PM Weekly Market Commentary – 5/10/2019
On Friday, gold rose +2.16 [+0.17%] to 1290.70 on heavy volume, and silver moved up +0.02 [+0.10%] to 14.78 on moderately light volume. The other metals rallied much more strongly, especially palladium [+4.59%] and platinum [+1.87%].
The metals mostly fell this week, with gold the sole exception; industrial metals copper and palladium did worst (even after Friday’s strong rally), silver led gold down, with the miners roughly unchanged. The miners are doing worst longer term – they are below all 3 moving averages – right along with silver. Since miners and silver tend to lead, that tells us that PM remains in a downtrend.
|Name||Chart||Chg (W)||52w ch||MA9||MA50||MA200||50/200||Last Crossing||last|
|Gold||$GOLD||0.54%||-2.67%||rising||falling||rising||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-03||2019-05-10|
|Gold/Euro||$GOLD:$XEU||0.20%||3.28%||rising||falling||rising||falling||ma50 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Senior Miners||GDX||-0.05%||-11.63%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-08||2019-05-10|
|Junior Miners||GDXJ||-0.11%||-16.77%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-08||2019-05-10|
|Platinum||$PLAT||-0.88%||-6.50%||falling||falling||rising||falling||ma50 on 2019-05-08||2019-05-10|
|Silver||$SILVER||-1.17%||-11.76%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-08||2019-05-10|
|Palladium||$PALL||-1.28%||35.70%||falling||falling||rising||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Copper||$COPPER||-1.38%||-10.25%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ma200 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Silver Miners||SIL||-3.87%||-26.57%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-01||2019-05-10|
Gold rose +6.91 [+0.54%] on the week. Gold inched slowly higher all week long. The weekly spinning top candle was neutral, and forecaster was virtually unchanged and remains in a slight downtrend. Gold ended the week in an uptrend in both daily and monthly timeframes. Gold/Euros is in an uptrend in all 3 timeframes.
The May 2019 rate-cut chance rose to 7% and the Dec 2019 rate-cut chance rose to 41%, and a 17% chance of 2 rate cuts. Things are moving slowly downhill again.
COMEX GC open interest rose +50,546 contracts this week, and 16,669 contracts just on Friday alone. That’s 23 days of global production in new paper. Given the situation with the US-China trade negotiations, I believe this is official suppression of gold. Friday’s jump in OI was a 3.4% increase in OI in just one day.
The commercial net fell by -8k contracts, which was mostly fewer longs (-5.2k) as well as a few new shorts (+2.8). Managed money net rose +9.4k contracst, which was mostly new longs (+7.8k) along with fewer shorts (-1.7k). These are very minor changes in position. Gold is not at a COT turning point – certainly not a major one.
Silver fell -0.17 [-1.17%] this week. The opening black marubozu candle was a bearish continuation, and forecaster fell, pushing silver into a weekly downtrend. At the same time, Friday’s rally resulted in the daily forecaster flipping back into an uptrend. This leaves silver in an uptrend in both daily and monthly timeframes. The price continues to fall, but the forecasters remain generally positive. I can’t really say why that is.
The gold/silver ratio jumped +1.45 to 87.27.. That’s quite bearish. Gold/silver ratio made a new 25-year high on Friday. At some point that will matter – but I have no idea when that will be.
COMEX SI open interest rise 2,006 contracts this week. That’s 4 days of global production in new paper. Contrast with gold – it doesn’t look as though silver is suffering from any official pressure.
The commercial net rose +4.7k contracts, which was 2.8k fewer shorts, and 1.9k new longs. Managed money net fell by -401 contracts, which was 4.4k new shorts, and 3.9k new longs. Silver continues to look as though it is at a bullish reversal point, although so far, it has shown no longer-term technical signs of reversal.
