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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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Jobs Data Continues to Weaken; Gold, Silver Holding at Elevated Levels

Thursday, April 6, 2023, 9:28 am ET

As noted on Wednesday, ADP's monthly private sector employment report came in below expectations and March's tally was significantly lower than February. Private sector employment increased by 145,000 jobs in March while the February total was revised upwardly, from 242,000 to 261,000.

The change from February to March employment growth represents a 44.45 percent decline, a significant figure. A few more months with drops like that and there will be negative numbers showing soon. The US economy is clearly not hitting on all cylinders. It appears to be slowing at a pace that would undermine the Fed's rate increasing efforts to control inflation, though a slump in the economy would take care of the inflation problem without any assistance from the Fed, who should stay out of the interest rate-setting business anyway.

Thursday morning's weekly unemployment claims data showed initial claims soaring to 228,000, the ninth straight week above 200,000, another worrying sign that the economy may be crashing, though the clueless vagabonds occupying the White House insist the economy is "strong." Comments from government officials should be taken with doses of alcohol or mood-altering drugs because they are so obviously tainted, bordering on propaganda. The notion that the economy is fine or strong or in good shape or however one wishes to mis-interpret data is like a guy saying, "I'm OK" while suffering a heart attack and falling down a flight of stairs.

Adding to the evidence of a slowing US economy, the Challenger Report headline speaks volumes:

Job Cuts Rise 15% in March 2023, Up 319% from Same Month Last Year, Highest Q1 Since 2020

"U.S.-based employers announced 89,703 cuts in March, up 15% from the 77,770 announced in February."

An unusual situation is set up for the release of the March Non-Farm Payroll data. The stock markets are closed for Good Friday, but the report will be released at the usual time of 8:30 am ET Friday, so reaction by equity investors will be foreclosed until Monday.

With the recent data indicating that the NFP will be close to or below consensus estimate for an increase of 239,000 in March versus +311,000 in February, Thursday becomes the get-away day for traders in stocks and options, particularly the 0DTE and weekly types.

With the morning headlines ringing somewhat of a sour tone, stock futures are gradually declining.

Elsewhere, gold and silver have held onto recent gains, though prices are being whipsawed on the COMEX, with gold still above $2000 and silver right at the $25 level. Should the COMEX whiz-kids manage to counter the recent tide of buying, a situation wherein price is lower while demand has wiped clean the shelves of many online dealers could occur.

There's no doubt about it, we are comfortably within the confines of bizarro clown world.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 5, 2023:
Dow: 33,482.72, +80.34 (+0.24%)
NASDAQ: 11,996.86, -129.47 (-1.07%)
S&P 500: 4,090.38, -10.22 (-0.25%)
NYSE Composite: 15,368.26, -5.85 (-0.04%)


Jobs Data Weaker than Expected; Gold, Silver Spike on Robust Central Bank Demand, Supply Shortage, BRICS Anticipation

Wednesday, April 5, 2023, 9:25 am ET

On Tuesday, the JOLTS data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported, at 10:00 am ET, that the number and rate of job openings decreased to 9.9 million (-632,000) and 6.0 percent, respectively.

On that note, the price of gold and silver spiked, with silver gaining 79 cents, from $24.24 at 10:00 am ET to $25.03 by 11:00 am ET.

From 9:00 am to 10:30 am ET, the price of gold moved nearly $40, from $2,000.70 to $2,040.30 on the COMEX continuous contract, closing in on the August, 2020 all-time high of $$2,089.20.

Were the JOLTS report and the massive spikes in precious metals related? Hardly. Whether the timing was a mere coincidence (there are no coincidences) or a thinly-veiled excuse by COMEX traders to bury short-sellers and establish new levels for both gold and silver remains to be seen. It is likely the latter, as demand for precious metals has soared in recent days as a result of the ongoing banking crisis and other factors, resulting in supply shortages experienced mostly at the retail level.

Putting aside the timing issue, it's clear that gold has been a prime target of central banks, with purchases and deliveries reaching extreme levels over the past two quarters. The COMEX is experiencing a complete reversal, with central banks changing outlooks and positions as de-dollarization continues and the approach of a multi-polar monetary regime is advancing rapidly, with BRICS, now aligned with many other developing nations in Asia, Middle East, Africa, and South America, on the cusp of a gold-backed currency.

