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Weekly Survey of Gold and Silver Prices

Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark

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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PRIOR COVERAGE:

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3/31/24-4/6/2024
3/24/24-3/30/2024
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12/31/23-1/6/2024
12/24-12/30/2023
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12/3-12/9/2023
11/26-12/2/2023
11/19-11/25/2023
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11/5-11/11/2023
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12/25-12/31/2022
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8/28-9/3/2022
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12/19-25/2021
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11/7-11/13/2021
10/31-11/6/2021
10/24-10/30/2021
10/17-10/23/2021
10/10-10/16/2021
9/26-10/2/2021
9/26-10/2/2021
9/19-9/25/2021
9/12-9/18/2021
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8/29-9/4/2021
8/22-8/28/2021
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12/27/20-1/2/2021
12/20-12/26/2020
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7/27-8/1/2020
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3/16-3/22/2020
March 14, 2020
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March 9, 2020
March 5, 2020
March 1, 2020

End of the Line; Last Trading Day of 2023

Friday, December 29, 2023, 9:12 am ET

This is it. The final trading day of 2023 has arrived.

It's unlikely that any great movement will occur as the calendar turns from 2023 to 2024. Volumes on the various exchanges have been light. The NASDAQ volume has been under six billion shares 10 of the last 16 sessions, while NYSE volume has broken above 4.2 billion shares just once in the last eight sessions and was less than three billion each of the last three. This being not just the final trading day of the year but also a Friday preceding a three-day weekend, anybody who hasn't squared up positions by now is probably already on vacation.

This is a get-away day, so grab your coat and hat and head out the door early. The market will probably be left in the hands of the insanity of 0DTE options traders and even they aren't particularly keen on making big moves today. Being as they are market movers, however, a sudden jerk higher or lower cannot be ruled out as a final reminder of how easily markets can be moved, especially thinly-traded ones.

Thursday's activity was much like the last few. Stocks just seem to be levitating without much in the way of selling pressure. Friday looks to keep a similar posture.

On a year-to-date basis, here's how the major indices have fared:
Dow: +13.77%
NASDAQ: +44.22%
S&P 500: +25.08%
NYSE Composite: +11.24%

While the NASDAQ is clearly the winner, it has been exhibiting trading mania similar to the run-up in 1999, just prior to the massive crash in the Spring of 2000.

The all-time high on the S&P 500 is 4,796.56. That was where the index closed on January 3, 2022. It's taken nearly two years to return to that level and it's just not quite there. Can it finish the year with a 13-point gain and a new all time closing high? It's only finished higher by double digits once in the last four sessions and is looking a little weary with futures beginning to slide at 8:00 am ET.

The Dow closed at another record high on Thursday, and is looking to complete its ninth straight gain on a weekly basis, up 324 points through Thursday's close. NASDAQ and S&P are also eyeing nine straight weekly wins. The NASDAQ is up 102 points on the week, the S&P is ahead 28, but the NYSE Composite is down nearly eight points.

Asian stocks closed out the year mildly. The NIKKEI finished up 75 points, the Hang Seng gained just three. European stocks are all in the green though none of the major indices is ahead more than 0.40% (IBEX). Gold and silver are off marginally. WTI Crude oil is holding steady at $72/barrel.

Finally, before trading begins in earest, a reminder that this is not the final installment of Money Daily for the year. There's one more WEEKEND WRAP on Sunday, December 31, in which final figures for the year will be presented, with appropriate analysis.

With that, here's the Traveling Wilburys At the End of the Line.

Happy New Year!

At the Close, Thursday, December 28, 2023:
Dow: 37,710.10, +53.58 (+0.14%)
NASDAQ: 15,095.14, -4.04 (-0.03%)
S&P 500: 4,783.35, +1.77 (+0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 16,890.58, -7.75 (-0.05%)


Treasury Notes and Bonds Have Been Rallying Along with Stocks Since October; Gold Reaches New High

Thursday, December 28, 2023, 10:10 am ET

A little more than two months ago (October 19), yields on the 10-year note and 30-year bond were 4.98% and 5.11%, respectively. Stocks had been reeling since the end of July and it appeared all the lovely gains for the year would be in the rear view mirror.

But, then came November and with it, a new attitude and hope. Yields began dropping from highs dating back to before the GFC in 2008 and stocks started perking up. October 27 turned out to be a short-lived six-month low. Stock market gains from late October towards the end of the year on all the majors have dwarfed the tops turned in at the end of July, but, especially on the Dow, which is 2000 points higher than it was on August 1st.

