Market Recap 4/1/11

Monday began with Five Things to Watch in the Market this Week. 1) Stocks posted huge gains last week as the volatility index dropped. Will this carry into Monday despite continuing geopolitical risks, more radiation concerns out of Japan and new housing data? 2) What will the latest news be out of Japan? 3) The conflict in Libya and President Obama’s explanation of why and how long we will be there. 4) The New York Times attempt to monetize their online content. 5) Will the housing numbers be as bad as expected and will analysts begin to officially call it a double dip?

The stock market did continue to move up throughout the entire week despite a small pull back on Thursday. There was more bad news coming out of Japan as plutonium was found in the soil at a nuclear plant. President Obama spoke, but with little detail. The conflict in Libya is possibly easing…or at least the news coverage is waning.

Whether or not we say the words double-dip as it applies to the housing recovery or lack thereof, more disturbing data was released this week. The S&P Case-Shiller report showed prices in the top 20 US markets dipped another 3.1% in January. For those unfamiliar with this report, please consider that this is a three month running average, so this data includes October and November when interest rates were at historic lows. “Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” says Standard and Poors’ David M. Blitzer. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing.”

The above report, falling consumer confidence and even oil prices going up could not dampen the appetite for risks, as the stock market continued to rise. The appetite for risks may be growing, but some analysts are sounding an alarm. JP Morgan is loaning AT&T 20 billion dollars to help finance their purchase of T-Mobile. Moody’s is warning that this could be an early warning sign of another credit bubble as this will encourage other banks to assume too much risks in order to capture the lucrative underwriting fees.

The big news on Friday is that the economy added 216,000 jobs and unemployment falls to 8.8%. This report will be viewed as positive for the equity markets and bearish for Gold and Silver. We should keep in mind that we have still recovered only a fraction of the 8 million jobs lost in the recession and many economists say we need 250,000 – 300,000 in job gains each month to have any measurable impact.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,430.90. The high during the week was on Thursday, March 31st, at $1,440.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $1,410.10. Gold ended the week down $1.70 at $1,429.20. 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 $37.42. Silver reached a high of $37.98 on Thursday, March 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $36.44. Silver ended the week up $0.49 at $37.91. 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 $1,750.80 and ended the week up $17.70 at $1,768.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $752.00 and ended the week up $23.50 at $775.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the bullion coins from the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest currently operating mint. The Perth Mint traces its history to Great Britain’s Royal Mint, which opened the Perth branch of the Royal Mint on June 20, 1899. First established for the purpose of refining Gold and producing British Sovereigns as currency for the British Empire, the Perth Mint remained under British control until 1790. On July 1, 1790, the Perth Mint became a statutory authority of Western Australia. Now, the Perth Mint is owned by the Gold Corporation, a company owned by the Western Australian government. Under the Gold Corporation Act of 1987, the government of Western Australia mandated that the Gold Corporation direct and operate the Perth Mint.

Since its foundation, the Perth Mint has been producing and refining large quantities of Gold and other precious metals. Today, the Perth Mint is still highly involved in the Gold industry and the production of Australian precious metals legal tender. However, the Perth Mint is also involved in manufacturing a wide array of numismatic items for collectors and investors. The coins in the Perth Mint’s numismatic collections feature some of the most dazzling designs in the world. Discover the wonder of Australia with the magnificent Australian Gold and Silver coins produced by the Perth Mint.

APMEX offers a diverse selection of Silver numismatic coins manufactured by the Perth Mint. At APMEX, you can find coins from the following Perth Mint collections: Deadly & Dangerous Coins, Australian Sea Life Coins, Extinct Animal Series Coins, Famous Battles in History, and Discover Australia: The Dreaming Series Coins. These coins bring the Australian animal kingdom and historical events to life. Splashed with brilliant colors and stunning designs, the Perth Mint coins belong in your coin collections. To add these high-quality Silver coins to your coin collection today, shop APMEX’s diverse assortment of Silver products available from the world famous Perth Mint.