Miners rallied on Tuesday, and fell during the rest of the week, wiping out all the gains and then some. XAU dropped -1.03%, making a new low. XAU has now retraced almost all of its December-February rally. For some odd reason, monthly forecaster flipped into a slight uptrend – which means that XAU ended the week in a downtrend in just the daily and weekly timeframes. This marks the 5th straight week of decline in the mining shares. So far, there is no 2013-2015-like collapse, but there is also no real buy-side interest either.
The GDX:$GOLD ratio fell -0.59%, and the GDXJ:GDX ratio dropped -0.06%. That’s a little bearish.
The buck fell -0.18 [-0.19%] this week, falling on Thursday and Friday. The weekly short black candle was neutral, while forecaster actually moved higher into an uptrend. However both daily and monthly flipped into downtrends – its a mixed message, telling us that there is a lot of uncertainty right now about direction for the currency.
The big currency moves: GBP [-0.91%], EUR [+0.43%], CNY [-1.34%], JPY [+1.28%].
SPX plunged -64.43 [-2.19%] to 2881.40. Most of the damage came on Tuesday. Friday’s daily hammer candle might be a reversal (42% bullish), but daily forecaster ended the week in a downtrend. The weekly swing high print could also be a reversal (43% bearish), and while forecaster dropped, it ended the week in an uptrend. SPX is in an uptrend in both weekly and monthly timeframes.
Sector map has telecom and tech leading down, while consumer staples, energy, and utilities did best. That’s a bearish sector map. Interestingly, although SPX overall is doing quite well, look for a moment at all the items with 3 red squares: energy, sickcare, materials, and telecom. Not every sector is participating – the drop in sickcare is particularly interesting to me. Is “the scam” coming to an end?
|Name||Chart||Chg (W)||52w ch||MA9||MA50||MA200||50/200||Last Crossing||last|
|Gold Miners||GDX||-0.05%||-11.63%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-08||2019-05-10|
|Cons Staples||XLP||-0.17%||15.68%||rising||rising||rising||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Energy||XLE||-0.31%||-16.41%||falling||falling||falling||rising||ma50 on 2019-04-26||2019-05-10|
|Utilities||XLU||-0.58%||15.21%||rising||rising||rising||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|REIT||RWR||-1.06%||9.43%||rising||rising||rising||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Healthcare||XLV||-1.39%||8.68%||rising||falling||rising||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-07||2019-05-10|
|Defense||ITA||-1.53%||5.01%||falling||falling||rising||falling||ema9 on 2019-05-07||2019-05-10|
|Financials||XLF||-2.10%||-2.83%||falling||rising||falling||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-07||2019-05-10|
|Cons Discretionary||XLY||-2.34%||12.06%||falling||rising||rising||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-06||2019-05-10|
|Homebuilders||XHB||-2.70%||2.25%||falling||rising||rising||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-07||2019-05-10|
|Materials||XLB||-2.70%||-6.40%||falling||rising||falling||rising||ma200 on 2019-05-07||2019-05-10|
|Industrials||XLI||-2.72%||2.31%||falling||falling||rising||falling||ma50 on 2019-05-10||2019-05-10|
|Technology||XLK||-3.37%||8.86%||falling||rising||rising||rising||ema9 on 2019-05-06||2019-05-10|
|Telecom||XTL||-4.20%||-0.64%||falling||falling||falling||falling||ma200 on 2019-05-09||2019-05-10|
The US equity market was the strongest in the world this week; emerging Asia did worst.
VIX rose +3.17 to 16.04.
Rates & Commodities
TLT rose +0.89% this week, but Friday saw TLT fall, resulting in forecaster moving into a downtrend. TY also moved higher, moving up +0.42%. The spinning top candle was a bullish continuation, and forecaster moved higher into an uptrend. TY ended the week in an uptrend in all 3 timeframes. The 10-year yield plunged -7.6 bp to 2.46%.
