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Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.

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Media Bias for Biden-Harris Glaringly Obvious But Candidates Don't Look Like They're Winning

Friday, October 9, 2020, 7:44 am ET

There's no doubt that much of what we see and hear on television, radio, in newspapers and magazines, or on the internet is fake news or outright propaganda, designed to influence the way people think about issues and modify their behaviors to fulfill a controlled, desired narrative.

There are countless examples, any of which may be a salient point in determining which issues are most important to the mainstream media complex that seeks to undermine press freedom, freedom of expression and other rights guaranteed by the constitution and natural law.

One example, relevant to the ongoing coronavirus escapade, is of purposeful omission of simple actions that can lead to prevention from catching the virus in the first place and useful, meaningful treatments should one become infected.

While the worldwide message has been to social distance and wear masks, no official agency or news outlet has offered advice on strengthening the immune system by taking a regular regimen of vitamins C, D3, Zinc, and Quercetin, or even drinking green tea, all of which have been proven to be beneficial to overall health and provide a strong defense against coronavirus of all kinds and many other potential illnesses.

Why is this? Wouldn't the government and the media be focused on prevention and treatment for the general population? One would assume so, though it's becoming obvious that the money-driven government/media/medical cartel is more concerned about control and getting the public to believe that a pharmaceutical solution, such as a vaccine created by one of the Big Pharma companies is the only remedy to controlling the spread of the virus.

It's been widely reported that masks provide little to no protection against any kind of airborne virus (more evidence here, here, and here).

So, if masks don't work, why is the media promoting them so consistently? Control. At best, the use of masks is fake science promoted by fake news. At worst, it's causing more psychological damage than medical good.

Just days ago, a petition signed by over 6,000 scientists and 60,000 individuals, was released, calling for an end to government lockdowns as a response to coronavirus, saying, in part, "current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health."

The petition continues: "Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed."

The document, known as the Great Barrington Declaration, was co-authored by Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford Medical School professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. The doctors insist on an approach more focused on protecting vulnerable populations and achieving the goal of "herd immunity," which they refer to as "Focused Protection."

Lockdowns and other social distancing, stay-at-home orders are causing more harm than good, but the mainstream media has given the doctors and the petition short shrift, with barely a mention in the papers or on TV network news. Opinions and real science goes against their narrative, which is apparently to keep everybody in mortal fear of the virus, condition the public to engage in actions that are counterproductive or harmful and not question the authorities at the CDC or WHO, while anything President Trump does, says, or promotes concerning the virus is necessarily evil.

So, this morning's headline on Yahoo! Finance, blaring "Stocks continue to rise as expectations grow of Joe Biden victory" comes as no surprise to anyone who regularly visits the site.

The article states, without proof, "European stock markets continued to rally on Friday, as investors' hopes grew of a US stimulus package and a Joe Biden victory in the US election."

Seriously? Investors in Europe want Joe Biden to win the US presidency and they're basing investment decisions on the possibility of him winning?

They also think there's going to be a stimulus bill coming out of congress soon, even though negotiations have stalled since July and they're buying stocks because of this. Well, that's what Yahoo wants you to believe, probably because they have a vested interest - lots of money - in a Joe Biden victory come November 3rd.

Yahoo is owned by Verizon, which acquired the company back in 2017 for $4.48 billion. In the most recent contribution cycle, individuals affiliated with Verizon - ranked 118 of 20,157, with nearly $3 million in contributions to political candidates - gave Joe Biden $300,000, compared to $76,000 to Donald Trump, hedging their bets. The company's people also contributed heavily to the campaigns of the main Democratic presidential candidates, doling out cash to Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Andrew Yang.

The company also supports major lobbying efforts, spending $11,143,183 in 2019, ranking them 24th of 5,558 companies. With that kind of money going to candidates and causes, there's some doubt that Verizon's world view is completely unbiased. Even a casual perusal of their various sections of the Yahoo! website reveals an editorial slant that is not only left-leaning but also virulently anti-Trump.