A month on, by November 20, the 10-year and 30-year posted 4.42% and 4.57%. Stocks and bonds were rallying together and they would keep on going until yesterday, December 27, with the yield on the 10-year note remarkably at 3.79% and the 30-year ending the day at 3.95%. It was a remarkable turnaround. Stocks have soared. The Dow made new all-time highs. The S&P has risen to near record levels. Two-year notes yielded 4.20% by the close on Wednesday, the lowest since May. The money spigot, entering the penultimate trading session of 2023, is wide, wide open, with the dollar plunging on the fiat-comparison dollar index and price of gold reaching a new all-time high (LBMA spot price: $2077.44).

While the world certainly marvels at the glorious move higher in stocks over the past two months, the treasury market has been nothing short of spectacular. What, in days of yore, was a staid, stable, and somewhat boring market, the bond world has been the most tumultuous as ever, with yields flying around like paper airplanes in a wind storm. The move on the 10-year, from 4.98% to 3.79% in two months time, represents a gain of more than 30%.

Even more remarkable might be the fact that the yield on 30-day bills hasn't budged. Once it became clear that the Fed was done hiking the federal funds target rate, halting it at 5.25-5.50 per the June meeting, the nearest maturity - 30 days - stopped out around 5.50%. It's been hovering at or slightly above that level since the beginning of August, after the Fed's initial pause in their rate regime, straying only as high as 5.61% and as low as 5.50%.

Effectively, money tied into credit cards, auto loans, an variable rate mortgages is yielding roughly an additional five percent. That credit card with its 16% annual rate in 2021 is now costing 21% to use, and that's the national average. It's remarkable to think that borrowing money on an unsecured basis, as per credit cards, costs upwards of 20%. Nobody can maintain that level of borrowing for long unless they're getting outrageous raises, growing a business at an incredible pace, or, more likely, committing some kind og financial crime.

When people are buying milk, eggs, and bread at an effective rate 20% higher than the already-inflated current price, trouble looms not far in the distance. That's the scenario taking shape today. With 70% of US GDP comprised of retail spend, a consideration has to be made both for the loss of purchasing power in the currency itself and the fact that a large percentage of that spending is being done by debt.

Back in the aftermath of the sub-prime GFC, word was that the United States was attempting to borrow its way out of a crisis as the Fed implemented various iterations of quantitative easing (easy money) to boost the economy. Nearly 15 years later, it turns out those skeptics were right. While the stock and bond markets may be reaching for the stars, the general public is holding onto their behinds. Some may be protecting their wallets, but most are just holding onto the last thing that appears to be real. Once they let go, hell freezes over, snowballs roll uphill, pigs fly, and the world goes into convulsions.

Look for the dollar to lose even more purchasing power in the coming year and the dollar's ride on the dollar index roller coaster to come careening downward. It's already begun.

With Thursday's trading session already underway, no surprises. Stocks are higher. The 10-year has given something back (after all, 'tis the season), up about three basis points to 3.82%, but that's really just noise. Gold and silver, as is customary, have been spanked down, along with crude oil. Markets everywhere are counting down the minutes toward the end of one of the strangest years in financial history. There's nothing the invisible hand of the Fed can't touch, reaching far into the depths of the $23-30 billion US treasury market.

So far, the Fed has kept the system from danger. With the elections in 2024 on the table, expect them to pry deeper and deeper, distorting markets to extremes.

At the Close, Wednesday, December 27, 2023:
Dow: 37,656.52, +111.19 (+0.30%)
NASDAQ: 15,099.18, +24.60 (+0.16%)
S&P 500: 4,781.58, +6.83 (+0.14%)
NYSE Composite: 16,898.34, +38.84 (+0.23%)


Stock Market Rally Continues Post-Christmas; Gold, Bonds Along for the Ride into Year End

Wednesday, December 27, 2023, 9:27 am ET

Just one week ago, on December 19, the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new mark for a closing high of 37,557.92. On Tuesday, following the three-day Christmas holiday weekend, the industrials got as high as 37,617.99 with a half hour left in the session, but failed to finish the job, closing some 72 points lower.