It is central bank buying gold on the COMEX that is affecting price in the main and it is likely to be unrelenting until the actual establishment of a China-Russia based gold-backed currency becomes a reality. After that, expect gold's price to rise even faster and further, silver along with it.

Somewhat unrelated, but still important, on Wednesday morning, ADP released its National Employment Report for March [PDF], showing a decline from February, with just 145,000 jobs added in the month.

Within minutes of the opening bell, stock futures are marginally lower, as they have been most of the morning.

It's getting very "real" out there. Be on alert for falling stocks and bond yields.

At the Close, Tuesday, April 4, 2023:
Dow: 33,402.38, -198.77 (-0.59%)
NASDAQ: 12,126.33, -63.12 (-0.52%)
S&P 500: 4,100.60, -23.91 (-0.58%)
NYSE Composite: 15,374.11, -113.64 (-0.73%)


Buy More Stocks. You'll Need the Profits to Pay for Food, Gas, and Taxes

Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 8:53 am ET

Trapped in a culture of greed, avarice, cowardice, and self-infatuation, Americans are truly the chosen people.

Chosen to follow, not lead.

Chosen to accept and not question.

Chosen to spend, not save.

Chosen to be tax mules.

With an average IQ of about 98, it's clear that most citizens of the United State choose not to employ the better parts of their brains, the parts that analyze, question, criticize, or otherwise reject the pablum of propaganda bestowed on them by mainstream media, government, and questionable investment advisors.

When an unelected president becomes the accepted norm, its probably too late to save the culture and this becomes overwhelmingly evident when a former president is charged with crimes in the very same city he helped build.

Not to belabor the point, but the culture and the country is doomed. Few people are willing to stand up for natural rights or those bestowed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech is dead. Freedom of religion, buh, bye. You will conform and you will use worthless scrip for currency until your very sustenance is threatened by the currency's lack of purchasing power. You will buy stocks because they continue going up, when the reality is that your currency is being debased, by the day, the hour, the minute.

While they're squandering the future, some Americans will buy bitcoin or other worthless, imaginary tokens in the belief that they are somehow sacred, untouchable, and will save the system. These same people might accept the notion that unicorns exist and angels will protect them from all manner of evil.

This is a country that allows unelected bureaucrats to assess the value of their homes and tax them based on their dubious conclusions. Should the homeowner make improvements, they will be taxed at an even higher rate.

This is a country made up of people who have been conditioned to believe that being taxed for their labor, and having those taxes taken out of their pay before they even receive it is a fair system.

A country that willingly accepts taxes of 20, 30, 40% of their income and does not revolt in horror is a country that has lost its way.

The NASDAQ is up 16.46% year-to-date and is poised to continue higher.

This is a country that fails at math and allows strangers to invest their money into anything fashionable, traceable, and taxable, but refuses to own gold or silver because gold is obviously capped at $2000 per troy ounce and silver at $24.00.

Americans best enjoy their comforts while they last because they most certainly will become unaffordable at some future date and when it happens, most people in America will be surprised because they fail to even try to understand economics and money and have the attention span of a gnat.

In less than three weeks, WTI crude oil has risen from $67/barrel to $81 - a 20% increase - and the production cuts promised by the oil producing countries haven't even begun. By June, the national average price of a gallon of gas will be well beyond $4.00. Everybody will complain, but nobody will do a damn thing about it. Most Americans will continue to drive to and from jobs without futures just to pay their ever-increasing bills.

Those gifted with a higher sense of values and possibly brighter minds will do otherwise and maybe depart from the country that once promised freedom, liberty, and prosperity but now provides shackles, fakery, and transgenderism.

They will be asked, "where are you going?" and their answer will be, "anywhere that's not here."

At the Close, Monday, April 3, 2023:
Dow: 33,601.15, +327.00 (+0.98%)
NASDAQ: 12,189.45, -32.45 (-0.27%)
S&P 500: 4,124.51, +15.20 (+0.37%)
NYSE: 15,487.75, +112.84 (+0.73%)


WEEKEND WRAP: Checking Out Quarterly and Year-to-Date Returns for Stocks, Oil, Gold, Silver, Bitcoin

Sunday, April 2, 2023, 11:20 am ET

Friday marked the end of the first quarter and the year-to-date. Let's see how various asset classes fared.

