11.23.11 Weekly Recap


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APMEX wishes you a

Happy Thanksgiving!

Markets posted significant losses this week because of the worsening European crisis, negative reports on the U.S. economy and Congress’ failure to agree on budget cuts. Gold dipped below $1700 on Monday but rebounded on Tuesday as investors chose Gold as their safe haven asset. Stocks have continued their run of losses; the S&P 500 posted a loss for the sixth straight trading day on Wednesday as the U.S. markets prepare to go on holiday for Thanksgiving.

The lack of an agreement among lawmakers in Washington raised the speculation that further downgrades to the U.S. credit rating could be coming, as well more large losses in equity markets. “Failure to reach agreement on at least the minimum required savings will reflect poorly on Congress and the S&P 500 could fall by 10 percent to 1,100 percent,” said David Kostin, an Goldman Sachs equity strategist. Kostin said,“The wide range of possible outcomes on both the super committee process and the unstable political economy in Europe drives our view that investors should assume the worst while hoping for the best.” Daniel Clifton, policy strategist with Strategas Research, stated, “We would expect further downgrades, a first downgrade from Moody’s and Fitch and possibly a second downgrade from S&P.”

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a less-than-projected rate of 2% from July to September. With the S&P 500 hitting its most prolonged slump in nearly four months, there is continued speculation that the Federal Reserve will provide another round of stimulus in response to this country’s sluggish economic growth. Peter Boockvar, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., messaged his clients about the possibility of QE3. He wrote, “The bottom line with the Fed at this point is when they embark on QE3, as the top people there seem to want it. Whether they couch it in future economic conditions or not, the result is still the same:  printing money that they think will create a better environment for economic growth that they haven’t been able to achieve.”

Even Germany is not immune from the world’s aversion to risk. At an German bond auction, few traders showed interest in Germany’s debt, expressing concern that Europe is a risk. “[I]f even Germany cannot attract buyers, then the structural negatives are even worse than we thought,” said Jeremy Stretch, CIBC currency strategist. “The German bond auctions were the straw that broke the euro’s back,” said Kathy Lien, director of currency trading at GFT Forex.  “German bonds are normally perceived as the safest investment in Europe, so if investors aren’t willing to buy German bonds, then Europe is really in trouble.”

In the Middle East, Egyptians are protesting their new regime with deadly results; however, the Arab Spring has toppled another leader. Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has signed a power-transferring deal with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.  Yemen has joined Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in bringing about regime changes this year.  In a statement today, Saleh said, “We will be cooperative. … It is not the signing that is important; what matters are the good will and the start of serious and faithful work for real partnership to rebuild.”

Gold was pushed down this week, in part, by a stronger dollar brought on by a flight to cash in all asset classes.  The market is in a completely ‘risk-off’ mentality today, and Gold hasn’t been seen as a flight-to-safety vehicle lately,” Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors.  “I don’t think the long-term outlook has changed, though.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,678.70. The high was on Monday, Nov. 21st at $1,727.40, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 22nd at $1,667.50. Gold ended the week up $17.10 at $1,695.80. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $31.11. Silver reached a high of $33.04 on Tuesday, Nov. 22nd, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Nov. 21st at $30.65. Silver ended the week up $0.69 at $31.80. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,549.90 and ended the week down $1.40 at $1,548.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $587.60 and ended the week down $1.60 at $586.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

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On the obverse, the Mexican Libertad coin features Victoria, the winged goddess of victory in Roman religion. The design was inspired by “The Angel of Independence,” a famous gilded victory column erected in 1910 in a Mexico City roundabout to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence. On this Silver proof coin, Victoria holds a laurel wreath and a broken chain, symbolizing freedom. Behind Victoria are the two iconic volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which are steeped in Mexican lore. The legend of “Lover’s Peaks” recalls the Pre-Columbian tale of two lovers whose romance came to a tragic end. The attractive reverse of the Libertad displays the Seal of the United Mexican States, with a Mexican golden eagle perched on a cactus and clutching a snake with its beak and talons.

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