So, Yahoo!, just like their counterparts in the heavily controlled space known as mainstream media, is strongly supportive of Democrats and Joe Biden, disdainful of Republicans and President Trump.

Check.

Credibility? Out the window. Honesty? Don't think so. Objectivity? Come on, please. Integrity? Zero. The deck is stacked so high against President Trump voters will likely have to pole vault into voting booths to cast a ballot for the president.

Unfortunately for them, it's not working, despite polling that routinely oversamples city residents (largely Democrats) over rural, and Democrats over Republicans to produce a comfy lead for Biden and Harris, the candidates themselves aren't acting like they're winning. Instead of exuding confidence, they look sheepish and unsure. The media continues to coddle them, like they are some precious, fragile words of the state that cannot be questioned nor maligned in any way. This is not what winning or being ahead normally looks like, because they're not winning, they're losing, and they and their media buddies know it.

Compared to the treatment of Trump, the media is giving the Biden-Harris ticket a free pass on every important issue, despite their unpopular, largely inaccurate or simply untruthful positions.

The media is trying to capture the narrative of the election, just as it attempted to do in 2016. It will be a shame if they're successful and Joe Biden wins the presidency, because their mendacious assault on civil liberties will have only just begun.

At the Close, Thursday, October 8, 2020:
Dow: 28,425.51, +122.05 (+0.43%)
NASDAQ: 11,420.98, +56.38 (+0.50%)
S&P 500: 3,446.83, +27.38 (+0.80%)
NYSE: 13,190.58, +148.25 (+1.14%)


Stocks Continue October Rally, Sending Bond Yields Rocketing Higher

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:22 am ET

Apologies to any readers who disdain politics for the prior two days of postings; it's just that the political climate is so hot right now that it's dominating the news and the markets.

Whether or not that will remain the norm in the lead-up to the election depends on a wide array of variables, but there's good reason to believe that the political storm will create more than enough trading scenarios to keep the stock jockeys busy through the month of October.

Of course, there are other elements affecting stocks and the economy. Beginning in earnest next week will be an avalanche of third quarter earnings reports, led off by the banks and financial institutions. As was the case with the second quarter, of particular interest will be the loan loss reserves put aside by these companies. They were large in the prior two quarters and there's little doubt they will grow again, as the COVID crisis has not been broken by any means. Some trend and economic followers may actually believe that the after effects have only worsened with the passage of time, especially since the congress has chosen to punt on any new stimulus measures.

Negotiations for a second round of stimulus began in July and have consistently stalled out, the Democrats wanting more, Republicans less. It now appears that the Democrat strategy has been to purposely overshoot and add in aid to states, municipalities, and schools, knowing that the Republican-led senate would surely reject such proposals.

Thus, according to the Democrats, it would be the Republicans that have kept the American public in limbo prior to the election. This strategy seems to have failed. If anything, the public is blaming both sides for not coming to a reasonable compromise, though President Trump's recent forays into the struggle seem to have tipped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's hand. Trump favors stand-alone bills for the airlines, small business, and another round of $1200 checks to Americans. He has called Pelosi's bluff and she has folded, unable to respond with a cogent counteroffer.

It would appear that a standalone bill for checks to most Americans (those earning less than $125,000, or similar threshold), and additional money for dependents would be a no-brainer and would easily sail through both houses of congress and onto the president's desk lickety-split. However, there's been no offer since Trump brought it to the table Tuesday night. Heading into the weekend, without a plan to move forward, Pelosi now appears to be the one blocking the path and the longer she delays, the more it will appear that Democrats are the ones not attuned to the plight of the common men and women of the country.