JNK fell -0.48%, moving lower for most of the week but rallying back on Friday, ending the week back in an uptrend. Still, the weekly candle print was a highly rated swing high (70% bearish), which suggests that the top may be in for JNK. The BAA.AAA differential edged slightly higher this week, but the move wasn’t significant. Credit stress remains relatively low.
Crude fell -0.08 [-0.13%] on the week – basically crude chopped sideways all week long. The weekly high wave candle was a bearish continuation, and forecaster moved a bit higher but remains in a downtrend. Crude ended the week in an uptrend in both daily and monthly timeframes, but the daily trend is very weak, and the monthly appears as though it may reverse at any moment. Crude really could go either way. The EIA report was unexpectedly bullish (crude: -4.0m, gasoline: -0.6m, distillates: -0.2m) and that seemed to provide a boost to crude in the face of the unfortunate US-China trade news.
Physical Supply Indicators
* The GLD ETF tonnage on hand fell -7.59 tons, with 733 tons remaining in inventory.
* ETF Discount to NAV:
PHYS 10.25 -2.03% to NAV [decrease]
PSLV 5.29 -4.45% to NAV [decrease]
CEF 12.23 -4.68% to NAV [increase]
* Premium for physical (via Bullion Vault: https://www.bullionvault.com/gold_market.do#!/orderboard) vs spot gold (loco New York, via Kitco: https://www.kitco.com/charts/livegoldnewyork.html) shows a $1 discount for gold, and a 5c premium for silver.
* Gold dealer big bars premiums were: gold [1kg] 1.34% and silver [1000oz] 3.87%. That’s a large increase in silver big-bar premiums this week.
Grey Swans & Geopolitics
- Ebola: total cases 1600, with 1069 deaths (CFR: 67%). That’s 233 new cases this week, more than double last week. Violent attacks on and around EVD teams resulted in 5 days of suspension of activities in one critical area. Vaccination strategy has been modified as a result of the failure to contain the outbreak: a smaller amount of vaccine will be administered to a larger number of people. In addition to ring vaccination, anyone living in the neighborhood of a EVD case will now be eligible to receive a vaccination. As a result of the activity suspension, it is expected that the number of reported cases will increase substantially once the security situation permits the teams to return to their efforts. It appears that this situation will get substantially worse before it gets better. https://www.who.int/csr/don/09-may-2019-ebola-drc/en/
- EU Elections – Scheduled for May 23rd. Current internal data shows the Tories could come in 6th in the EU elections – behind Brexit party, Labour, Lib Dem, Change UK, and the Greens. Apparently Tory voters are angry that the party hasn’t delivered on BRExit. There are all sorts of wacky-appearing strategies to submit May’s withdrawal agreement (which pleases nobody but the EU and May) to a vote in Commons just prior to the EU elections (or – amusingly – just afterwards) in the hopes it convinces Labour to – well to do something, I’m not sure what. Presumably to vote for it. I suspect Labour wants to let May and the Tories twist in the wind until they end up self-destructing. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/09/tories-fear-dismal-results-in-european-elections-meps-say
- EU Recession: no news.
- China – Trade: The negotiations blew apart this week; last week, China had apparently backtracked on a large number of concessions they had previously agreed to. In response, Trump threatened to impose 25% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. Liu He came to Washington as scheduled, engaged in some relatively brief talks which Mnuchin called “constructive”, but no agreement was reached. At midnight on Thursday, 25% tariffs were imposed on $200 billion in Chinese imports, and with no further progress made on Friday, Lighthizer’s office announced that Trump “ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China.” China has vowed to retaliate, but provided no details. No negotiations are currently scheduled between the two nations. Whew. From “just about concluded” to “25% tariffs on $500 billion in products” in just one week. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3009806/fridays-trade-talks-china-which-us-treasury-secretary-steven
- BRExit: Donald Tusk helpfully suggested that the UK hold another referendum – in true EU style. “Keep having referendums until you get the result you want.” Tusk opined that the chance of a cancelled BRExit might be as high as 30%. France warned the UK it won’t accept “repeated” BRExit delays. Here’s a fun video from CGP Gray illustrating his view on the issues involved: “the 1-2-3 of the Impossible Trinity.” According to him, it’s all about walls and Northern Ireland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yv24cM2os
- Yield Curve Inversion: the 1-10 spread fell -3 bp to 10 bp.
