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Gold Price: It’s Official – Bull Market is Back

Gains from December low top $200 or 20%

by Frik Els
Mining.com

Gold’s 2016 rally gathered momentum on Thursday with the metal touching an intra-day high of $1,261.30 an ounce, up nearly $20 or 1.6% from yesterday’s close.

Gains in Comex futures for delivery in April, the most active contract, came in heavy volumes of more than 17 million ounces by midday, already surpassing the daily average.

Today’s trading also pushed the gold market into official bull territory – defined as a 20% move from a low. Gold touched a near six-year low of $1,049.60 December 17. The intra-day high on Thursday constitutes a 20.2% or $211.70 jump from those levels.

Nowhere is the change in sentiment more evident than in the physical gold-backed exchange traded funds industry.

Continue Reading at Mining.com…

Banks Bloated on Sovereign Debt Weaken Italy in Row With Germany

by John Glover, Chiara Vasarri, and Giovanni Salzano
Bloomberg.com

A drive to tighten rules over how much sovereign debt banks are allowed to own has raised the alarm in the home of the euro region’s largest bond market.

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, vowed last month to veto any attempt to cap holdings, putting him at odds with Germany. Italian government securities account for 10.4 percent of the country’s bank assets, the most among major European economies and compared with 3.2 percent in Germany, the latest European Central Bank figures show.

A limit would mean “altering the balance of the Italian banking system,” said Francesco Boccia, a lawmaker from Renzi’s Democratic Party who heads the budget committee in Italy’s lower house of parliament. “Banks are already struggling to lend money to small- and medium-sized companies,” he said. “This would be the final blow.”

Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…

I Predict That Romney….

by Karl Denninger
Market-Ticker.org

….. will do exactly nothing other than drive even more people to Trump.

Romney’s focus on “tax returns” is particularly insane. First, there is not only no obligation to do so excerpts, which is all that anyone ever releases, prove exactly nothing. What does prove something? The required disclosures that not only more comprehensive they’re made under penalty of law.

So-called released “tax returns” are not. Those could in fact be lies and there is nothing you can do about it because there is nothing illegal about lying as a political statement, only when you lie to the government.

If you lie in a required campaign disclosure to the FEC you can go to prison.

Continue Reading at Market-Ticker.org…

Brazil In “Dire Straits” As PMI Crashes To Record Lows

from Zero Hedge

“The Brazilian economic downturn took a real turn for the worse in February,” according to Markit’s Composite PMI, which collapsed to record lows at 39.0. Despite a slightly less bad than expected GDP print this morning (stil down a record 5.89% YoY), hope was quickly extinguished as PMIs showed economic activity continuing to contract at a record pace, job losses accelerating, and manufacturing’s collapse accelerating. As Market sums up, “With the global economy also showing signs of slowing, which will impact on external demand, it looks as if the downturn is set to continue to run its course in the coming months.”

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

Which Candidate Would Make America Greatest?

A look at the economic impact of the remaining presidential hopefuls

by Caroline Baum
Market Watch

The results of Super Tuesday’s primary contests may not have sealed the deal for presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but they made their path to victory a whole lot clearer.

True, Bernie Sanders won in four of 11 states on the Democratic side, including his home state of Vermont. Ted Cruz’s three-state win, including delegate-rich Texas, and Marco Rubio’s first-place finish in the Minnesota caucuses robbed Trump of a sweep. But the size and geographical scope of Trump’s and Clinton’s victories have put the nomination out of reach for the other candidates.

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich is determined to soldier on; his campaign’s staying power will be determined by whether he wins the winner-take-all Ohio primary on March 15.

Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…

“Bernie or Bust” – Over 50,000 Sanders Supporters Pledge to Never Vote for Hillary

by Michael Krieger
Liberty Blitzkrieg

[…] I think Donald Trump is one of the most underrated presidential candidates in U.S. history, while Hillary Clinton is likely the most overrated. Democrats across America will very shortly experience extreme buyers remorse as Hillary melts into a puddle of Goldman Sachs checks in the face of the political hurricane that is Donald Trump.