Moving on, Paychex (PAYX), the company that manages payroll and tax reporting for thousands of small companies nationwide, reported earnings Tuesday for its fiscal first quarter, ended August 31. As was the case in the prior quarter, the company beat lowered expectations,

Paychex reported net income of $211.6 million, or 59 cents a share, down from $264.2 million, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. The company said adjusted net income includes adjustments for one-time costs of $31.2 million related to the acceleration of cost-saving initiatives, "including the long-term strategy to reduce our geographic footprint and headcount optimization, and net tax windfall benefits related to employee stock-based compensation payments."

Well, how about that? While whistling an upbeat tune, the company is actually downsizing. Naturally, they've couched their long-term strategy with catch-phrases like "geographic footprint" and "headcount optimization" instead of saying, "we're closing branches and laying people off."

Paychex is a bellwether for small business and their quarterly report was just a little bit distressing to holders of the stock. Paychex reported before the bell on Tuesday and shares were initially lower, down 1 1/2 points before gaining some traction as the whole market moved higher. Carrying a ridiculous P/E ratio of 27.77, this is a company that has been materially affected by the COVID shutdowns of small business and they can only hide that reality so long.

Since the company is heavily-owned by funds and institutional investors, there will be a concerted effort to keep its shares moving higher, despite the obvious slowdown in its core business. Top holders of the stock are BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, and Bank of America, which speaks volumes to the concentration of vested interests invested.

Paxchex is still profitable, though less so than last year, and pays a healthy dividend. It's shares will roll gaily along until the next panic, then will be sold hastily, as it was in February and March of this year. As a going concern, it's a shaky, overvalued investment. As a barometer for the general economy, it's shrieking about lost revenue and layoffs.

For the hopelessly cynical, a pledge by JP Morgan Chase (JPM) to inject up to $30 billion into Black and Hispanic communities reeks of disingenuous intentions. On the surface, the nation's largest bank by assets appears to be tackling "systemic racism" (no such thing) head on, when in reality all they're doing is making more loans available for housing and small businesses. Now that JP Morgan and their cohorts in the banking cartel have successfully hollowed out the middle class, they have to target other groups to inflict with their version of debt slavery.

Other than Wall Street financial psychopaths can see this as anything other than a predatory action, cloaked in good intentions. If anything, people in these communities should tell CEO Jamie Dmon and his teams of lenders to stay away. Inner city communities have been victimized enough already by government and big business policies. Saying you're helping by putting more people into debt is like telling a diabetic to eat more candy. After a period of seeming euphoria the end result will be disastrous.

Americans of all races, ages, and political leanings need to realize that the proximate causes for most of the problems in this country stem from government, Wall Street financing, and mega-corporations acting in collusion to "fix" what they've already broken. Programs like the "war on poverty" and "urban renewal" were nothing more than wholesale strip-mining of minority communities, lining the pockets of the already well-off with manufactured profits.

It brings into question the recent concept of being "woke." Millennials and generation Z types who believe they are somehow on the receiving end of socialized economics are more likely suffering early onset dementia and instead of being "woke" are actually in a currency-induced coma.

Heading into the final two sessions for the week, the major averages are looking at solid gains, though the indices are still below the highs recorded in late August and early September, but not by very much. As long as the market keeps pinning hopes on a stimulus breakthrough - as has been the overriding narrative since July - there's nothing other than possibly some slumping earnings news to keep the markets from churning higher. If some sort of stimulus bill is passed before the election, new highs should be in the cards despite plenty of evidence that the economy is still slipping.

Long-dated treasuries have been selling off all week, punching yields higher. The 10-year note hit 0.81% on Wednesday; the yield on a 30-year bond posted 1.60%. That pair hasn't seen yields that high since early June. With the Federal Reserve hell-bent on creating inflation, it's no surprise that yields should go higher as money moves from fixed income to riskier alternatives.