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Market Recap 2/11/11

Our first story this week was the disclosure that the NASDAQ had been hacked. Yet another blow to investor confidence at a time they thought it might be safe to go back into the water. The Egyptian crisis stayed top of mind, but no headlines had been made this week…yet.

On Tuesday, inflation concerns began to surface. China raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks, which normally suppresses precious metal prices. Today, however, it had an opposite effect as it triggered fears that inflation might not be far behind in other emerging markets as well as the US. Representative Paul Ryan further fanned the inflation fears while appearing on CNBC. He is upset with the Federal Reserve Bank for missing their opportunity to curb future inflation, by not taking appropriate measures now. Precious metal prices surged on the day.

JP Morgan announced this week that they would begin allowing gold as collateral for trading. This should not only give gold prices a boost, it would also set a floor for spot gold. Silver once again crossed the $30 barrier, perhaps on the news that China had imported 4X more silver in 2010 as they did in 2009.

All week long, the continued turmoil in Egypt grabbed worldwide attention. Last week’s violence was settling down, but not gone. Things looked to be calming down. The markets clearly had decided that everything would turn out alright. On Thursday, it was reported that Mubarak would step down, but then later he announced he would not. The markets continued to discount this event. Then on Friday, President Mubarak did step down turning the government over to the military. Stocks rejoiced and precious metals went down. Everything is fine in Egypt! Or is it? Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out “Egypt isn’t moving toward a democracy, it’s moved into martial law and where it goes now is subject to debate”. In other words, this is only the end of the beginning. Now the action really starts.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,349.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 11th, at $1,369.70, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 7th, at $1,344.10. Gold ended the week up $7.60 at $1,357.20. 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 $29.18. Silver reached a high of $30.29 on Friday, February 11th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 11th, at $29.01. Silver ended the week up $0.75 at $29.93. 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 $1,848.20 and ended the week down $44.20 at $1,804.00. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $817.00 and ended the week down $1.30 at $815.70. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Gold Austrian 100 Corona Coins.

Because of the history behind them, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the most interesting coins in the world. For example, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins were among some of the first gold bullion coins available upon the enactment of an executive order on December 31, 1974, that re-entitled Americans to own gold bullion. In addition to their availability at the time of the 1974 order, the Austrian Corona Gold Coins are also fascinating because they are re-strikes, which are official reproductions of coins that were originally minted for circulation. Issued from 1908 to 1914, the Austrian 100 Gold Coins first featured their date of issue. However, after the death of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the gold coins were produced as commemorative pieces and were dated 1915.

Minted in Vienna Austria, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin is .900 fine gold (21.6 karat gold) and contains 0.9802 troy ounces of gold. Designed by Stephan Schwartz, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin pays tribute to Austrian nationalism and pride. The obverse of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin displays a portrait of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who ruled from 1848 to 1916. The reverse features the Austrian Coat of Arms, depicting a double eagle and a crown. Moreover, the edges of the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins include the lettering Vnitus Viribvs, which means “the unified strength,” a well-known motto attributed to Franz Joseph I.

No longer minted, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the lowest-premium gold bullion coins available on the world coin market. Appealing to both collectors and investors alike, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins have begun to attract attention for both their unique history and low-premium gold status.

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Market Recap 8/27/10

Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average had closed below the magical 10,000 plateau earlier in the week, it rallied on Friday to close at 10,150. But, most other financial news was not was not quite as rosy. The Commerce Department reported on Friday that our Gross Domestic product, the value of all the nation’s goods and services, rose at an annualized seasonally adjusted rate of 1.6% from April to June.  While that was an increase, it was considerably lower than the Government’s predicted estimate of 2.4%. Many analysts believe that this is just further evidence that the recovery is losing steam.

The nervousness over the economy even has caught the eye of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Speaking from a meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bernanke acknowledged that the pace of economic growth “recently appears somewhat less than vigorous”, and he vowed that the Central Bank would take new steps to bolster the economy if conditions worsen. Bernanke promised that the Fed might even take the unusual step of launching a major program to buy securities, among other steps to try to strengthen an economic recovery.