Over the past severals weeks, I’ve been hammering home the obvious fact that Hillary Clinton is a far weaker candidate than Sanders against Donald Trump in the general election. I’ve been taken aback by the massive traffic generated by the recent post, Why Hillary Clinton Cannot Beat Donald Trump, and I think it speaks volumes about how passionately people feel about the topic. It’s by far the most popular piece I’ve published this year, with over 23,000 reads on Liberty Blitzkrieg alone.

Continue Reading at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com…

Gold and Silver Surging – Shorts Worry as the Long Awaited Turn Picks up Momentum

from King World News

Gold and silver are surging ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll Report, despite heavy commercial selling. Shorts worry as the long awaited turn picks up momentum.

John Embry had this to say yesterday about the current COT setup:

“However, it feels different this time because despite the best efforts of the bullion banks to flush the gold market lower, the gold price keeps coming back. And as I said, in comparison to the past 4 1/2 years, where the bullion banks appeared to be in complete control, something seems to have changed.”

Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…

Oil Prices Seesaw On Declining U.S. Production, Increasing Stockpiles

by Matt Smith
Oil Price

One hundred and ninety-nine years after the first commercial steamboat route from (the mighty!) Louisville to New Orleans was opened, and the crude complex appears to be running out of steam. Here are nine things to consider today:

1) We have had a mixed bag of data out overnight. Things were kicked off by a weaker-than-expected Chinese services print from Caixin, although a gradual pace of growth was still seen (51.2 vs. 52.6 consensus). Eurozone services, however, came in better than expected on the aggregate – buoyed by Germany and Italy, kept in check by France.

Continue Reading at OilPrice.com…

The Stupid Things People Do When Their Society Breaks Down

by Brandon Smith
Alt-Market

A frequent mistake that many people make when considering the concept of social or economic collapse is to imagine how people and groups will behave tomorrow based on how people behave today. It is, though, extremely difficult to predict human behavior in the face of terminal chaos. What we might expect, or what Hollywood fantasy might showcase for entertainment purposes, may not be what actually happens when society breaks down.

It is also important to note that social and economic destabilization is usually a process, not an immediate event. This actually works in the favor of liberty activists and the preparedness minded. As a system moves through the stages of a breakdown, certain signals in the psychology of the population can be observed, and this gives us a warning as to how far down the rabbit hole we have actually gone.

Continue Reading at Alt-Market.com…

Moodys Cuts China’s Outlook Rating…

by Chuck Butler
Daily Pfennig

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m greeted this morning by Uriah Heep and their song: July Morning… This is the song that I highlight at the beginning of July each year, per Pfennig Tradition. My old friend, and the drummer in our band, Preston, and I had an 8-Track of the Uriah Heep Live, and on our long drives between St. Louis and Midwest City, Oklahoma (where the band lived) that song would get played over and over again, until we memorized every note, drum beat, lyric, etc. BTW, I hear that cassettes are making a comeback… If 8-Track Tapes ever make a comeback, I’ve got a box of them!

The currencies have a “rally flavor” to them this morning, for the most part that is.. The euro is still stuck in the mud, and hasn’t budged more than 15 ticks in the last 4 days…

Continue Reading at DailyPfennig.com…

Death and Despair in China’s Rustbelt

by Bloomberg News
Bloomberg.com

In a snow-covered valley in northeast China, an hour from the North Korean border, a street with brightly-painted apartment blocks hides a story of fear and anger as dangerous to the country as its rollercoaster stock market or sliding currency.

The frozen alluvial river plain that was once at the forefront of the Communist Party’s first attempt to build a modern economy has now fallen behind, leaving a valley of brutal murder, protests, anger, suicide and regret.

[…] This is the city of Tonghua in China’s rustbelt, where a desperate handful of steelworkers has gathered each week outside the management office of their mill in freezing temperatures to demand months of wages they say they’re owed. The answer, according to interviews with workers and residents, is always the same: there is no money.

Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…

How It’s Really Done

by Richard Daughty
The Mogambo Guru Blog

In the old days, you would gradually provide for your retirement by saving money, either stashing cash under the floorboards or at a bank. By the term “in old days”, I actually DO mean all the way back to dinosaurs, who did NOT save for their retirements (which you can easily prove for yourself by examining the fossil record), and they all died penniless. Let that be a lesson to you.

Anyway, the bank at which you saved towards retirement would pay you somepiddly rate of interest that at least offset the rate of inflation, and little by little your little stash grew and grew, until one day it was a mighty oak tree, majestically spreading its strong, leafy branches to the beaconing sky and… Oops. Sorry. I don’t know where that came from.

Anyway, the bank would use your measly deposit to loan ten times as much to creditworthy people and businesses, charging them a slightly higher interest rate. The bank’s profit was the spread between interest paid by the bank to the depositor, and the monies paid to the bank by the borrower.

Continue Reading at MogamboGuru.com…

“No Signs of Recession” Says Agency That Always Fails to Predict Recession

by Simon Black
Sovereign Man

In the middle of a heated battle against my jetlag yesterday, I finally decided to exercise the nuclear option and turn on CNBC in order to stay awake.

I figured someone would say something completely ridiculous, and it would get my blood boiling enough to power through the next couple of hours.

Within minutes I saw a top economist for Moody’s (one of the largest rating agencies in the world) saying that there are absolutely zero signs of recession.

Boom. I was suddenly so wide-awake it was like that adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction.

Continue Reading at SovereignMan.com…

Brexit and a Hanseatic League

by Alasdair MacLeod
Gold Money

David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, has negotiated terms with the other EU member states, which he feels justified to put to voters in an in/out referendum called for 23 June.

At this early stage in the campaign, the terms are not sufficient to give a clear lead in favour a vote to stay, contributing to a slide in sterling on the foreign exchanges. However, if voters do vote to leave the EU, it won’t be just sterling which suffers, but the euro will face considerable challenges as well.

It is thought that arranging for the referendum to be held at the earliest possible date will limit disaffection with the EU. Within this time-scale, the strategy is to emphasise the dangers of Brexit, highlight the advantages of being able to influence EU policies from within, and to emphasise the security benefits of being in as opposed to out. It is essentially a weak and negative campaign strategy designed to scare the electorate against change. Negative campaigns are a weak strategy, which tend to wane through repetition.

Continue Reading at GoldMoney.com…

Mrs. Clinton, This Is How We Previously Handled Classified Material

by Pam Martens
Wall Street on Parade

The Washington Post is reporting this morning that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails during her tenure as Secretary of State. Clinton substituted her own private server in place of the government’s secure system. The Post also reports that the FBI has “secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.” According to the article, Pagliano has been given a grant of immunity by the Justice Department.

While Hillary Clinton has said that none of the emails were classified at the time they were sent, the Post notes that “I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general of the intelligence community, has indicated that some of the material intelligence officials have reviewed contained information that was classified at the time it was sent.”

Continue Reading at WallStreetOnParade.com…

An Unconvicted Felon

by Monty Pelerin
Monty Pelerin’s World

Nothing disgusts the public’s regard for the political establishment more than the establishment’s assumption that laws apply to others but not to themselves. And nothing provides a better example of such contempt than a person who is (as yet) an unconvicted felon who believes she has a right to the presidency of the country.

If this country is to survive, justice and the rule of law cannot be ignored. That is especially so for the supposed role models who expect to lead. No one can be “too big to prosecute” without destroying the confidence in the entire system.