- North Korea: fired two short-range ballistic missiles this Thursday. Trump’s response: “We’re looking at it very seriously right now. Nobody’s happy about it.” He further added that “I don’t think they’re ready to negotiate.”
US Recession Watch
Here were the economic reports this week:
- Producer Price Index: rose +0.5% m/m. The “popular” PPI-FD (PPI – final demand) didn’t rise much at all, but the series I follow (PPI – all commodities index) staged a reasonably large jump. That’s probably because of rising gasoline prices – up 44% since February 2019.
- CPI: showed a m/m change of 0.3%, which is 3.6% annualized. CPI less food & energy (inflation ex inflation) was just 0.1% m/m. Gasoline price increases were behind the increase in headline CPI. Medical care allegedly rose just 0.3% m/m.
I didn’t see much of a market impact from these reports this week – I suspect they were overwhelmed by the US-China trade negotiations news.
Here’s a bonus feature: here are the PPI components I saw. https://www.bls.gov/ppi/home.htm
Goods: motor vehicles, drug preparations, gasoline, meat, industrial chemicals, steel products, diesel, grain, steel scrap.
Services: outpatient healthcare, inpatient healthcare, food & alcohol retail, apparel & jewelry retail, passenger airline service, security/brokerage/dealing/investment, business loans, legal services, truck transportation/freight, machinery & equipment wholesaling.
So when you read that “services are doing well” – how much of that is increased skim from the banksters and the sickcare racket? I think I should probably take a closer look. There might be an interesting pony in there somewhere. Note: I follow PPIACO because my supposition is that PPI numbers aren’t heavily manipulated, since there are no “COLA” mechanisms that depend on them – i.e. nobody benefits from scamming these numbers. Theoretically anyway.
Last week’s driver was the FOMC, and this week’s driver was the trade talks with China. Given that the major news – Trump leveling 25% tariffs on all Chinese imports – was released after market close on Friday, we will have to see what things do come Monday morning. My guess: the affected sectors are going to come under some serious pressure. Gold? It should rally, but whether it does will probably depend on how much new paper is dumped into the COMEX. [At some point, all that new paper will need to be taken off the market again, and that act will end up supporting price eventually – but in the meantime, it effectively suppresses the rally that should have happened if not for the intervention.]
Trump is telling us all that tariffs are a great thing (he’s a salesman – that’s what he does), but in truth, there are US winners and losers. If you are a higher-end consumer, you’re a tariff-loser, because you buy stuff that comes from China. Likewise, if you’re a manufacturer or importer that has outsourced things to China, you will both lose sales, and probably have to absorb some of the tariff expense, which lowers your profits. Same is true for anyone exporting things on China’s retaliatory tariff list. Lower end consumers – its harder to say. Much of what they buy is food, housing, and transport, which I suspect aren’t affected as much by China tariffs. US producers of things on the import tariff list – they are the big winners.
A point of possible interest: consumer spending by income quintile, here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm. Check out what the top 20% spends on “entertainment” – more than what the bottom 20% spends on everything.
But I digress.
Big bar gold premiums on gold remain low, silver’s premium increased, while gold ETF discounts shrank, silver discounts increased. There is no shortage of gold at these prices, but big-bar silver is starting to show some signs of stress.
The COT report for silver continues to suggest we are at or near a low for silver, while gold COT report is slightly bullish but no more than that.
Once again, the gold/silver ratio is back to 25-year highs. I’m not sure what will cause it to reverse, but when it does, silver should do extremely well if and when the ratio snaps back. Of course we might grow old and die before that actually takes place!