The question is whether the top is in or the final week of 2024 will produce more records for the Dow and maybe the S&P 500, which is just a few points from its all-time high dating back to early January, 2022. Since the Dow's record-setting performance last week, it's had two sessions to the upside and two in the red, while the S&P has finished positive in three of four sessions, the big leg down a fading memory from the 20th of December.

There isn't much in the way of preventing stocks to continue the year-end rally. Data has been mostly on the positive side and there seems to be no lack of liquidity, so this week appears to be pretty well baked into closing out the year in good spirits.

The major averages - Dow, S&P, NASDAQ - are all looking for a ninth straight weekly finish in the black, or green, in keeping with the holiday mood. While the rally should continue on its merry way, savvy investors are looking forward to 2024, with more than a few critics calling for at least a short-term correction in the first quarter. That's not anything to base trades upon; stocks generally retreat after big runs and the rally from the lows of October 27 has been nothing if not fantastic. The majors are all up more than 15% in just the last two months.

Around the world, stocks are playing along, as Asian stocks were higher across the board and European bourses are locked into the upside in early afternoon trading. Gold is also higher, cloising in on its own record price. Only silver and oil are tracking lower with the opening bell in New York just minutes away.

Yields are lower as well, with the 30-year below 4.00% and the 10-year note showing 3.84% yield, so bonds are enjoying this environment as well.

Party like it's 1929?

At the Close, Tuesday, December 26, 2023:
Dow: 37,545.33, +159.36 (+0.43%)
NASDAQ: 15,074.57, +81.60 (+0.54%)
S&P 500: 4,774.75, +20.12 (+0.42%)
NYSE Composite: 16,859.49, +89.04 (+0.53%)


WEEKEND WRAP Christmas Edition: Stocks Gain, Oil Higher Second Straight Week; Gold, Silver Have Upside Momentum

Sunday, December 24, 2023, 1:10 pm ET

Editor's Note: Since it's December 24 and you don't want to do much reading and we don't want to do much writing, there will be a minimum of commentary in this edition of the WEEKEND WRAP. Merry Christmas.

Stocks

The Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P recorded their eighth straight week on the winning side. Dow Transports and the NYSE Composite have closed to the upside in six o the past eight weeks.

The triple engulfing candle on Wednesday, December 20, was a sell signal, usually entertaining a three-week lag time. Shorts may have opportunities to set up trades in the final week of 2023 and first week of 2024. It's not certain, but it appears that going long into this overbought market into the New Year may be a poor decision.

Keep an eye on spreads (see below) and advance/decline lines. Tax-purposed profit-taking early in January may be of aid to short sellers.


Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
11/17/2023 5.52 5.54 5.50 5.42 5.39 5.24
11/24/2023 5.55 5.56 5.54 5.48 5.45 5.27
12/01/2023 5.55 5.53 5.43 5.45 5.33 5.05
12/08/2023 5.54 5.53 5.44 5.49 5.39 5.13
12/15/2023 5.54 5.54 5.44 5.47 5.33 4.95
12/22/2023 5.54 5.52 5.44 5.45 5.31 4.82

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
11/17/2023 4.88 4.64 4.45 4.47 4.44 4.80 4.59
11/24/2023 4.92 4.67 4.49 4.51 4.47 4.79 4.60
12/01/2023 4.56 4.31 4.14 4.22 4.22 4.58 4.40
12/08/2023 4.71 4.45 4.24 4.28 4.23 4.49 4.31
12/15/2023 4.44 4.13 3.91 3.94 3.91 4.19 4.00
12/22/2023 4.31 4.04 3.87 3.92 3.90 4.21 4.05

5s-10s dis-inverted (normalized) again. 2s-10s at -59, most inverted since September (-66). It's become obvious that stocks do poorly when the curve moderates towards normalization and do quite well when the inversion is stretched, as seen from October 27 to the present.

Spreads:

2s-10s
9/15/2023: -69
9/22/2023: -66
9/29/2023: -44
10/06/2023: -30
10/13/2023: -41
10/20/2023: -14
10/27/2023: -15
11/03/2023: -26
11/10/2023: -43
11/17/2023: -44
11/24/2023: -45
12/01/2023: -34
12/08/2023: -48
12/15/2023: -53
12/22/2023: -59

Full Spectrum (30-days - 30-years)
9/15/2023: -109
9/22/2023: -99
9/29/2023: -82
10/06/2023: -64
10/13/2023: -82
10/20/2023: -47
10/27/2023: -54
11/03/2023: -76
11/10/2023: -80
11/17/2023: -93
11/24/2023: -95
12/01/2023: -105
12/08/2023: -123
12/15/2023: -154
12/22/2023: -149


Oil/Gas

WTI crude put in a rare upside week, closing at $73.49, up $1.39 form the prior Friday's close of $72.10 per barrel. WTI is up two weeks straight, but well off the highs mid-week ($75.23, Dec. 20). This bounce could extend, but it's not likely to last, especially if warmer weather, courtesy of El Nino, persists over Europe and North America.

