Most Popular Financial Markets Analysis of 2015 – Stock Bull Market Splutters into 2016

The stocks bull market entered it’s 7th calendar year at 17,823 and ended the year at 17,425, down 398 points -2.2%, primarily as a result of the Dow having entered into a trading range for the last 2 months of the year, a time when stocks are usually expected to perform well during a santa rally. However this years end of year weakness can be put down primarily to the Mid December Fed decision to start to raise U.S. interest rates, a decision that the Fed had been flagging the prospects of for some time.

Fueling Gold Price 2016 Upleg

Gold certainly had a rough year in 2015, grinding inexorably lower on Fed-rate-hike fears and investor abandonment.  But gold is poised to rebound dramatically in this new year, mean reverting out of its recent deep secular lows.  The drivers of gold’s weakness have soared to such extremes that they have to reverse hard.  The resulting heavy buying from dominant groups of traders will fuel gold’s mighty 2016 upleg.
Investment demand, or lack thereof, is what overwhelmingly drives the gold price.  Investment certainly isn’t the largest component of gold demand, a crown held by jewelry at roughly 4/7ths of the total.  But that is somewhat misleading, as gold’s investment merits are the primary reason Asians flock to gold jewelry.  But since global jewelry demand is fairly consistent, it’s not what drives the gold price on the margin.

Crude Oil and Gold – What Can We Infer from This Relationship?

Trading position (short-term; our opinion): Short positions (with a stop-loss order at $39.12 and an initial downside target at $33.66) are justified from the risk/reward perspective.
Although crude oil moved higher yesterday, the key resistance lines continue to keep gains in check. What does it mean for the commodity? Will the oil-to-gold ratio give us more clues about future moves?

Tech Stocks and Gold Big Picture, Big Moves Brewing

Since gold topped out in 2011 it has been in a confirmed and unrelenting bear market. Since that bull market high in gold the INDU has been outperforming gold in a big way. The first chart I would like to show you is a combo chart which has the INDU:GOLD ratio chart on top and GOLD on the bottom. As you can see both the INDU:GOLD ratio chart on top and GOLD on the bottom reversed direction in 2011 with the ratio chart on top showing the INDU moving in a near parabolic move against gold. Gold on the bottom chart is showing a near parabolic move lower since its 2011 bull market peak. Since October of this year both have hit their respective parabolic trendlines as shown by the blue arrows. If this combo chart continues to play out then we should see the INDU keep outperforming gold going forward. The ratio chart on top shows the price action getting very close to breaking out into new highs and gold is very close to breaking down to new lows since the big reversal took place in 2011. All this chart means is that the INDU should keep outperforming gold until something changes this fact.

Why Austrian Investing Is Important In The Era Of State Imposed Fiat Money

We are living in extreme times. When it comes to investing, the economy and markets, the extreme monetary policies of central banks all over the world should be top of mind of every investor.
To make our point, we refer to the 3 following charts that readers know by now … But it always helps to put things in perpsective. Our focus here is on the time period as of 1971 which will likely go in history books as the era of the “Great Monetary Experiment” (or something alike).

Gold and Silver 2016 Outlook

The precious metals sector will close 2015 entrenched in a seemingly forever bear market. Most of the sector has been in a bear market for over four and a half years. Gold’s bear market will reach four and a half years in a few months. Meanwhile the US Dollar’s bull market remains strong and is likely to continue. In this article we discuss our 2016 big picture outlook for the US Dollar, Gold and gold stocks.

A Look Back At Stock Market 2015……

While 2015 was a boring year for the market, it wasn’t boring for traders, and the experience overall was not a good one. It was the year of transition. The year where the bulls didn’t get spoon fed the way they had for so many years prior. They had become accustomed to getting exactly what they want all the time. If the market fell a bit, no worries. It’ll just blast back up in short order. It was the year when the market said not so easy this time. Time after time! As the year moved along we saw the bull-bear spread tumble lower, getting as low as 7% last week after hitting near 47% just a few months back. The constant neutrality has been playing on the emotions of those ravaging bulls. The giving-up process began after roughly eight months of being left in the cold due to high expectations.