Stocks

Overall, stocks did well, despite challenging conditions, but the big winner was tech, with the NASDAQ - the most beaten-down index in 2022 - gaining the most, up a stunning +1,755.43 points (+16.77%).

The Dow Industrials were aided significantly in the past week and especially Friday's blast (padding quarterly statements), ending the quarter up +126.90 (+0.38%). The Dow's 1036-point gain this week was its best performance since the first week of November.

The S&P 500 gained +269.81 points (+7.03%) and the NYSE Composite posted a gain for the quarter of +190.60 points (+1.26%).

2023 weekly up/down:
Dow: 6 up, 7 down
NASDAQ: 10 up, 3 down
S&P: 8 up, 5 down
NYSE: 7 up, 6 down

What does this indicate? Not much, other than there was quite a bit of bottom-fishing in tech and outright boosterism on the Dow and NYSE in particular, both of those indices making it into positive territory solely on the strength of the past week, and, in the Dow's case, on Friday's gains alone. Somebody forgot to send the memo that buying the dip was over as of last year (NASDAQ pump). The past week was nothing more than extensive window dressing by the usual corrupt insiders.

Wall Street and the government want you to buy stocks because they are traceable and taxable. It's the most extensive and elaborate skimming operation ever devised. Charles Ponzi and Mafia dons are green with envy.


Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
02/24/2023 4.68 4.83 4.86 5.02 5.06 5.05
03/03/2023 4.75 4.79 4.91 5.01 5.18 5.03
03/10/2023 4.81 4.91 5.01 5.08 5.17 4.90
03/17/2023 4.31 4.51 4.52 4.79 4.71 4.26
03/24/2023 4.28 4.48 4.74 4.78 4.76 4.32
03/31/2023 4.74 4.79 4.85 4.97 4.94 4.64

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
02/24/2023 4.78 4.52 4.19 4.10 3.95 4.11 3.93
03/03/2023 4.86 4.60 4.26 4.15 3.97 4.12 3.90
03/10/2023 4.60 4.31 3.96 3.86 3.70 3.90 3.70
03/17/2023 3.81 3.68 3.44 3.45 3.39 3.76 3.60
03/24/2023 3.76 3.58 3.41 3.40 3.38 3.77 3.64
03/31/2023 4.06 3.81 3.60 3.55 3.48 3.81 3.67

Bonus tables: Treasury yields start/end of quarter

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
01/03/2023 4.17 4.42 4.53 4.70 4.77 4.72
03/31/2023 4.74 4.79 4.85 4.97 4.94 4.64

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
01/03/2023 4.40 4.18 3.94 3.89 3.79 4.06 3.88
03/31/2023 4.06 3.81 3.60 3.55 3.48 3.81 3.67

There's a lot here that defies rationality, but, being gluttons for punishment, let's take a look.

Right off the bat (thank God it's finally baseball season), there's reason to believe that there's never been a time when the yield curve has been inverted for so long (7s-10s first inverted on 03/11/2022, and then 2s-10s on 04/01/2022), without a recession being triggered. Being mindful of the fact that the entire curve is upside-down, the chance for reversion of the inversion any time soon is nil.

30-year bonds are yielding 3.67%, why? And who is buying them? This is probably a question best asked of Federal Reserve officials, who hold loads of them, i.e., monetizing the federal government debt. However, if demand for long-dated securities is high, thus pushing yields lower, does that not imply that buyers believe long-dated fixed-income investments will offer lower yields in the future. Sure looks that way.

In plain terms, investors are looking for the Fed to end its hiking regime and return to some form of QE and lower rates overall. This seems to be the making of a grandiose pipe dream, since, in such an environment, inflation would be running extremely hot, rendering yields on 10-year notes out to 30-year bonds of one to three percent massive losers against a depreciating currency and loss of purchasing power (inflation).