According to gasbuddy.com, the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas at the pump rose four cents cents during the week, to $3.10.

Between the Northeast and the West coast is an enormous swath of states with prices below $3.00, the notable exception being Illinois, at $3.05, though that's down nine cents from last week. The cheapest gas is found in Oklahoma ($2.60), but that's up a dime in the past week. Prices in Florida jumped 27 cents, to $3.11, the highest in the Southeast. Mississippi checks in at $2.64; Louisiana, $2.70, both higher.

Sub-$3 gas pushes through the Midwest all the way up to Minnesota ($2.90), North Dakota ($2.81), and Montana ($2.96).

Just two states are over $4.00 a gallon, California ($4.57) and Washington ($4.10). Nevada is next at $3.85, followed by Oregon ($3.80), Idaho ($3.22), and Arizona ($3.22).

In the Northeast, Pennsylvania ($3.42) is still on top, followed by New York ($3.35). The lowest prices in the region are in Ohio ($2.89) and West Virginia ($2.95).


Bitcoin

This week: $43,688.10
Last week: $42,562.60
2 weeks ago: $43,932.70
6 months ago: $30,466.80
One year ago: $16,829.00

Bitcoin had another good week, but $44,000 looks like determined resistance. However, in the fantasy world that is crypto, charts and principles of fundamental analysis should be discarded. Hype works better, like the 163% gain year-to-date, risk disregarded.


Precious Metals

Gold:Silver Ratio: 84.36; last week: 84.15

Per COMEX continuous contracts:

Gold price 11/24: $2,023.60
Gold price 12/01: $2,091.70
Gold price 12/08: $2,020.80
Gold price 12/15: $2,033.80
Gold price 12/22: $2,064.50

Silver price 11/24: $24.73
Silver price 12/01: $25.90
Silver price 12/08: $23.29
Silver price 12/15: $24.17
Silver price 12/22: $24.47

Gold and silver each put on gains over the week. The gradual gains toward $2150 for gold and $26 for silver should continue into 2024, albeit with the usual ups and (smack)downs.

Here are the most recent prices for common one ounce gold and silver items sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, free shipping included):

Item/Price Low High Average Median
1 oz silver coin: 28.00 45.05 36.57 35.98
1 oz silver bar: 31.00 45.00 36.59 36.88
1 oz gold coin: 2,128.03 2,298.00 2,182.02 2,177.00
1 oz gold bar: 2,075.00 2,169.91 2,139.28 2,139.27

The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) dipped over the course of the week to $36.51, an decline of 65 cents from the December 17 price of $37.16 per troy ounce.


WEEKEND WRAP

Enjoy time with friends and family. Money Daily will conclude 2023 with a WEEKEND WRAP on December 31 covering the best and worst of 2023 and projections for 2024.

Only one day until Christmas. Happy Holidays!


At the Close, Friday, December 22, 2023:
Dow: 37,385.97, -18.38 (-0.05%)
NASDAQ: 14,992.97, +29.11 (+0.19%)
S&P 500: 4,754.63, +7.88 (+0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 16,770.45, +45.53 (+0.27%)

For the Week:
Dow: +80.81 (+0.22%)
NASDAQ: +179.05 (+1.21%)
S&P 500: +35.44 (+0.75%)
NYSE Composite: +160.61 (+0.97%)
Dow Transports: +47.79 (+0.30%)


Disclaimer: Information disseminated on this site should not be construed as investment advice. Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily and it's owners, affiliates and/or employees are not investment advisors and do not offer specific investment advice. All investments have risk. You should consult a professional investment advisor or stock broker or use your individual judgement when making investment decisions. By viewing this site, you hold harmless Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily, its owners, affiliates and employees against any and all liability. Copyright 2023, Downtown Magazine Inc., all rights reserved.

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