5/17 Peter Schiff, more bullish than ever, sees gold headed to $5,000 an oz

Administrator - Sunday, 17 May 2015 02:47

Big retailers cap earnings season against backdrop of weak sales
Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target report results


As some of the biggest U.S. retailers report earnings this week, investors will be comparing their results against recent lackluster retail sales figures during a light week of economic data ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Stocks finished the week higher with the S&P 500 Index SPX, +0.08%  reaching a record high of 2,122.73 on Friday. Overturning a string of slight losses earlier in the week, the index finished up 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.11%  finished the week up 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.05%  advanced 0.9%.

This week the last two components of the Dow 30 report quarterly earnings on Tuesday: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.66%  and Home Depot Inc. HD, +1.26%

“Retailer numbers are going to be important,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management. “Nationally they weren’t great so a lot of people are going to try to reconcile that with the companies reporting.”

While consumer spending in April won’t be reflected in earnings reports this week, growth in retail sales has been steadily dropping since the beginning of the year.

One of the management concerns most often cited this earnings season is that falling oil prices have done little to boost consumer spending, according to a recent Goldman Sachs note.

Of the 24 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings this week, half of them are retailers, including Target Corp. TGT, +1.64% Lowe’s Cos. LOW, +1.15% Gap Inc. GPS, +1.91% and Best Buy Co. BBY, -0.66%

The week will also see the release of minutes from April’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, along with housing data and April’s Consumer Price Index.


U.S. economy more tortoise than hare

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Maybe the U.S. economy will bounce back in a big way in the spring, but the early evidence is sorely lacking.

Let’s see. Retail sales were disappointingly flat in April. Consumer sentiment fell to a seven-month low. And industrial production fell for the fifth straight month.

Other than that, everything is hunky-dory.

ScreenHunter_518 May. 17 14.49

Don’t expect a batch of secondary reports this week to alter the picture. New home construction and sales of previously owned homes probably got a touch stronger in April as the industry heads into the prime spring-buying season. And layoffs around the country are likely to remain at a 15-year low, a sign that businesses do expect the economy to improve after nearly grinding to a halt early in the year.

Yet 3% annual growth appears as elusive as ever after a dismal 0.2% reading in the first quarter that will likely to revised to show contraction. The last time the U.S. grew 3% or more — the historical average is 3.3% — was 10 years ago, in 2005.

What’s going on?

The problems are easy to see. A stronger dollar has battered U.S. exporters, for one thing. Cheaper gasoline prices that are great for consumers have hit the fast-growing energy industry hard. Drillers have shed thousands of jobs and put off planned investments. And consumers and companies have generally been tightwads.

“Households and businesses have shown more restraint in their spending than we expected,” the New York Fed noted last week after slashing its growth forecast for 2015 and 2016.

As a result, the economy is on track to grow less than 1% in the second quarter, according to the most recent update of the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s gross domestic product tracker. The New York Fed, for its part, slashed its growth forecast for 2015 to 1.9% from a 3.5% estimate a year earlier.

Not everyone is convinced the economy is worse off, though.

Some experts, for instance, believe GDP suffers from inherent flaws that make it make ita less reliable indicator of growth. Joseph Bernstein, chief economist of AllianceBernstein, points out that it’s rare for the U.S. to experience contraction when the number of hours that U.S. employees work increases as it did in the first quarter.

“Something seems off,” he said.


Peter Schiff, more bullish than ever, sees gold headed to $5,000 an oz.

ScreenHunter_517 May. 17 14.44

Despite a ho-hum performance year to date for gold, Peter Schiff, chief executive officer at Euro Pacific Capital, is still betting on gold’s eventual climb to $5,000 an ounce.

Schiff’s persistent call is more than 300% higher than Thursday’s settlement at $1,225.20 an ounce on Comex, which marked the highest close for the yellow metal since mid-February.

Gold is roughly 3% higher year to date, but the precious metal seems light year’s away from the all-time highs near $1,900 reached in 2011.

Still, gold’s performance hasn’t been particularly exciting in recent months. Prices GCM5, -0.18%  tallied declines for the last three months in a row. They logged declines last year and the year prior.

Gold’s sluggishness makes Schiff’s dogged call on gold all the more notable.

Over the years, he’s reiterated his long-running gold-price forecast, which has yet to come to fruition. Lately, however, he’s sounding even more bullish.

