Are Gold Prices Going Up in 2017 After This Week’s FOMC Meeting?

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
In my update last week, I made the case for why I thought gold prices had bottomed on July 7 at a nearly three-month low of $1,210.
This week’s action seems to be cementing that view, with the gold price on track to post a weekly gain of 0.6%. If that happens, gold will have posted its third weekly gain in a row since the July 7 bottom.
Gold’s been hitting my targets pretty consistently, with the $1,260 target I mentioned last week already surpassed with today’s 0.3% gain to $1,263. The catalysts behind this past week’s lift were the Federal Reserve and the U. S. dollar.
In fact, the price of gold closed at $1,260 – the highest since June 14 – thanks to the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged after the FOMC meeting this week.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Peter Krauth ‘ July 28, 2017.

28/7/17: Risk, Uncertainty and Markets

I have warned about the asymmetric relationship between markets volatility and leverage inherent in lower volatility targeting strategies, such as risk-parity, CTAs, etc for some years now, including in 2015 posting for GoldCore (here: And recently, JPMorgan research came out with a more dire warning:

This post was published at True Economics on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Oil & Gas Earnings Expectations Are Collapsing

Much of the recent ebulient narrative about equity markets has been based on the promise of an earnings rebound – due to beneficial comps in the oil & gas sector. That narrative just hit a wall…
As Bloomberg notes, analysts haven’t rushed to upgrade their outlook on earnings per share at Europe’s biggest energy companies, even as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Statoil ASA beat estimates for a second straight quarter.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Ah, To Be A Fly On The Wall At The Next White House Staff Meeting

Just when you thought US politics couldn’t get any darker – what with the president openly musing about firing the attorney general who is investigating the president’s campaign – in comes new communications director Anthony Scaramucci, with a, ahem, unique critique of his new coworkers:
Scaramucci calls Priebus a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’
(Fox News) – Anthony Scaramucci’s shocking, on-the-record tirade has blown the cover off long-simmering tensions between two of President Trump’s key men, prompting one White House worker to express safety concerns and triggering a countdown to the exit of either Scaramucci or his target, Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Scaramucci, the newly minted White House communications director, set off a firestorm with a rambling rant loaded with expletives and threats that The New Yorker published. The coarse language directed at Priebus and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, as well as blanket threats to fire people, left some inside the White House shaken.
‘This is getting out of hand,’ a White House staffer told Fox News. ‘I am honestly concerned for my safety in the office tomorrow. This type of behavior is unbelievable. Working in the White House, and something like that is said … it’s a disgrace.’

This post was published at DollarCollapse on July 28, 2017.

“This Is A Full-Blown Scandal: It’s Unbelievable, Outrageous” – Comptroller Demands Heads Roll At Wells

Wells Fargo is in boiling hot water. Again.
One day after the NYT reported the latest major scandal involving Warren Buffett’s favorite bank, in which the bank was busted less than a year after its miss-selling fraud cost the former CEO his job, revealing that the bank charged some 800,000 customers for auto insurance they did not need (with some still paying for it), the demands for resignation have arrived.
In a statement from NYC Comtroller Scott Stringer, he demands that Wells Fargo must immediately “jump-start” necessary board change by replacing Chairman Stephen Sanger with a new independent chairperson following the latest “mismanagement” revelations.
In surprisingly harsh words, Stringer does not hold anything back against the worst performing bank stock today (WFC -2.8%):
“This is a full-blown scandal – again. It’s unbelievable, outrageous, sad, and yet quintessential Wells Fargo. This isn’t just a corporate debacle. It’s caused real human harm. It’s reflective of a system that Americans feel is rigged against the little guy, and sadly symbolic of a culture that puts short-term profits ahead of creating sustainable value for shareowners. Everyday families have suffered and tens of millions of hard-earned dollars were stripped from unsuspecting Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. In the end, shareowners ultimately suffer the long-term consequences.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Market Talk- July 28th, 2017

