Here is our latest issue of market insights. Enjoy!
In This Week's Issue
• Weekly Snapshot
• Weekly Barometers
• Weekly Chart
• All That Jitters
• Recommended Read
• FedSpeak Translated Into Plain English
• U.S. real GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.0% in the second quarter of 2011 (ESA)
• U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 55.7 this month from 63.7 in July (Bloomberg)
• Greek 2-year bond yields at 44%, highest levels since the launch of the Euro (Bloomberg)
• U.S. orders for durable goods in July 2011 increased 4.0% to $201.5 billion (ESA)
• Germany's Ifo business climate index in August dropped to 108.7 from 112.9 in July (AP)
• In June compared with May 2011, Euro area industrial new orders fell by 0.7% (Eurostat)
• Steve Jobs decided to step down as chief executive of Apple (Economist)
• Gold at new all-time record of $1,911.46 before falling $200 in three days (FT)
• Congressional Budget Office sees $1.3 Trillion budget deficit for 2011 (WSJ)
• U.S. home prices fell 5.9% in Q2 from a year earlier, biggest drop since 2009 (Bloomberg)
• Moody's cut its rating on Japan's government debt by one notch to Aa3 (Reuters)
• Head of rating agency Standard & Poor's stepping down, to leave company at year's end (AP)
Many of my generation have idolized Steve Jobs; as someone once put it, he is the only man-crush one should have… Whether you are an Mac or a PC, you cannot deny that this man had the vision and the tenacity to transform entire industries. In the eyes of some, Jobs is able to walk on water or so it seems for all of those who are engulfed in his Reality Distortion Field. Although he remains actively involved in the company as chairman of the board, it is unclear to what extent Steve Jobs can continue to influence strategy and be the main visionary of the company. Sadly, the question is purely a medical one. As a reminder of how Steve Jobs transformed Apple, numerous industries and the entertainment behavior of at least one generation, please consider the chart below.
|(Click on chart to see larger image)|
All That Jitters…
It continues to be all about gold. But as we examined last week, the move into gold is a “rocky” adventure, at least at these price levels. After reaching yet another nominal all-time high, gold dropped about $200 in just three days. Had you been caught in the buying spree, that kind of downside movement wasn’t an easy one to digest. From our perspective, it looks as though volatility in precious metals as well as other commodities isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. To get a sense of just how much gold prices have swung, let’s consider a few technical angles for this shiny metal.
$200 down and over $100 back up in just a week, phew…
A very popular tool is the use of Fibonacci retracement levels (38.2%, 50%, 61.8%) which are often indicative of profit taking or a sort of pause in the underlying trend. The three-day price drops ended at the 50% retracement level, an almost text-book like move. As long as these retracement levels hold, technical traders will favor the upside.
Putting things into perspective, you can see how parabolic the price increases have been just this past month. We have seen similar parabolic moves before most recently in silver. Although prices may remain volatile, the major trend still points upward. Gold prices have a long way to go down before this major trend is in danger of reversing. But rest assured that there is more volatility in store. The flight to the illusive safety of gold will continue to be choppy.
Higher gold prices have been a symptom of a distrust in fiat currencies, namely the Dollar and the Euro. Please consider: Much Ado About Debt: Dollar vs. Euro. Granted, Axel Merck is talking his book by promoting his own currency fund, it is nevertheless an excellent assessment of US Policy and its impact on the Dollar.
FedSpeak Translated Into Plain English
Please consider this enlightening interview with Philly Fed President Charles Plosser. Rather than engaging in the art of reading tea leaves, here's a no-nonsense plain English talking Central Banker. Don't we wish we get the same type of concise info from all Economists?
Good luck and good investing!
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