“There really is no limit to how high gold prices can rise,” he told MarketWatch in a phone interview recently.

Hemming in gold and supporting the dollar DXY, -0.17%  is the “false perception” that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, claims Schiff, who is known for his criticism of the U.S. central bank.

U.S. economic data has been “awful” and despite that, the Fed hasn’t changed its stance, he said. “We got a lot of weak economic data in the first quarter” and it’s going to be a “very weak” second quarter.

The nation’s economic growth slowed to a crawl in the first quarter, with gross domestic product expanding by a meager 0.2% annual pace.

The Fed is still “posturing” as if it’ll soon raise interest rates, but it won’t, Schiff predicts.

“We’ll always have to do [quantitative easing] to offset the damage from the previous QE,” said Schiff, who argued that the Fed has made “mistakes” and has done a “horrible job” with monetary policy.

5/12 in $NLNK again $38.58

Administrator - Tuesday, 12 May 2015 09:12

11:40am in  again $38.58

9:34am  getting a bounce!

9:30am Buying  under $40.00


Early movers: AOL, MS, HTZ, TSLA, AAPL, GPS & more:


Gold buoyed as global bonds drop
Gold futures traded modestly higher Tuesday as the U.S. dollar lost ground and as government bonds in the U.S. and Europe tumbled, spurring a modicum of safe-haven demand.

ScreenHunter_514 May. 12 09.17

Gold for June delivery on Comex GCM5, +0.83%  rose $10, or 0.8%, to $1,193 an ounce, while July silver SIN5, +0.53%  advanced 10.1 cents, or 0.6%, to $16.415 an ounce.

European government bond prices continued to retreat, pushing up yields, with U.S. Treasurys following suit. The yield on the 10-year Treasury TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.56%  traded above 2.33%, its highest level since November.

Rising bonds yields are typically negative for gold, with commodities that produce no yield suffering by comparison.

But the bond market selloff has spilled over to cause weakness in world stock markets, wrote Jim Wyckoff, analyst at Kitco Metals.

Indeed, stock-index futures traded lower, with the Dow industrials on track to open with a triple-digit loss.

The dollar was also lower, with the ICE dollar index DXY, -0.54% a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, down 0.6%. A weaker dollar can be a positive for gold and other commodities priced in the U.S. unit as it makes them cheaper to users of other currencies.

In other metals trade, July platinum PLN5, +0.74%  rose $10, or 0.9%, to $1,137.30 an ounce, while June palladium PAM5, +0.58%  rose $5.30, or 0.7%, to $785.75 an ounce.

July copper HGN5, +1.14%  rose 2.9 cents, or 1%, to $2.932 a pound.

5/10 Retail sales data may show which gear the U.S. economy is in

Administrator - Sunday, 10 May 2015 08:40

Retail sales data may show which gear the U.S. economy is in
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The payrolls report released last week suggested the U.S. economy is back on trend after a rocky first quarter, and upcoming data will give some sense of whether that’s the case.

The key jobs report from the Labor Department showed 223,000 jobs added in April. That’s by no means terrific, but it looks pretty good compared to the 85,000 reading for March.

And it suggests that factors such as port delays and bad weather that conspired to hold back the economy in the beginning of the year will only make a temporary dent going forward. A nice rise in construction employment in April, of 45,000, helps support that view that better weather will help restore demand.

That said, the strength of the dollar and the pain felt in the energy industry due to the collapse in oil prices could mean that the powerful recovery in 2014’s second quarter won’t be felt this time around. Last year, a 2.1% contraction in the first quarter was followed by a 4.6% surge in the second quarter. Most economists now expect the first quarter of 2015 to have contracted, despite the initial reading of an 0.2% expansion.

“Taken together with other recent data, it now appears that the second quarter growth outlook is better than the first quarter, but headwinds to growth will likely remain,” said economists from Wells Fargo Securities in a note to clients.

Retail sales data due Wednesday will capture the market’s attention. Though sales rose 0.9% in March, that was below the market expectation after three monthly falls.

“Our high-frequency data measuring consumer spending has been indicating a slower pace than we would have expected coming out of the winter snows. The slower pace of employment and income growth goes a long way of explaining why,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research.

Average hourly earnings grew 2.2% in the 12 months to April, a bit slower than the 2.6% rise in the first quarter in the widely tracked employment cost index.