Another conundrum exists in the current concave structure as opposed to the usual convex plot of the yield curve, whereas short-dated maturities are lower, extending out to higher yields at the long end. The current structure with higher yields at the short end has turned the banking regime on its head, resulting in the recent bank failures and more on the horizon. The normal "borrow short and lend long" nature of banking has been toppled over on its head.

Employing just the latest treasury yields, any banker borrowing at 4.85% (3-month) and lending out at 3.48% (10-year) or 3.67% (30-year) would be summarily dismissed from the gentleman's club. It's a recipe for disaster, insolvency and a liquidity crunch, already well underway. Even more astounding is the treasury structure leads one to believe that lending to the government at 3.67% for 30-years is a better deal than a 30-year mortgage at 6.92% to a currently-employed couple with average debt. The government is $31.4 trillion in debt with no intention of paying anything other than interest in perpetuity. The couple at least provides collateral in the form of a house and land and a means by which to repay both interest and principal.

Yes, this is clown world.


Oil/Gas

Here comes more inflation.

WTI crude rose to $75.70, a gain of more than nine percent (9.39%) from last Friday's New York closing price of $69.20 per barrel.

Gasoline prices remain elevated and are moving higher, possibly by a significant amount as seasons head for summer and more driving. Thanks to the ridiculous policies emanating from the nation's capitol, Brandon and his gang of dunces won't be able to pull from the strategic oil reserve to keep prices in check, as they did in 2022.

Last week's national average was $3.42. This week, it's $3.50. A distinct possibility of $4.00 gas by June has emerged even though there's a glut of crude oil on the global market. Retailers shifting from winter blends to summer concoctions will boost the price at the pump by 15 to 25 cents within weeks unless oil prices decline.

California ($4.80), Washington ($4.27), Arizona ($4.27), and Nevada ($4.17) remain the only states averaging above $4.00. Illinois ($3.83), closing in on the $4.00 level, Indiana ($3.58) and Pennsylvania ($3.57) are the highest in the Northeast/Midwest.

The Southeast still has the lowest prices overall, though there are no states under $3.00, which was trending through the winter. Mississippi is the lowest in the nation, at $3.00, followed by Oklahoma ($3.04) and Arkansas ($3.08), Other Southern states are averaging between $3.12 (South Carolina) and $3.20 (Tennessee). Florida ($3.45) remains the outlier, actually higher than the liberal cesspool of New York ($3.42), fitting, as many New Yorkers have relocated to the Sunshine State, bringing higher prices with them.

On a quarterly basis, oil was down slightly (Dec. 30, $80.26), though the price spent much of the first quarter of 2023 bouncing between $72 and $82/barrel.

Gas at the pump rose in herky-jerky fashion through the first quarter. At the end of 2022, the national average was around $3.05. Today, it's $3.50. That 45 cent increase amounts to nearly 15%. Like the banking crisis, inflation is not being well-handled.


Bitcoin

This week: $28,349.10
Last week: $27,735.90
2 weeks ago: $27,925.10
6 months ago: $19,452.20
One year ago: $46,422.80

Bitcoin had an outstanding quarter, ending 2022 at $16,529.00, closing out on March 31 at $28,476.40 for a gain of 72.28%, far outpacing all other asset classes. Like all speculations, there are also gamblers who tripled their money on one race and are doing astronomically well on a quarterly and yearly basis. So, see all you "hodlers and coiners" in July.

Crypto is great for money laundering and quick profiteering (see Sam Bankman-Fried for advice). As a stand-alone currency: fail. Store of value: fail. Portability/divisibility: winning. Bitcoin is another grand scheme, a solid concept that's been ultimately corrupted, like just about everything else.


Precious Metals

Silver:Gold Ratio: 81.97; last week: 85.57

Gold price 03/03: $1,862.80
Gold price 03/10: $1,872.70
Gold price 03/17: $2,009.80
Gold price 03/24: $1,999.00
Gold price 03/31: $1,987.00

Silver price 03/03: $21.39
Silver price 03/10: $20.60
Silver price 03/17: $22.75
Silver price 03/24: $23.36
Silver price 03/31: $24.24

For the quarter, gold was outstanding, up $160.80 (+8.81%), while silver eeked out the tiniest of gains (+0.20 (+0.81%), though recently has been outperforming gold, witness the silver:gold ratio.