At the Close, Wednesday, October 7, 2020:
Dow: 28,303.46, +530.70 (+1.91%)
NASDAQ: 11,364.60, +210.00 (+1.88%)
S&P 500: 3,419.45, +58.50 (+1.74%)
NYSE: 13,042.33, +204.45 (+1.59%)


Trump Crashes Markets, Bluffs Pelosi, Outs Hillary, Brennan, Obama (again)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 7:51 am ET

People say a lot of things about President Trump, much of it not so nice, but there's no disputing that through his words and actions he can be wildly amusing or shocking at times.

Tuesday's stock market drama is a case in point. By tweeting that he was instructing his negotiating team (supposedly Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) to cease dealing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a stimulus package, the president sent the market into a violent downward spiral, turning small gains into sizable losses in a matter of minutes.

By the close, stocks suffered nothing more than flesh wounds, approximating an ordinary ho-hum losing session on Wall Street. But, this way is more fun, isn't it? Nancy Pelosi went ballistic, calling the president everything short of a dog-kicker.

About five hours later, after the day-traders had taken their treatments for carpal tunnel from pushing the sell button repeatedly in the closing hours of trading, Trump came back with more tweets, suggesting the airlines could be bailed out and small businesses could receive more PPP loans with money left over from the original CARES Act, passed back in May.

He also tweeted that he would immediately sign a stand-alone bill authorizing $1200 checks to all Americans. He effectively called Pelosi's bluff and she's now stuck looking like the Wicked Witch of the West, withholding money from millions of needy Americans.

In between the stimulus-related tweets, Trump managed to slip in another, authorizing the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, to declassify documents, including handwritten notes from former CIA chief John Brennan in 2016, taken during a briefing former President Obama concerning a plot by Hillary Clinton to claim then-candidate Donald Trump to be in collusion with Russian intelligence as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server ahead of the 2016 US election.

Perhaps even more amusing - or alarming - than Trump's tweeting is the reaction by the mainstream media to the latest in the Clinton-Obama-Brennan-Comey-FBI-CIA-Russia hoax scandal. None of the networks will touch it with ten-foot or longer poles. The New York Times isn't carrying the story, nor is the Washington Post, or any other mainstream outlets, like the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, etc.

There are outlets covering what is one of the biggest scandals in American history. More info can be found on Zerohedge.com, the Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Fox News, and elsewhere.

Claiming that the Russia hoax was the biggest scandal in American history and that he had already declassified all the documents, Trump rightly asserts that elements of the deep state in the intelligence community have been slow-walking the release of this information.

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before congress last week, claiming he didn't know anything about the Russian hoax, didn't get any memos on the matter and was generally not involved, despite signing off on multiple FISA requests. Meanwhile, current FBI Director Christopher Wray claims he cannot testify to congress because of COVID-19, even though he would be taking questions and offering answers via video feed. Current CIA Director Gina Haspell has been claiming risks to national security in keeping the documents classified or at least out of sight of the American people.

What the American public is getting used to receiving will look something like this:

Hillary Clinton [REDACTED] and John Brennan [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. President Obama [REDACTED] his [REDACTED] in the Oval Office and [REDACTED] his top aides by [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] them.
Vice President Joe Biden [REDACTED][REDACTED] at the time. FBI does not [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and CIA confirms [REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED] through official channels.

Somebody needs to make up a big sign that says, "Welcome to America, Now Officially a Third World Nation" and hang it from the Statue of Liberty because that's where we are, thanks to corrupt politicians, the dirtiest intelligence networks the world has ever known, and a media cabal that has descended to the depths of 24/7/365 leftist propaganda.

At the Close, Tuesday, October 6, 2020:
Dow: 27,772.76, -375.84 (-1.34%)
NASDAQ: 11,154.60, -177.89 (-1.57%)
S&P 500: 3,360.95, -47.68 (-1.40%)
NYSE: 12,837.88, -111.72 (-0.86%)


Fearless Rick Again Predicts Trump Victory In Upcoming Presidential Election

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 10:28 am ET

With exactly four weeks remaining before election day, this seems an appropriate time to issue the one prediction that actually matters: Donald Trump will be re-elected as president of the United States.