For markets, a U.S. economy in second gear isn’t the worst thing in the world. “The economy continues to improve, but not so much that the Fed will rush to take away the punch bowl. That’s good news for the financial markets,” said Scott Brown of Raymond James.

Other key reports for the week will include data on March job openings — a report to which Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen says she pays particular attention — April industrial production and May consumer sentiment.


‘Earnings recession’ on hold as quarter showing fractional gain
Results snap back from steep forecast cut


Earnings estimates appear to have been lowballed more than usual this season, as what looked to be the first quarterly year-over-year decline in a few years is shaping up to be a slight gain.

Stocks ended the week mostly higher following Friday’s strong jobs report with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.49%  advancing 0.9%, the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.35%  rising 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.17%  declining less than 0.1%.

For the S&P 500, blended earnings—meaning, earnings results of companies that have already reported combined with estimates of those companies that haven’t reported yet—crept into the black this past week, showing 0.1% growth for the first quarter, according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, a far cry from the expected 4.7% year-over-year decline that was forecast on March 31.

That makes for a larger-than-average swing, seeing earnings growth, on average, tends to end up about 2 to 3 percentage points higher than expected.

As energy prices tumbled over the first quarter, so did analyst estimates, making for a larger-than-average lowballing of corporate results. Analyst estimates went from a forecast 4.3% growth as the first quarter began, down to that expected 4.7% decline over the course of the quarter.

The sharp decline in expectations stoked concerns of an “earnings recession,” where earnings decline year-over-year for at least two consecutive quarters. That concern, however, remains somewhat viable for the rest of the year as analysts expect a 4.3% decline in earnings for the second quarter, a 0.5% decline in the third quarter, and flat earnings for the fourth, according to FactSet’s Butters.

Still, even if first-quarter earnings growth holds at 0.1%, it will still be the worst quarter since the third quarter of 2012, when S&P 500 earnings declined 1%. About nine-tenths of the S&P 500 has already reported results this season.

A mixed bag of sectors report this week with an emphasis on health care, tech, and retailers. Only 14 S&P 500 companies report this week including Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, +1.48% Actavis PLC ACT, +1.92% McKesson Corp. MCK, +2.35% Macy’s Inc. M, +1.90% and Nordstrom Inc. JWN, +0.64%

The following week, larger cap retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot will report.

5/03 Roses or thorns? Wall Street awaits pivotal jobs report for April

Administrator - Sunday, 3 May 2015 07:47

Roses or thorns? Wall Street awaits pivotal jobs report for April
245,000 forecast would ease worries after weak March report


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—One poor U.S. jobs report is cause for concern. Two bad reports in a row is reason to panic.

For now, virtually no one on Wall Street or at the White House is panicking. Forecasters predict job creation in April will bounce back in a big way after a disappointing 126,000 increase in March that was the smallest in 15 months.

Economists polled by MarketWatch predict a healthy 245,000 gain in April, restoring the level of hiring close to the 2014 average. Last year the U.S. added the most jobs since 1999.

ScreenHunter_511 May. 03 19.40

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is seen falling a tick to 5.4% in April. That would mark the lowest level since May 2008.

The April employment report is the only one that truly matters on this week’s economic calendar after a miserly 0.2% increase in first-quarter growth and the disappointing job gains in March. The big bet on Wall Street is that the economic slowdown early in the year reflects an unusually harsh winter and other temporary impediments that will soon fade.

A snapback in hiring would confirm that view. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his new blog, asserts the pace of employment gains gives a much better sense of how the economy is performing than quarterly reports on the nation’s growth.

In other words, forget about the first quarter.

But all bets are off if the employment spigot in April is reduced to a trickle for the second month in a row—it would signal a broader softness in the U.S. economy.

The early signs are not exactly encouraging. Consumer confidence fell in April to the lowest level in four months, for one thing. And a survey of U.S. manufacturing executives indicates that they stopped hiring last month to cope with a sales slowdown.

“The first quarter was another incredibly weak quarter for the U.S. economy, and the second quarter is shaping up to be another disappointment as well,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist of Bank of the West.

Other economists are less worried. They expect warmer weather to shake consumers out of their lethargy and entice them to spend more after being cooped up during final frigid months of winter.

The big burst in hiring last year, what’s more, has forced companies competing for a dwindling pool of workers to offer more attractive pay. As a result, wages and benefits in the first quarter rose by the fastest rate since the end of 2008.