To make matters even worse, sales of previously occupied homes last month fell to the lowest level in 15 years. To quote the Associated Press, “It’s starting to feel like another recession!”

While news on many economic fronts is bleak, the World Gold Council issued a press release this week that offered very positive news for Gold investors. Among the salient points in the press release:

  • Retail Investment will continue to be a substantial source of gold demand in Europe.
  • Demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. It seems that the Chinese Government is trying to foster the development of a domestic gold market. That would add to the growth of gold ownership in China among Chinese consumers.

The demand for gold certainly seems to be on the rise offshore.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,228.30. The high during the week was on Thursday, August 26th, at $1,246.00, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, August 24th, at $1,211.70. Gold ended the week up $10.20 at $1,238.50. This week, 2010 1 oz. Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs and 1 gram Sunshine Minting Gold Bars sold in significant volumes.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.03. Silver reached a high of $19.34 on Friday, August 27th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Tuesday, August 24th, at $17.74. Silver ended the week up $1.11 at $19.14. This week, silver investors concentrated their purchases at APMEX.com on 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,513.90 and ended the week up $24.00 at $1,537.90. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles and 1/2 oz. Platinum American Eagles continue to be popular.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $479.40 and ended the week up $26.70 at $506.10. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs are popular palladium products with bullion investors.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins.

The Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are the very first silver bullion coins that are denominated in Euros. This beautiful coin is struck in pure silver which is 999.9 fine. It is issued annually and it is used as an investment product.

A sophisticated design of musical instruments representing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the text Wiener Philharmoniker (“Vienna Philharmonic”), can be seen on the reverse of the coin.

The subject of the obverse is the great organ in the Golden Hall in Vienna’s Musikverein, the concert hall of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The face value in Euros, the weight, alloy purity and year of issue are also inscribed on this side of the coin.

The design of the silver coin is identical to that of the gold coin, except for its face value of 1.50 euro. The Austrian Silver Philharmonic coin is considered one of the world’s most beautiful coins.

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Market Recap 7/16/10

Federal Reserve officials downgraded their outlook for the economy and said additional central-bank action could be necessary if the economic outlook “were to worsen appreciably,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Overall, officials said it could take as long as five or six years before the economy returns to a sustainable path of moderate growth and unemployment settles at the 5% level where it rested before the recession began in 2007.

The euro reached a new two-month high against a weaker dollar on Friday as rising European money market rates continued to underpin the currency, reported Reuters. The dollar fell to a seven-month low against the Japanese Yen when a report showing that U.S. consumer sentiment weakened in early July to its lowest in 11 months.

The spot price of gold consolidated Friday as day traders and market speculators were taking profits and reacting to immediate market news about higher than expected Consumer Price Index numbers. This short-term pullback afforded precious metal investors a great opportunity to purchase gold, silver, platinum and palladium at lower price levels before the next rally. According to MarketWatch, “A settlement around $1,190 would be gold’s lowest since mid-May and bring the metal close to the bottom of its recent trading range.”

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,212.60. The high during the week was on Tuesday, July 13th, at $1,218.80, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, July 16th, at $1,185.80. Gold ended the week down $19.40 at $1,193.20. The highest-selling gold items this week were Gold American Eagles, Gold Buffalo Coins and 1 gram Pamp Suisse Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.17. Silver reached a high of $18.54 on Thursday, July 15th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Friday, July 16th, at $17.73. Silver ended the week down $0.30 at $17.87. The most popular silver products on APMEX.com this week were Silver American Eagles, Silver Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,533.20 and ended the week down $23.70 at $1,509.50. Platinum investors concentrated their purchases on 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, Platinum Australian Koalas and Platinum American Eagles this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $462.00 and ended the week down $10.40 at $451.60. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs were the most popular palladium products this week on APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX shines a spotlight on a different bullion product to educate our readers. The featured product this week is the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

As the second oldest gold bullion coin in terms of market longevity, the Canadian Maple Leaf became the alternative to the South African Krugerrand. This was particularly important at that time as South Africa had apartheid considerations that troubled some investors. The Royal Canadian Mint began striking these coins in 1979 and that minting continues through today. These artistic coins are struck in beautiful 24-karat pure gold and each weighs 1 Troy ounce.

