Surprise Surprise

The gold market got a nice boost in early action on Thursday as some global central banks remain decidedly dovish regarding monetary policy. For the time being, a lack of inflationary pressures appears to be greenlighting central banks to keep their feet on the gas pedal, and low rates may be the norm for some time to come. The recently released minutes for the latest ECB meeting echoed concerns of the U.S. Fed. Citing inflation levels that continue to run below target levels, the ECB... Continue Reading

Is Gold on the Verge?

Gold has been quietly moving higher for some time now, and the yellow metal could be gearing up for a significant upside breakout. Numerous issues have helped propel the metal higher in recent weeks, including but not limited to geopolitical tensions, worries over the debt ceiling, a dovish Fed and potential topping action in equity markets. In a recent article from Kitco.com, Dennis Gartman, author of The Gartman Letter, suggested that gold is about to finally breakout. He was quoted as saying “Gold is about... Continue Reading

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Bears Beware

Trading gold over the last several months may have been profitable for those active traders who bought the bottom of the range and sold the top. As with any trade or investment, however, the more times the trade works the greater the danger of returning to the well one too many times. This may be exactly the case with gold as it approaches its recent highs. There will likely be those looking to sell the recent rally and strength in gold, and those investors may... Continue Reading

A Scary Place

The ongoing escalation in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea could unfortunately be headed to a new level. According to a report by the Washington Post, North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit into its missiles. The newest development in the ongoing saga brought harsh rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump who stated that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.... Continue Reading

Are Investors Ready for Market Volatility

Investors may be completely unprepared for market volatility at this point. It has been a long time since the market saw a 5% decline, and markets have not seen a significant pullback of any kind in years. This has kept a lid on market volatility as measured by the CBOE’s VIX. You don’t need the VIX gauge, however, to tell that markets have seen very little in terms of large price swings. In fact, stocks have gone sideways to higher for quite some time. Perhaps... Continue Reading

WannaCry Hackers Finally Cash Out

It’s been about three months since the WannaCry ransomware attack, and those behind the attacks have finally cashed out. This ransomware attack crippled computer systems, encrypting files and charging the owners anywhere from $300 to $600 to get the “keys” to unlock their files. The attack prevented a U.K. emergency room from accepting patients, shut down a Spanish telecommunications company and more. The money, all told about $140,000, has been sitting in three separate bitcoin wallets for 12 weeks. Naturally, those wallets have been closely... Continue Reading

Are Gold and Market Volatility About to Explode?

With all that is going on in the world right now, the word “explode” may be a poor choice. The North Korean saber-rattling has continued, with the nation testing another intercontinental ballistic missile just days ago. This provocative action by the North Korean regime did not go unnoticed, and the U.S. along with Japan and South Korea responded with a show of force. This ongoing situation could be reaching a critical juncture, and it remains unclear how the U.S. and its allies will respond to... Continue Reading

Gold Higher as GDP Disappoints

The gold market is moving higher again on Friday, touching a six week high. The latest reading of Q2 GDP was released early this morning, and showed a growth rate of 2.6%. Some estimates were looking for a reading of 2.7% following a very lackluster first quarter growth rate of just 1.4%. This report would seemingly add fuel to the dovish camp regarding monetary policy, and may act as yet another reason for the Fed to keep rates relatively low. The Fed has tried to... Continue Reading

Same Old Same Old from the Fed

Wednesday afternoon saw the conclusion of the latest FOMC monetary policy meeting at which the central bank, as expected, left key interest rates unchanged. The Fed also addressed its massive balance sheet, and appears to be on track for reductions starting in September or October. The central bank is likely to tread very carefully, however, as it looks to contract its balance sheet without sending shockwaves through financial markets. The central bank seems to be of the opinion that the economy is ready to stand... Continue Reading

IMF Slashes Growth Forecasts

The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, recently slashed its growth forecasts for the U.S. for this year and next. The IMF lowered its expectations for growth from 2.3% to 2.1% for this year, and from 2.5% to 2.1% for 2018. Needless to say, this is far below the 4% growth target that has been discussed in recent months and it remains stubbornly below the 3% mark. The IMF listed numerous factors regarding its decision to lower forecasts, with a very poor showing in the first... Continue Reading