Miners continue looking weak. They tend to lead, and so that continues to be a bearish sign for where PM will go next. The sell-off in equities should have driven gold sharply higher, similarly to what happened in December. It didn’t – my contention is because of the BRExit-sized increase in open interest.
Weekly trends (in order of strength):
Uptrend: USD, 10-year Treasury, SPX, gold/Euros, DJI.
Downtrend: platinum, miners, copper, crude, gold, silver.
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Bitcoin is back. Now that I’m paying attention once more, its probably a top. 🙂
Over the past 4 months it has doubled – from 3500 to 7100.
It has taken me this long to figure out why the Obama Administration cared about the absurdly low level staffers George Papadopolous and Carter Page. It is all about The Two Hop Rule.
The US government is allowed to employ the full force of the NSA surveillence machinery against any US citizen up to 2 hops away from the target of a FISA warrant. How does that math work out?
If Carter Page has 120 email and telephone contacts, and those contacts each have another 120 contacts, a FISA warrant on Page allows “the government” to collect literally all traffic to and from 14,400 US citizens. And it can go back 5 years in its 10-exabyte database (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center) to fish things out that might be of interest. Candidate Donald Trump was two hops from Carter Page, for instance. Convenient, that.
All that information is available as a direct result of the FISA warrant on Carter Page. A FISA warrant is the Holy Grail of domestic campaign intelligence collection. Putting a listening device in the Watergate Hotel is – it’s just peanuts by comparison. Penny-ante stuff. One bug, versus traffic on 14,400 American citizens, collected up to 5 years previously. It’s digital time-travel surveillance. Nixon’s mind would have been blown by the possibilities.
So go back to 2016. All the high level people in NSA, FBI, and CIA put in place by Obama – over an 8 year period – all want HRC to win the 2016 election. Trump is a dufus, after all, and would be a disaster for the country. He needs to lose the election 100,000,000 to 0. So, for all the right reasons, they pretext Carter Page, get the FISA warrant, and armed with FISA and the Two Hop Rule, they are able to watch everything Trump and his people do, in near real time – as well as dig around in the past too. They have the ability to know literally everything that is to be known about that campaign.
That’s a lot of work. They dutifully send updates to Candidate HRC via email, which end up…on her server. Which turns out to be woefully insecure. Oops. The high level Obama people (and the agencies they run) don’t like this, because its known that the Russians basically have hoovered up everything on that server…and now they are all exposed. So they conduct an investigation designed to warn both her and others that being sloppy will not be tolerated – although not prosecuted either. Emails are deleted, to everyone’s relief, as they would embarrass both the organizations providing her campaign intel, and HRC herself. Everyone gets immunity deals, and except for Jim Comey’s public spanking, that’s the end of it.
But just before that, HRC rigs the Democratic primary (“all in a good cause”, after all) and “defeats” Bernie. A Bernie-supporting staffer at the DNC is disgusted by what he sees, and decides to leak a massive number of incriminating emails to Assange at Wikileaks, who gleefully publishes the leaked material.
HRC and her team are aghast – what to do? There is the DNC leak, and Russia has the emails from her server that detail the support the Obama Admin has provided via the FISA warrant and the Two Hop Rule. Russia must be discredited in order to forestall a much more serious crisis that would end up implicating all those high level people at the 3 agencies, so everyone involved agrees – they need to blame Russia for literally everything. And so they do. Those Evil Russians stole emails from DNC! Three agencies all agree, it was them. (Better Russians than them, certainly. And besides, Putin really isn’t such a nice man.)
Will they be discovered? No, since there’s no way Trump could possibly win. They will have 8 years of the HRC administration to cover it up, from 2016-2024, where the right people will continue to have jobs, and the status quo will continue.
But then the unthinkable happens…Trump is elected. Even though the campaign has been monitored in near real time by the surveillance apparatus of the US government. What do to? All your friends jobs, and the credibility of the agencies they lead, are now at risk. What to do?