On the obverse, or front, of these coins is a depiction of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth the Second. The reverse, or back, of this coin depicts the national symbol of Canada – the Maple Leaf. These stunning coins are backed by the Royal Canadian Mint for their purity, content and fineness.

APMEX offers a superb selection of Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins in a variety of dates, sizes and special designs as produced by the Mint. One ounce coins purchased in quantities of 25 or more will be delivered in special tubes and quantities of 500 or more coins are shipped in the special Royal Canadian Mint boxes.

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Market Recap 7/09/10

The U.S. economy may sleepwalk through the next year, avoiding another recession, but it is struggling to find a growth source strong enough to drive a robust recovery, reported Reuters. Dismal economic data and the ominous possibility of a double-dip recession are at the top of Wall Street’s talking points. However, some money managers are saying this assessment is premature. “The canary in the coal mine is not dead; it’s just sleeping,” said Ethan Harris, chief economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. This recovery fails to measure up to the previous episodes in two important categories – consumer spending and housing.

According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims fell another 21,000 to 454,000 last week. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected initial claims to fall to 465,000. The higher than anticipated drop in initial claims was the largest weekly drop since mid-April. High unemployment has been one of the biggest drags on the economy, alongside consumer spending, and the initial claims number is closely monitored as an indicator of the speed of economic recovery, according to TheStreet.com.

Gold rose 1.2% Friday as investors found a renewed appetite for the metal after it traded below $1,200 an ounce for three straight sessions, according to MarketWatch.com. The euro wasn’t able to hold above $1.27 as this week’s rally for riskier assets began to run out of steam, reported the Wall Street Journal.

In more positive news, APMEX announced this week that Michael Haynes, a 30-year veteran of the precious metal and rare coin markets, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of APMEX. “We are pleased to have Michael Haynes join APMEX as our Chief Executive Officer to both continue and accelerate our growth for the future,” said Founder Scott Thomas. “He brings both public company and private company experience in high growth companies, and we look forward to sharing and benefitting from his vast experience.” Read the complete press release here.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,212.00. The high during the week was on Tuesday, July 6th, at $1,215.10, while the low for the week occurred on Wednesday, July 7th, at $1,185.00. Gold ended the week up $0.60 at $1,212.60. Gold American Eagles, Gold Canadian Maple Leafs and Gold Buffalo Coins were the most popular gold products this week on APMEX.com.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $17.89. Silver reached a high of $18.24 on Friday, July 9th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Wednesday, July 7th, at $17.57. Silver ended the week up $0.28 at $18.17. The best-selling silver products this week were Silver American Eagles, Silver Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,505.80 and ended the week up $27.40 at $1,533.20. The most popular platinum items on APMEX.com this week were Platinum American Eagles, Platinum Australian Koalas and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $436.00 and ended the week up $26.00 at $462.00. Palladium investors showed the most interest in 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX shines a spotlight on a different bullion product to educate our readers. This week’s featured product is the Gold Austrian Philharmonic coin.

First minted in 1989, the Gold Austrian Philharmonic coin was the most popular selling gold coin in the entire world during 1992, 1995 and 1996, according to the World Gold Council. Elegant is the perfect word to encompass this lovely and unusual modern bullion coin. These exquisite coins were created as a tribute to the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest musical ensembles in the world.

A harmonious design of musical instruments represents the world famous orchestra on the reverse of this gold coin. The obverse depicts the Great Organ of the Golden Hall in Vienna’s concert hall. Many collectors and investors consider this to be one of the most beautiful designs of all gold bullion coins. The Austrian Philharmonic coin is struck in .9999 fine gold and is available in 4 common sizes: 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce. There is even a limited-edition 20-ounce Gold Philharmonic coin available in extremely small quantities worldwide.

APMEX offers a great selection of current year Gold Austrian Philharmonic coins, as well as several prior years in brilliant uncirculated condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 10 or more will be delivered in mint tubes, and orders of 500 or more come in sealed mint boxes when available.

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