A weak market close for most of the Asian indices today but saw the KOPSI and ASX off around 1.55% the pair. The Nikkei gave up another 0.6% as the yen trade back to the mid 110’s. With Shanghai the only core that closed positive even the Hang Seng fell -0.6%. The sell-off was broad based but financials seemed to take their share of the beating, possibly influenced by European declines and notably that of Deutsche bank. The late news that the US Senate had voted down the Obama appeal certainly didn’t help sentiment. Japan did see a weaker Retail Sales release (2.1% versus a 2.3% expectation) with an inline Consumer Prices number.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 28, 2017.

No Surprise, Wells Fargo

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Alhambra Investments. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
In September 2016, Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees. These sorts of mass layoffs have become common in banking throughout the post-crisis era, especially those years of the ‘rising dollar.’ This was different, however, as Wells was not cutting back in capacity but dealing with the aftermath of being far too aggressive. These employees were found to have opened secret and unauthorized customer accounts to charge fees in order to meet sales targets and therefore bonuses.
An internal investigation suggested as many as 1.5 million deposit accounts were created for this, as were 565,443 credit card applications. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued Wells a record $185 million in fines and ordered $5 million in restitution. In a memo to employees, the bank, as they all do, stood by its commitment to customers.
At Wells Fargo, when we make mistakes, we are open about it, we take responsibility, and we take action.
OK. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that once more Wells Fargo might have been doing wrong, this time having charged as many as 800,000 auto loan customers for auto insurance they didn’t need or want.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jeffrey P. Snider ‘ July 28, 2017.

Internal Cracks Are Showing In The Market – Low Volume Highs

Via Dana Lyons Tumblr,
Stocks have recently witnessed an unprecedented cluster of new highs occurring on negative volume.
A number of stock bears have pointed to the supposed thin nature of the rally in justifying their skepticism. That is, the rally has been led by a relatively small number of stocks as opposed to broad participation. While we have seen anecdotes of such a condition, we can’t say that we fully subscribe to this concern. Factors such as the NYSE advance-decline line hitting new highs along with the various market cap indices, from small-caps to large-caps, also at new highs undermine the argument, in our view.
We will say that some of our proprietary breadth measures have not supported the recent rally. When such divergences have occurred in the past, stocks have eventually dropped, confirming the signals of our indicators. However, the timing of such a reckoning can be difficult. Outside of that condition, as we said, concerns about breadth have been mainly of an anecdotal nature.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

Desperate Americans Are Saving The Least Since The Start Of The Last Two Recessions

The last two times Americans were saving this little in order to maintain their lifetsyles, the US economy was in recession.
According to newly revised government data, Bloomberg reports that American households scaled back their pace of savings to the lowest level in nine years at the end of 2016 as the growth of their wages and salaries slowed.
The personal savings rate was 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016, down from a previously published 4.9%, according to somewhat dramatic annual revisions to gross domestic product and related data, released Friday by the Commerce Department. That’s the lowest reading since a 2.8% rate in the final three months of 2007, just as the U. S. was entering a recession.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

The Koch Brothers Are Steering Trump’s Tax Reform Policy

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The billionaire Koch brothers are attempting to drive Washington’s policy decisions again.
This time, the siblings are prepared to sway GOP leaders’ decisions on tax reform.
And they’ll kick off their campaign this Monday, July 31, in a meeting with officials from President Donald Trump’s
administration – specifically Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinand White House aide (and former Koch advisor) Marc Short.
Set to make the case for Charles and David Koch’s special brand of tax reform will be Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President James Davis and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) President Tim Phillips.
Both Freedom Partners and AFP are Koch-backed organizations.
The event has been billed as an opportunity for ‘the White House and the Koch network to argue the benefits of a tax code rewrite,’ reported The Hill this morning.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Money Morning Staff Reports ‘ July 28, 2017.

What Does the MACD Tell Us About the Risk of a Major Market Peak?

