 the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced an end to its three-year-old cap of 1.20 franc per euro. (The SNB introduced the cap in September 2011.) The SNB has also reduced its policy interest rate to minus 0.75 percent from minus 0.25 percent. The Swiss franc appreciated as much as 41 percent to 0.8517 per euro following the announcement, the strongest level on record — it settled during the day at around 0.98 per euro
Fed Officials Trying to Send Signals to the Bond Market
James Bullard on Friday noted that the Bond Market was far too dovish in relation to where the Fed is in regard to raising rates in June, and this might be the understatement of the year so far. For example the U.S. 2-Year Bond Yield is 0.45 or 45 basis points, think about this for a moment. Even if the Fed fund`s rate finishes the year at 50 basis points which is well below the Fed`s most conservative forecasts, and we use a conservative annual inflation rate of 1% (I know oil has dropped but there are more inflation categories than just the energy component). Moreover, the overall annual inflation rate is well above 1% right now, and you factor in that this bond is paying a 2-year risk premium for tying up one`s capital with all kinds of inflation risks over that 2-year time frame, this has to be the stupidest investment of all time.
If you’re trading this market it’s quite likely you’re struggling mightily. The degree of volatility is off the charts about as much as I’ve ever witnessed. The moves from day to day are intense, but even more so are the moves hour to hour, and sometimes less than that. In a twenty minutes span you can see the S&P 500 swing twenty or more points. This process gets repeated many times over the course of a single trading day. No one does well in this environment unless you’re taking the highly risky chance of holding stocks in to their earnings report. I personally would never recommend that.
Michael A. Robinson writes: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) just reported the biggest quarterly profit ever for a public company – $18 billion in net income over the last three months of 2014. And CEO Tim Cook says his company made a “staggering” number of iPhone sales during that time – 74.5 million.
And already a lot of folks in the media and on Wall Street are asking this question: What’s next?
Just after I signed the publishing agreement for my first book, The Colder War, I realized how much research I was going to end up doing, specifically in areas that I never thought would be so integral to my subject area: energy and mining. Along the way, I came across some fascinating events that were completely out of my area of expertise but gave me a better sense for the unintended consequences in an historical perspective of the events that led to where we are today.
With the sharp selling in recent days, there is now the potential that another larger-degree peak has been seen in the Gold market. Having said that, this is not set in stone at the present time, and the various time cycles that I track suggest that we should be at or nearing at least a short-term bottom, with the potential for one final slingshot higher into early-to-mid February.
“If a little is great, and a lot is better, then way too much is just about right!”
A comment from my last essay, "Finding The Real Price Of Money", got me thinking about preparing for the eventual crisis.
That – and an experience I had in the ocean.
January will most likely be negative for US stock indices (S&P500), and will be the 2nd consecutive year of negative January performance.
While many are familiar with the old adage “As January goes, so goes the rest of the year”, we had pointed to the fact that negative January performances in the S&P500 have always led to high profile volatility and/or double digit declines in a single month that year.
Gold has performed very well under the circumstances of declining inflation and a surging US$ index. Since 2014 the US$ index is up nearly 18% while Gold is up 3%. Since Gold’s November low the US$ index is up over 10%. Had we known that at the time, we’d have thought Gold would be headed for $1000 and not the $1300 it recently hit. At present, the US$ index appears ripe for a correction or major pause in its uptrend. Given that Gold is priced in US$ and that Gold has shown strength in real terms, sustained US$ weakness could be a major boon for Gold and precious metals as a whole.
It was in 1896 when prospectors stumbled across large quantities of gold in one of the tributaries of the Yukon’s Klondike River. Word of this discovery spread like wildfire. And in no time at all prospectors from far and wide set course to get a piece of the action. The aptly named Klondike Gold Rush ended up being one of legend!
Provocatively this legend was not entirely one of smashing success and untold riches though. Yes, there were some who cashed in, but it was ultimately one of endless frustration and failure. Gold fever ended up blinding folks to the reality of the Yukon’s harsh climate and challenging geography. And most of those who journeyed there were ill-equipped to deal with it.
When inflation alarmists want to convince everyone the dollar is about to become worthless, they post this chart of the CPI.
Nick Giambruno writes: International Man is all about making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world. To do this, by definition, you must minimize the amount of money any government takes from you.
Unlike every other country in the world, the US successfully taxes its nonresident citizens on their global income. This means Americans living abroad have to not only deal with the tax system in the foreign country in which they live, but also with the multiple layers of tax bureaucracy from the US. It’s a uniquely American burden.
James Bullard, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, spoke with Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio today about monetary policy, the U.S. economy and the oil market.
Bullard said “Zero interest rates is not the right interest rate for this economy. We are much closer to goals than we’ve been in a long time. Inflation is a little bit low, but it’s not low enough to rationalize the zero interest rate policy.”
He said: “The market has a more dovish view of what the Fed is going to do than the Fed itself… Markets should take it at face value.” He said it’s “reasonable” to expect an increase in June or July.