While this may come as a surprise to the minions enraptured by the mainstream media's constant drumbeat of Biden holding a comfortable lead in the polls, Trump supporters will be pleasantly content come October 3rd, as President Trump will likely establish such a large lead in the electoral college that the need to count millions of mail-in votes will become a moot issue.

According to the many varied polls being promoted by the propagandized mainstream media, none have President Trump ahead over rival Joe Biden, who is not the Vice President, as he is incorrectly addressed over and over again on TV interviews and talk shows. Biden is the former vice president, a tidbit of data that the media hopes to sail right over the heads of the information-starved general population.

Calling private citizen Joe Biden, Mr. Vice President is another ruse by the Democrat-controlled media whores to gain traction and votes, as if some officious-sounding title gives the candidate some magic cache. As is the case with most of their devious devices, the more the media does it, the less effective it becomes. Biden was once Vice President; he no longer holds that title.

Being that the general election is more about numbers than titles, whatever October surprises the Democrats cook up between now and November 3rd will have limited effectiveness. Most likely voters have already made up their minds, as much as the media would like to keep everybody on the collective edges of their seats until - and quite likely, well after - the election, the eventual results are already beginning to coalesce according to the one poll which does not have a bias: the monthly Democracy Institute Sunday Express poll, released on October 4, which has Trump ahead by one percent, 46 to 45, over Joe Biden.

While the headline number may appear to make the race a close call, the devil, as usual, is in the details. Unlike most national or state-wide polls favored by the media, the Democracy Institute poll does not engage in tricks like oversampling Democrats, polling registered voters, or polling in urban areas only to achieve the desired outcomes. According to its published methodology, the Democracy Institute monthly poll uses a "randomly selected national telephone (landline and cell) sample of 1,500 likely voters" for its general election poll and national party identification turnout models for statewide results.

While a refreshing escape from the norm, the Democracy Institute poll - which correctly predicted both President Trump's 2016 victory and the Brexit vote in Great Britain - offers some detailed insights which eventually lead to an electoral collage landslide of 320 to Trump and 218 to Biden, roughly similar - but with an even larger margin - to the 2016 result which was 304 electoral votes for Trump to Hillary Clinton's 227.

Some of the more salient excepts from the poll include battleground state wins for Trump.

  • Florida: Trump 48%, Biden 44%
  • Minnesota: Trump 46%, Biden 44%
  • New Hampshire: Trump 45%, Biden 43%
  • Plus, wins for Trump in Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by a combined tally of 47%-43%.
  • Other tidbits of information culled from the polling sample include a massive enthusiasm gap for Trump. when asked "Are you strongly or very enthusiastic about your choice of candidate?" 83% of Trump voters responded positively, to just 49% of Biden voters. This could have a dramatic impact on turnout as it's well known that people who are uninspired by their candidate of choice often fail to show up at the actual polls that count.

    The poll also reveals what's known as the "shy vote," wherein people are not exactly forthcoming in announcing their choice to friends, co-workers or relatives.

    On the question, "Are you comfortable with your relatives, friends, and coworkers knowing how you vote?" only 22% of Trump voters responded "yes" compared to 87% of Biden voters. This is a factor other polls fail to take into account and it skews the results to a point of producing a false positive for Biden. Countless numbers of Trump supporters say they purposely lie to the general pollsters for a variety of reasons, which helps explain why the polls in 2016 were so far off the mark and why they will be again this time.

    When asked which issues were most important, the DI poll produced the following:
    Law & order/riots/violence = 32%
    Economy/jobs = 30%
    Education = 15%
    Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic = 15%
    Immigration = 8%

    Trump scores well on the most important issues. The poll found Trump well ahead on key questions surrounding law and order and dealing with protests over Biden. He also led Biden in the poll on the economy, 60% to 40%.