Bigger paychecks, along with along with cheaper gasoline, are putting more money into people’s pockets.

Just as important, households have whittled down their debt burdens to normal levels to give themselves more financial cushion, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said in a speech on Friday. That should also help prop up the economy in 2015.

Yet so far there’s little evidence that consumers are ready or willing to go out and splurge. Instead they saving even more money compared with a year earlier—not good news for a consumer-based economy in which household spending is by far the biggest driver of growth.

“Without the consumer out spending,” said chief economist Lindsey Piegza of Sterne Agee, “growth will falter.”

4/28 Gold up 1% on soft dollar after data; eyes on Fed

Administrator - Tuesday, 28 April 2015 08:11

Biggest OTC % Gainers/OTC % Losers /Top OTC Volume Movers 4/28 close:

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NYSE Scans 4/28:


Gold up 1% on soft dollar after data; eyes on Fed

ScreenHunter_502 Apr. 28 20.19

Gold rose nearly one percent on Tuesday after disappointing U.S. data hit the dollar and dampened expectations that the Federal Reserve will hint at this week’s policy meeting at an interest rate hike in coming months.

Spot gold climbed to a three-week high of $1,212.80 percent after the data showed U.S. consumer confidence dropped in April to its lowest level since December.

It was up 0.8 percent at $1,210.88 an ounce, after a 2 percent rise on Monday, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose $7.30 an ounce to $1,210.50.

“Market participants are focusing on the Fed meeting on hopes of some hints on when the Fed will raise interest rates … However, i don’t think we will get any surprising news tomorrow,” Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said.

“Traders will continue to look at the data, which has been quite weak lately.”

The dollar fell 0.5 percent against a basket of leading currencies.


S&P 500 may have hit its peak, bearish chart pattern warns


ScreenHunter_501 Apr. 28 20.08

U.S. stocks end choppy session mostly higher
U.S. stocks ended Tuesday’s choppy session mostly higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closing near record levels reached last week.

However, disappointing earnings and weaker-than-expected economic data capped gains on the S&P 500 and Dow industrials, while Nasdaq finished slightly lower.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.28%  closed up 5.84 points, or 0.3%, at 2,114.76, with nine of its main sectors finishing higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.40% which had dropped by as much as 120 points in early trading in New York, finished with a gain of 72.17 points, or 0.4%, to 18,110.14.

Meanwhile, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.10%  ended the session 4.82 points, or 0.1%, lower at 5,055.42.

James Abate, chief investment officer at Centre Funds, was concerned about markets’ march higher despite deteriorating fundamentals.

“Recent economic data indicate contraction and a slowdown in growth. Meanwhile, earnings outlook is for zero growth. It is possible that investors are treating this as ‘bad news is good news’ assuming the Fed will not raise rates at all, given the economy is not doing as well as they hoped it would,” Abate said.

“Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategists at CMC Markets, earlier blamed worse-than-expected earnings from companies such as Ford and Whirlpool on selling pressure, when Dow dropped more than 100 points at session lows.

“It appears that consumers are not spending on big-ticket items, while confidence also dropped. In the next month or so, if we do not see improved economic numbers, markets might see a deeper correction, as a lot of investors had been expecting consumer spending to pick up,” Cieszynski said.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting kicked off on Tuesday, but the interest-rate statement isn’t released until Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Investors will be looking for clues as to whether a near-term rate hike is still in play, although a large majority of Fed watchers don’t think the central bank will provide any hints, preferring to keep all options on the table.

For the discussion on Wednesday, the FOMC will have the first-quarter GDP number to include in their assessment of the economy and interest rates.

Weekly Watch List

NASDAQ5089.36  chart-1.43  chart -0.03%

S&P 5002126.06  chart-4.76  chart -0.22%

SPY212.99  chart-0.51  chart -0.24%

GLD115.60  chart-0.09  chart -0.08%

NTCHF0.0025  chart-0.0003  chart -10.71%

PPCH0.045  chart+0.001  chart +2.22%

RMRK0.0003  chart+0.0000  chart +0.00%

ARRS33.19  chart-0.14  chart -0.42%

LNKD196.23  chart-0.81  chart -0.41%

TWTR36.60  chart-0.08  chart -0.22%

AKRX43.84  chart+0.34  chart +0.78%

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