The Crude Oil Price 2016 Prediction Game

Anybody who tells you they know where the oil market is headed for 2016 is inexperienced, too stupid to realize there are far too many variables in play that are unknowable to predict with any accuracy their effects on other variables in the oil equation, talking their own respective books, just piling in with the recent herd mentality on the street, giving an opinion about as valid as the best paint color for a room, or like to see themselves on television talking about the hot market moving topic du jour.

$10 Trillion Investment Needed To Avoid Massive Oil Price Spike Says OPEC

OPEC says that $10 trillion worth of investment will need to flow into oil and gas through 2040 in order to meet the world’s energy needs.

The OPEC published its World Oil Outlook 2015 (WOO) in late December, which struck a much more pessimistic note on the state of oil markets than in the past. On the one hand, OPEC does not see oil prices returning to triple-digit territory within the next 25 years, a strikingly bearish conclusion. The group expects oil prices to rise by an average of about $5 per year over the course of this decade, only reaching $80 per barrel in 2020. From there, it sees oil prices rising slowly, hitting $95 per barrel in 2040.

Business Mergers Soar in 2015

What does a CEO do when the economy is in a persistent down turn and your business cannot expand or grow? Jump at the time tested strategy of acquisition to gain market share seems to be the response in 2015. Yet a merger is no sure thing. Anyone remember AOL’s deal to buy Time Warner. How did that turn out? Just how much additional efficiency can be squeezed out of any company? In the era of part time contract workers and low wages, all the fat has been long gone. As for research and development in new technology or products, how will such innovation be marketed in an economy infatuated with the promise of Amazon Prime drone deliveries?

Stock Market Santa Claus Rally or The Start of Something Bigger?

Stocks are trying to live up to the expectations for a year-end “Santa Claus” rally. Most of the market’s improving internal condition is due to the latest strength in the energy sector, with the NYSE Oil Index (XOI) rallying some 6% from its recent lows.
Although recent trading volume has been far lighter than normal, the NYSE advance/decline ratio for Dec. 23 was an exceptional 13:1 in favor of upside volume. That completely reversed the 1:11 downside volume day on Dec. 11. It also was the first time since Oct. 5 that the up/down volume ratio has been so high in favor of advancing volume. While the Dec. 23 big volume ratio may have been a holiday-related aberration, if it’s followed by a 9:1 up/down volume ratio in the next few days it will qualify as a major volume reversal signal which would mean at least a temporary reprieve from the selling pressure of the last few months.

Gold a Safe Harbor on an Ocean of Excess Reserves

“We had initially asked to pay interest [in 2006] on reserves for technical reasons. But in 2008, we needed the authority to solve an increasingly serious problem: the risk that our emergency lending, which had the side effect of increasing bank reserves, would lead short-term interest rates to fall below our federal funds target and thereby cause us to lose control of monetary policy. When banks have lots of reserves, they have less need to borrow from each other, which pushes down the interest rate on that borrowing — the federal funds rate.” Ben Bernanke, The Courage to Act

U.S. Taxes – How I Beat the IRS

A month ago I got a love letter from the IRS. Well, it didn’t exactly express emotion, but it definitely made clear they wanted to see me, and soon.
I was being audited.
The tax year in question was 2013, and they wanted to focus on K-1’s, basis for stock transactions, charitable contributions, and health insurance payments. I did what anyone would do. I called my accountant.

Does The National Debt Supercycle Override The Normal U.S. Interest Rate Cycle?

Markets and economies usually run in cycles and there have been numerous previous reversals where falling interest rates have been replaced by rising interest rates. The soothing reassurances from many financial authorities and much of the financial media are that there is no need for the general public to worry – because this sort of thing is quite normal.
But is this actually true? Have we really been “here” before?
Or are there are major differences between this time around and the previous cycles of rising interest rates which mean that much of recent history may not apply at all?