The War on Rates

The stock market has had another trying week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped some 900 points in a span of just two days. There are certainly a number of headwinds currently at play, including the ongoing war on trade, a stronger dollar and various geopolitical issues. Without question, however, the primary catalyst for this week’s stock selling appears to be the notion of higher interest rates. The Fed and its plans to normalize monetary policy have been the topic of significant debate in... Continue Reading

Any Day Now

The gold market is trading slightly higher to kick off the new trading week. This week will likely see lighter trading volumes due to the Thanksgiving holiday, with many investors taking off Friday as well. The gold market appears to be in consolidation mode and could be getting ready for a significant upside breakout. The market has passed an important test in recent sessions, as the recent dip down to the $1200 level found willing buyers. The catalyst for the next major move higher could... Continue Reading

Are Hikes Beginning to Hurt?

The subject of the Fed and its plans to continue with gradual rate hikes has been the topic of considerable debate in recent months. Thus far, the central bank has stuck to its guns and moved ahead with more hikes. In fact, the central bank has another hike planned before the end of the year and currently has three more penciled in for next year. It’s no secret that the Fed has drawn some criticism. Even President Trump has weighed in on the issue. The... Continue Reading

Stocks or the Dollar

The last several weeks have seen a resurgence of market volatility, and many investors are wondering if there is more to come. Through a very bumpy October for equities, gold made some solid strides higher as risk aversion increased. Markets have been a bit calmer in recent sessions, and the yellow metal has seen some declines taking it back to the $1200 level. The recent pullback is not due to the possibility of stocks stabilizing, however, but rather is due to a stronger dollar. The... Continue Reading

What is Oil Telling the Markets?

The last several weeks have seen renewed stock market volatility as investors contend with the ongoing trade war with China, rising rates and the highly anticipated midterm elections. The elections have now come and gone, however, the other factors remain a source of concern for investors. With so many potential distractions, it is easy to see why recent price action in the oil market has not gotten too much attention. Although the market’s recent slide has been mentioned here or there, the recent declines could... Continue Reading

Big Week

The week ahead could potentially see some market volatility as there are numerous key issues that could fuel price action. The ongoing trade talks with China, the Fed meeting and of course the midterm elections could all impact market sentiment. The highly anticipated midterm elections are quickly approaching, and recent reports suggest that the democrats have a significant lead. The election is of significant importance, as a flipping of the House from republicans to democrats could have a huge effect on the Trump administration’s agenda... Continue Reading

Gold Rockets Higher Despite Stock Rebound

Gold is climbing sharply higher today as an improving technical posture, weaker dollar and disappointing data fuel buying interest. In what seems to be a recent trend, the latest reading on ISM manufacturing came in below expectations. Although the reading was still solid, the slightly lower gauge could potentially point to weakening economic growth. Other key data points in recent weeks have also shown a tendency to come in slightly below consensus estimates, and if the recent trend does continue it could start to raise... Continue Reading

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What Does Dr. Copper Say?

The copper market is often viewed as a barometer of overall economic activity. This makes complete sense, given its widespread industrial use. Copper has not performed well this year, however, and is poised to see its first annual decline since 2015. After rising by some 32 percent last year, prices have already declined by roughly 17 percent year-to-date. Of note, copper actually was higher over the first six months of the year before dropping by a whopping 20 percent in a period of just two... Continue Reading

Don’t Fight the Fed, but Don’t Ignore It Either

There is an old saying that says “Don’t fight the Fed.” This saying is typically directed at stock market bears that remain bearish equities even as the central bank lowers rates or maintains ultra-low levels of rates that encourage risk taking. The phrase happens to make a great deal of sense, as the Fed is essentially the most powerful financial institution that there is. The Fed has the power to control the money supply, and to “create” new money out of thin air. If the... Continue Reading

Heed the Warnings

The last couple of weeks have seen rising stock market volatility as numerous issues weigh on markets and investor sentiment. The declines seen in Chinese markets cannot, and should not, be ignored. The Shanghai Composite is off some 25 percent since the beginning of the year, and more downside could potentially be in store. The Chinese economy has already shown some key signs of slowing, and if it does in fact slow further the effects may be felt all over the globe. Chinese officials have... Continue Reading