The Mueller investigation is the answer. Investigate Trump long enough, and you’ll find something. Everyone is guilty of doing something, you just need to look hard enough. And especially Trump. Everyone knows he’s a bad man. (I certainly thought they’d dig up “something” after two years).
In the middle of all this investigating, Trump meets Putin. Obama’s holdovers at the 3 agencies are holding their collective breath. What will Putin say to Trump? They are all at risk. They have done their best to spread the story that Trump is just Putin’s puppet, in order to discredit the intel Putin has collected. During the meeting, Trump makes sure to remove everyone from the room except the translators. Holy crap. Putin tells Trump: “we have her emails, and your agencies were spying on your campaign, sending the take directly to her.” Knowing the cards that Putin is holding, Brennan calls Trump a traitor for meeting with Putin alone. This is effective – Brennan’s disinformation campaign successfully ensures that Trump cannot directly use the intel he received. Even so, Trump now knows for sure what happened in 2016.
Fast forward a year – and the impossible happens once again. Mueller fails in his efforts, after 2 years, 40 FBI agents, putting everyone in sight in jail for “lying to the FBI”, and after spending $40,000,000. He comes up with nothing. And now, Mueller’s friends are at swinging in the breeze, having used the full power of their agencies to materially aid HRC’s campaign via that fishy FISA warrant and the Two Hop Rule.
And now there’s this new AG…who seems as though he’s interested in investigating what went on. He is even calling those activities “spying”, which is an awfully disagreeable term. After all, they were just trying to save the country from Trump. That’s hardly spying.
And that’s where we are today.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by davefairtex.
The only thing worse than the scandal as you’ve accurately described it would be if no one important goes to jail. And I’m pessimistic enough to think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Nothing. My money is on the proposition that nobody higher than Nellie Ohr is even charged and put on trial. Sad. Very sad. And that may very well be the final nail in the coffin of this nation as we have known it since it’s founding.
I think you’ve captured the Swamp dynamics brilliantly. How is it possible that after spending $40 million the FBI/DOJ couldn’t land an indictment on Trump?
Good grief, there must be 40,000 pages of federal laws…surely he violated something at some time?
Meanwhile, those of us in the reality camp puzzle at spending $40M on this massive DNC CYA extravaganza while the 9/11 “”investigation”” only got $15M.
So easy to tell where and when the DC swamp cares about investigating something by the money they spend, and by the paths they take.
In this case at least as much is told by what Mueller didn’t look into as what he did.
Really? The FBI never actually forensically examined the DNC servers at the very heart of the entire narrative and putative investigation?
That alone, right there, tells you everything you need to know about whether or not this was ever an honest inquiry meant to uncover the truth. Nope. It was not.
Damn good assessment, Dave.
Really looks like we stand at the precipice of a full blown totalitarian surveillance state. Can it be stopped here?
Sharyl Attkisson asks the same questions about her DOJ/FBI surveillance case in this 3 min web post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjLjjKkGH60
We are right on the edge.
…didn’t the Democratic-dominated house subpoena Trump’s tax records right around the time the Mueller report broke? Seems like just another attack vector to me.
To be clear, I don’t like Trump overall and find him rather disagreeable as people go, but I dislike the shenanigans of the deep state even more.
Where the hell is Batman when you need him?
Oh, and Dave…amazing analysis!
- This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Snydeman.
Spot on Dave. Thanks for Two-hop math.
Could it be that they are all guilty?
Trump is delaying on Declassification. Why?
I have an image of a swamp filled bathtub with all the players from both parties inside. Trump is pulling the drain plug. Comey, Nadler, Strozk, and Schiff are vortexing around. But Trump and his henchmen and getting pulled in as well. We do need to drain the swamp! And Pray for our country.
and my mind is blown wide open with a credible scenario making sense of the ludicrous Mueller debacle. Thank you Dave.