    Downtown Magazine and Money Daily publisher, Fearless Rick isn't suggesting that his prediction is based upon the outcome of just one poll, rather, the one poll that appeared to cut through the bias, the noise, the propaganda, and the hype shows Trump with a clear advantage, something the mainstream media wants to keep hidden from the general population.

    Why the media wants the public to believe Biden should win is a mixed bag for the Democrats. On the one hand, their fictional narrative gives them ammunition for post-election craziness, alleging that the Republicans somehow stole the election, as they did with the Russia narrative after Trump's "surprising" victory over Clinton. To be expected on the night of November 3 and forward through and probably beyond the January 20, 2021 inaguration, are court challenges, more protests, riots, looting and burning, slanted journalism alleging interference in mail-in balloting, and as much divisive rhetoric as the radical left can emote.

    On the other hand, promoting a Biden lead in the polls on a continuing basis might actually backfire, surpressing turnout for the candidate. People who believe Biden is going to win handily might just stay home on election day or not bother to acquire an absentee ballot or just casually "forget" to mail it in.

    This also lends toward a COVID advantage for Trump voters. The messages from the dueling candidates are distinct. Biden says everybody should wear masks all the time; Trump doesn't really tout mask-wearing as a preventive measure. Biden encourages fearing the virus; Trump advises to not let it control your lives. Therefore, Trump voters appear to be more likely to turn out on election day at actual, physical polling places than Democrats. It's a unique condition which seems to favor Trump supporters.

    Whichever way one leans is eventually going to be sorted out on election day or in the near future beyond that. It's actually difficult to imagine a Biden victory, given the apparent frailness of the former Vice President and the lack of enthusiasm by his base. On the other side, in spite of the COVID scare, Trump rallies are attended by thousands of rabid supporters, just as during the lead-up to the 2016 vote.

    Judging by the media stance of being in the bag for the Democrat candidate just as in 2016, and the polls giving Biden a sometimes insurmountable lead, the evidence leads to the unmistakable conclusion that Trump will win re-election, and probably by a margin exceeding that of his initial victory.

    The best source for the Democracy Institute poll, its data, methodology, and conclusions can be found here.

    As a reminder, Fearless Rick correctly predicted a Trump landslide in 2016.

    At the Close, Monday, October 5, 2020:
    Dow: 28,148.64, +465.83 (+1.68%)
    NASDAQ: 11,332.49, +257.47 (+2.32%)
    S&P 500: 3,408.60, +60.18 (+1.80%)
    NYSE: 12,949.65, +199.86 (+1.57%)


    WEEKEND WRAP: Trumps' COVID, Poor Jobs Report Cast Longer Recession Shadow Over Markets And Economy

    Sunday, October 4, 2020, 9:08 am ET

    Friday morning, awakening to news that President Trump and First Lady Melania had tested positive for COVID-19, many Americans - after months of annoyance, disturbance, lockdowns, and social disruption - felt what it was like to be human again.

    The news was like being hit with a dull object. Once again, we were able to share pain and sympathy. We put aside the petty arguments, the baseless accusations, the political bias and shared a common grieving for the first couple. Outside of a few insensitive media personalities, there came a moment of peace. Whatever one felt about our boisterous president, he was, for a moment, our president, representative for all of us, and we'd be damned if some invisible virus were to put him down.

    Shock permeated even the dullest facades. Even the usual bombast from the canyons of Wall Street were subdued. Making money trading stocks suddenly seems less important. The Dow opened down nearly 350 points. All other markets were similarly in the red.

    As the day wore on, stocks recovered somewhat as the news flow began to indicate that the president and Melania would be receiving the best of care and were likely to survive. An understanding that COVID-19 kills very few of those infected and both Mr. Trump and his wife were in good health overall. By the end of the day, only the NASDAQ was damaged badly, losing more than two percent on the day, wiping out some of the gains made earlier in the week.

    That was Friday. Most of the week was spent racking up profits. When it was all said and done, the Dow and S&P finished with the first positive weekly close in five weeks. The NASDAQ put in its second straight weekly gain and the NYSE Composite ended with its second weekly plus in the last five.