Risks to the market appear elevated over the next 1-3 months with a variety of sentiment readings edging into overly bullish territory (see Rydex Trader Bullishness Surpasses 2000 Tech Bubble). Longer-term, however, the yield curve and other leading indicators aren’t suggesting the risk of an imminent major peak or recession.
Another important indicator that agrees with this outlook, which has been quite useful for identifying major trend changes in the S&P 500, is a trend-following momentum indicator called the MACD (in blue below).
We’ve shown green and red arrows on the S&P 500 corresponding to MACD buy and sell signals (when the blue line goes above and below the red-dotted zero line) and, though it has been less timely on market bottoms, following its advice on bearish crossover sell signals would’ve gotten you out near the very peak of the 2000 tech bubble, the 2007 top, and also at the intermediate-term 2015 market top.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/28/2017.

Rig Count Rises By Just 2 As Goldman Expects Oil Market To Rebalance By Early 2018

With WTI heading for its best week since 2016, demand and inventory data is trumping production for now and today’s Baker Hughes rig count data did nothing to change that as, following last week’s 1 rig drop, producers only added 2 oil rigs in the last week to 766.
*U. S. GAS RIG COUNT UP 6 TO 192 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US *U. S. OIL RIG COUNT UP 2 TO 766 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US Judging by the lagged correlation to WTI, rig counts are stalling as expected…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

P&G Slashed Digital Ad Spending. This is What Happened Next

Tired of feeding an opaque, slimy industry of bots and fake clicks.
Procter & Gamble, one of the largest and most sophisticated advertisers in the world, reported on Thursday that sales were slightly down in the fourth quarter and for the fiscal year, despite consumer price inflation. It’s the epitome of corporate revenue stagnation: only price increases keep revenues from declining. An activist investor – formerly called ‘corporate raider’ – is breathing down its neck. So cost cutting to raise profits is the trick.
When a corporate giant cuts costs, it cuts the revenues of other companies.
And it did. Its ‘selling, general, and administrative expenses,’ which include advertising and marketing, fell 7% in the quarter. Net income jumped 12%. And digital advertising took it on the chin in P&G’s earnings report:
Digital ad spending was lower versus a high base period and due to current period choices to temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.
Back in the day before digital ads, advertisers lived by a rule of thumb: Half of our advertising doesn’t work and is wasted; we just don’t know which half.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jul 28, 2017.

WTI Surges Towards $50 – Breaks Above Key Technical Level

Ahead of today’s rig count data, WTI (and Brent) Crude is extending its short-squeeze gains after the bullish inventory data trend was confirmed (shrugging off the surge in production). Signals from an increaisng number of firms that they are cutting capex (and this drilling) has helped send WTI and Brent back above their 200-day moving-averages.
Halliburton, promising to be disciplined in adding more fracking gear to the oilfields, says U. S. explorers are “tapping the brakes” on drilling as the price of oil struggles to breach $50 a barrel.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

July 28/Gold rises by $9.30/silver up by 11 cents due to 1. lousy GDP report. 2. wage inflation non existent/3. Failure of the Senate to pass the skinny Health care bill. 4/ the Senate passes the…

GOLD: $1269.60 UP $9.30
Silver: $16.70 UP 11 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1269.60
silver: $16.76
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1265.79 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1259.55
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.24

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 28, 2017.

How VIX Ends a Long Run of Low Values

With the VIX Index down in the 9s, and with valuations at historic extremes, investors are wondering how long this all can last. The short answer is, MORE.
Read While Markets Get Pricey, Cracks Starting to Appear
The VIX Index made its all-time closing low of 9.31 back on Dec. 22, 1993. It has posted intraday values below that number in July 2017, but has not yet made a lower closing low. The most important point that history teaches us about these extreme low VIX readings is that the lowest VIX closing value seldom coincides with the highest price high. And the amount of time between those two events can vary wildly.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/28/2017.