Gold continues to bump up against the LBMA-imposed $2000 ceiling. There's a reason for that, mostly psychological, because holding above $2,000 implies that the US dollar is failing and record high prices for gold are within range. Pushing an opposing narrative, none other than Goldman Sachs made the rounds with a revision of its gold forecast, as quoted below.

Given the material upward revision in investment and CB demand assumptions, we now upgrade our 3/6/12m gold targets from $1950/2050/2150/toz to $2300/2500/2500/toz.

Goldman's note implies gold at $2300 by June/July and $2500 by September/October. As with anything out of Wall Street connivers - especially GS scribblers - these opinions have to be viewed with appropriate levels of skepticism. Goldman may be in a position to advise clients to buy gold only to be shorting it at the same time. History of US suppression via the LBMA-COMEX-CME derivative structure is explicit. Gold and silver are not allowed to appreciate, even if inflation rages at 5, 10, 15% or more. As currency challengers to worthless fiats, the truth of gold and silver as true money cannot be allowed to seep into the minds of the commoners, or, as Goldman labels them, muppets.

Take Wall Street, Washington, the World Bank, IMF, and the BIS out of the picture (good luck!) and the price of gold would be hovering around $4,000 and silver about $80. One can only hope for the end of the Fed and its legalized theft via debt-funded currency and fractional reserve banking. Freedom-loving persons may want to investigate countries that are shifting towards the new gold standard coming out of the BRICS and the East. Over the next few decades, places as far-flung as Peru, Thailand, and Turkey may be more friendly to business and financial interests as the US, and countries of the UK and European Union.

Silver remains the #1 option.

Bear in mind, if the silver:gold ratio ever reverts to its traditional level of around 16:1, if gold is $2,000/toz, one troy ounce of silver would be worth $125.00. Perhaps a better - and more realistic - measure might be a gram of gold for an ounce of silver, which would value an ounce of silver at 1/31.1034768th of an ounce of gold. Thus, were gold valued at $2,000/toz, a troy ounce of silver would be $64.30, or roughly three times current pricing.

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 43.00 37.85 38.54
1 oz silver bar: 32.25 44.95 37.13 37.13
1 oz gold coin: 2,076.45 2,118.39 2,100.14 2,100.40
1 oz gold bar: 2,051.93 2,086.50 2,072.92 2,081.31

The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) was fairly static for the week, dipping slightly, to $37.66, a loss of 14 cents from the March 26 level of $37.80.

WEEKEND WRAP

Finally, as college basketball's March Madness concludes, the government/media cabal brings up April foolery with the indictment of President Trump on charges that serve only the interests of the political caste. The kangaroo court case is just another distraction. Sunday news shows made no mention of banking, finance, inflation, or Ukraine. You're not supposed to be interested in those things. Only sports and politics and the next election (which is still more than 18 months away) are to be your focus. Oh, and transgenderism and the 78 varieties.

Since the pandemic issues of 2020, the world has gone radically mad. Nothing makes any sense, but focusing one's energies on the overriding absurdity of the day is self-defeating, which is probably why Americans - the ultimate self-absorbed personalties - don't give a rat's behind about real issues and certainly aren't going out of their ways to change anything.

That's how people get blind-sided by events, surprised when the banks close, the ATMs stop working, the price of eggs skyrockets. Not paying attention, borrowing against the future, eschewing frugality all lead to painful ends and are the result of deliberate dumbing-down of the general population.

Don't be that way.

At the Close, Friday, March 31, 2023:
Dow: 33,274.15, +415.12 (+1.26%)
NASDAQ: 12,221.91, +208.43 (+1.74%)
S&P 500: 4,109.31, +58.48 (+1.44%)
NYSE Composite: 15,374.91, +174.32 (+1.15%)

For the Week:
Dow: +1036.62 (+3.32%)
NASDAQ: +397.95 (+3.37%)
S&P 500: +138.32 (+3.48%)
NYSE Composite: +616.34 (+4.18%)


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idleguy.com July 2024
IdleGuy.com July 2024, Vol. 1 #6