Justice Brandeis, a supreme court justice, understood the delicate balance between government and its citizens:

Continue Reading at EconomicNoise.com…

OPEC Ministers Now Resorting To Outright Lies In Desperate Attempts To Push Oil Higher

from Zero Hedge

The key (recurring) catalyst for today’s early spike in oil, was the latest desperate attempt by an imploding OPEC member, this time Nigeria to push oil higher when overnight its petroleum minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said that key members of OPEC intend to meet with other producers in Russia on March 20 to renew talks on an agreement to cap oil output, Nigeria’s petroleum minister said.

The headlines in question:

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

Most Investors Are Completely Missing This “Snapback” Trade…

by Greg Guenthner
Daily Reckoning

Some of the best trading opportunities we’ve seen in months keep popping up in commodities.

The great commodity supercyle is history. But wild bear market rallies can happen with little warning. These “supercycle snapbacks” are fast and messy. But they can line your pockets in no time flat.

I know it’s hard to wrap your mind around a commodities trade when you’re bombarded by constant shrieks about the possibility of global recession. It’s still too early to make a final call on that one. But it’s not too early to determine that certain commodities are flashing strong buy signals right now. You can debate why they are. But you can’t deny what we’re seeing in the markets right now…

Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…

Why OPEC Will Never Cut Production Again

by Kirk Spano
Market Watch

Since the December OPEC meeting, I have come to one inescapable conclusion: that OPEC will never cut production again at the expense of its own market share. Based on that idea, in the past couple of months, my clients, subscribers and I have done well to trade around oil’s further decline, the slow bleed out of indebted oil stocks and even bet against a few banks. In the past week, however, oil has shown some strength on the back of young traders and short covering. With huge resistance around $37 per barrel of oil, I don’t see that strength lasting long.

Back in late 2011 I identified — at about the same time that several institutions did — that the U.S. shale industry was going to change the global energy dynamic and recommended buying oil stocks. By 2014, I recognized that the price of oil would collapse, suggested selling oil stocks and invested in the dollar. In 2015, I made the same mistake that T. Boone Pickens admitted to recently, in that I, too, believed the rebalancing of the oil market would happen much faster than it has. The result was that I gave back a lot of 2014’s gains.

Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…

ISM Non-Manufacturing: PMI Growth Continues at Slower Rate

by Doug Short
Financial Sense

Today the Institute for Supply Management published its latest Non-Manufacturing Report. The headline NMI Composite Index is at 53.4 percent, up 0.1 percent from last month’s seasonally adjusted 53.4 percent. Today’s number came in slightly above the Investing.com forecast of 53.2 percent.

Here is the report summary:

“The NMI® registered 53.4 percent in February, 0.1 percentage point lower than the January reading of 53.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly slower rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 57.8 percent, 3.9 percentage points higher than the January reading of 53.9 percent, reflecting growth for the 79th consecutive month at a faster rate. The New Orders Index registered 55.5 percent, 1 percentage point lower than the reading of 56.5 percent in January. The Employment Index decreased 2.4 percentage points to 49.7 percent from the January reading of 52.1 percent and indicates contraction after 23 consecutive months of growth.

Continue Reading at FinancialSense.com…

The Noose Tightens; Jumpsuit Sizing In Process

by Karl Denninger
Market-Ticker.org

This is an interesting story for its implications in the Emailgate case.

The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.

The take-away from this announcement is this: The FBI has at least one and probably multiple better felonies “in the bag” and they believe that an immunity grant will cement that case.

Continue Reading at Market-Ticker.org…

Another Indication Full Employment Only Applies to Limited Circumstances if at All

by Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Partners

When the unemployment rate tumbled toward 5% and now below it, economists thought that was overheating. For monetary policy, that was much of the basis for adjusting Fed communication (not rate hikes, as credit and funding markets are doing the opposite). Despite the “best jobs market in decades”, however, confirmation of that robust labor agenda is scarce at best and really non-existent.

For instance, the last time the unemployment rate was at or near “full employment” below 5% was 2007 just prior to the Great Recession. That year there were an average of 26.3 million Americans receiving Supplemental Nutrition benefits, or SNAP.

Continue Reading at AlhambraPartners.com…