Chart Update

     

 

 

A Lengthy Non-Confirmation

As we have frequently pointed out in recent months, since beginning to rise from the lows of the sharp but brief downturn after the late January blow-off high, the US stock market is bereft of uniformity. Instead, an uncommonly lengthy non-confirmation between the the strongest indexes and the broad market has been established.

The chart below illustrates the situation – it compares the performance of the DJIA (still no new high since January, although it has come close), the NDX (one of the best-performing indexes, along with the Russell 2000/ RUT) and the NYA (our proxy for the broad market):

 

DJIA vs. NDX vs. NYA – this rather glaring and very lengthy divergence is a symptom of a narrowing market. The vast bulk of the uptrend in benchmarks such as the S&P 500 was due to the surge in the “FAANG” stocks (FB, AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL) – but even this group of stocks is no longer in uniform tracking mode, as FB has fallen out of bed and NFLX and even GOOGL have begun to look wobbly lately. File under interesting trivia: AMZN and AAPL, the two strongest stocks of the group, reached their highest closing levels to date on September 4, the day after Labor Day  (the year-to-date closing high in the NDX was recorded on August 29). In 1929, Labor Day fell on September 2 and the DJIA topped out on September 3.

 

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Suspect Predictions, Ill Wishes and Worthwhile Targets of Scorn

This price of gold fell three bucks, and the price of silver fell ten cents last week. Perhaps because of the ongoing $150 price drop so far since April, we saw some doozy email subjects and article headlines this week.

 

Panic on the inflation Titanic. [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments

The price of gold dropped five bucks, and that of silver 40 cents last week. But let’s take a look at the supply and demand fundamentals of both metals. Also, we continue to follow the development in the gold-silver ratio.

 

One can buy a lot of silver for one’s gold these days. Silver has become extraordinarily cheap, but keep in mind that it was even cheaper vs. gold in the early 1990s (see the section on silver further below for the details). Nevertheless, it seems clear that the risk-reward probabilities are increasingly favoring silver.

 

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Fundamental Developments

Last week the price of gold fell three bucks, and that of silver fell a quarter of a buck. But let us take a look at the supply and demand fundamentals of both metals. Also, we have an interesting development in the gold-silver ratio, a topic we have not addressed in a while.

First, here is the chart of the prices of gold and silver.

 

Gold and silver priced in USD

 

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The Final Stage of a Crack-Up Boom

For economists the dire downward spiral of Venezuela’s economy holds the same fascination black holes hold for physicists. Both illustrate what happens amid the most extreme conditions imaginable. It is thought that this may potentially provide clues of a more general nature. The remnants of massive imploded stars are inanimate and many light years distant; regardless of how violent conditions in their vicinity are, they cannot touch us. Unfortunately, extreme economic conditions definitely involve a great deal of human suffering.

 

“We are the humanist socialism that will save the world”, from Venezuelan cartoonist Weil (he always draws the dear leaders with big wads of dollars sticking out of their pockets, making them look like otherworldly birds – look for his work on the intertubes).

 

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Fundamental Developments

While the price of gold was up $19 last week, the price of silver was unchanged. Of course, we are not going to bias our discussions of the fundamentals, based on bearish or bullish theory.

 

This week it turned out that the lighthouse is actually more solid than many people seem to think of late… [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments –  The Gap Keeps Widening

Last week, the lighthouse went down 24 meters (gold went down $24), or 50 inches (if you prefer, silver went down 50 cents).

 

They done whacked our lighthouse! [PT]

Image credit: Skip Willits

 

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Data Interpretation Problems

Oddly enough, these days it has become more difficult to interpret positioning data. We get more granular data than before, such as e.g. the disaggregated commitments of traders reports (CoT – even if they are still released with a three day delay), but at the same time the goal posts in futures markets have shifted greatly. Former extremes in positioning have been left in the dust with the advent of QE (and the associated desperate “hunt for yield”) and the adoption of large scale systematic trading. Here is a glaring example illustrating the point:

 

Speculator net positions in crude oil futures: after decades in which net long positions rarely exceeded 100,000 contracts, a new post GFC era record has been set in the speculative position at 740,000 contracts net long in early February 2018.

 

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The Fundamental Price has Deteriorated, but…

Let us look at the only true picture of supply and demand in the gold and silver markets, i.e., the basis. After peaking at the end of April, our model of the fundamental price of gold came down to the level it reached last November. $1,300. Which is below the level it inhabited since Q2 2017.

We will look at an updated picture of the supply and demand picture. But first, here is the chart of the prices of gold and silver.

 

Gold and silver priced in USD

 

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The Goldminbi

In recent weeks gold apparently decided it would be a good time to masquerade as an emerging market currency and it started mirroring the Chinese yuan of all things. Since the latter is non-convertible this almost feels like an insult of sorts. As an aside to this, bitcoin seems to be frantically searching for a new position somewhere between the South African rand the Turkish lira. The bears are busy dancing on their graves.

 

Generally speaking bears have little to celebrate these days, but in some sectors they still do. If you want dancing bears with music, they have those on Youtube.

 

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FRN Muscle Flexing

Shh, don’t tell the dollar-paradigm folks that the dollar went up 0.2mg gold this week. Or if that hasn’t blown your mind, the dollar went up 0.01 grams of silver.

It’s less uncomfortable to say that gold went down $10, and silver fell $0.08. It doesn’t force anyone to confront their deeply-held beliefs about money. But it does have its own Medieval retrograde motion to explain.

 

Even the freaking leprechaun is now offering government scrip…  this really takes the cake. [PT]

 

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Conditioned to Absurdity

The unpleasant sight of a physical absurdity is both grotesque and interesting.  Only the most disciplined individual can resist an extra peek at a three-legged hunch back with face tattoos.  The disfigurement has the odd effect of turning the stomach and twisting the mind in unison.

 

Francesco Lentini, the three-legged man. Born in Sicily in 1881 with “three legs, four feet, sixteen toes and two pair of functioning genitals” he made a career of his disfigurement and worked for circus sideshows until his death at age 78. [PT]

 

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THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

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