    Despite Friday's dull thud, exacerbated by a poor showing in the September Non-Farm Payroll data, stocks had put in the best week since August, with the gains ranging between 1.48 and 2.12%.

    The September employment report was a major disappointment and that may have had an equally depressing effect on Friday's session as the news on the president. Forecast to have added 850,000 jobs, only 661,000 were actually created. The unemployment rate fell from 8.4% to 7.9%, but that improvement was overshadowed by the major miss on the headline jobs number.

    Overall, the report deflated hopes for a quick recovery in the economy and brought out fears that the coronavirus-inspired recession could last longer than most were anticipating. Almost all cities remain in some kind of restricted state, with business closures and swelling unemployment the norm. In the countryside, the mood was a little brighter, though many Midwestern states were seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, and that was troubling to everybody.

    Parts of Europe were readying for another round of lockdowns and stay-at-home conditions and the feeling that a second wave of the virus, along with a complicated scenario with the normal seasonal flu, might prompt more restrictions on school, business, travel, and employment. The economy has been put through a wringer and parts of the country and economy have been severely damaged. A longer, more painful recession looms large.

    Everything seemed to be deflating at the same time. Oil, which has been under pressure, unable to break out from its recent range, dropped to its lowest level in six months, ending the week badly, down from $40.25 a week ago to $37.05 at Friday's close.

    Treasuries were hit, but only slightly. While the short maturities remained tethered to the zero-bound, the 10-year note gained four basis points, from 1.66% to 1.70%. The 30-year added eight basis points, from 1.40% the prior week, to 1.48% on Friday.

    Precious metals, prices of which should be heading to the stratosphere, were mired in muck. For the week, gold gained nearly $40 per ounce, though the current level is far below the recent peak. Closing out the week at $1899.84 per ounce, the glorious metal is down eight percent from the August 6 high over $2063.54.

    Silver, the undeclared enemy of the state, spent the week pricing off recent lows. On September 25th, spot silver stood at a depressed $22.89 per troy ounce. By Friday, October 2, it had recovered slightly, finishing at $23.74, though that number was hardly representative of physical demand and heightened premiums being charged by dealers amid a prolonged shortage. It was a far cry from the August 10 high of $29.13, a decline of 18.5%, nearing bear market status for spot when indications in the real world are exactly the opposite.

    Presented are the most recent prices for common gold and silver items on eBay (numismatics excluded, shipping - often free - included):

    Item: Low / High / Average / Median
    1 oz silver coin: 29.58 / 44.05 / 34.53 / 34.23
    1 oz silver bar: 28.80 / 48.00 / 33.78 / 32.26
    1 oz gold coin: 2,000.00 / 2,045.09 / 2,019.52 / 2,014.60
    1 oz gold bar: 1,980.00 / 2,023.09 / 2,007.88 / 2,009.45

    It is plain to see that premiums for the average or median-priced 1 ounce gold coin or bar are over $100 higher than spot prices and dealers are getting them and more. Silver premiums remain through the roof, with average or median-priced 1 ounce silver coin $10 or more over spot.

    The stranglehold that the spot and futures markets have on precious metals is largely unreflected in the physical market. When traders begin to stand for delivery instead of setting in cash, the fraud on the public by the futures traders and spot price-setters will be blown to smithereens and prices for gold and silver will rise parabolically. When that day comes, nobody knows, though it is all but certain that precious metals prices, at least in their relationships to fiat currencies are a far cry from true price discovery.

    At the Close, Friday, October 2, 2020:
    Dow: 27,682.81, -134.09 (-0.48%)
    NASDAQ: 11,075.02, -251.49 (-2.22%)
    S&P 500: 3,348.44, -32.36 (-0.96%)
    NYSE: 12,749.79, +22.95 (+0.18%)

    For the Week:
    Dow: +508.85 (+1.87%)
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