11.18.11 Weekly Recap

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The U.S. debt passed the $15 trillion mark this week.  What does a trillion dollars look like?  A trillion is 1 million multiplied by 1 million. 1,000 billion dollar bills in your pocket amounts to $1 trillion which is understandably inconceivable to most people. Americans should be alarmed about this $15 trillion debt when we learn that the ratio of U.S. debt to its GDP is now 102% and rising.  When the debt-to-GDP ratio of a country hits 90%, it begins to become a drag on future economic growth.  If this ratio climbs to 100% or higher, the economic growth becomes nearly impossible.

It appears that until Europe is fixed, its headlines will continue to drive the markets for the foreseeable future Robert Pavlik, Banyan Partners chief market strategist, expressed,“We’re capped, at least until we can knock Europe off the front page.” Gold fell more than $50/oz on Thursday as concerns of expanded contagion from the euro zone crisis caused large selloff in almost every market. There is a lot of fear, warranted or not, over the exposure of U.S. banks to the debt crisis in Europe.  The concern is not over any of the countries we’ve worried about over the past few months; the concern is the exposure of U.S. banks to French and British debt.  The exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain totaled a relatively manageable $50 billion as of Sept. 30th; however, the exposure to French debt is approximately $188 billion and exposure to British debt is approximately $225 billion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe could be facing its toughest hour since WWII.  Greece and Italy both have new leaders but this does little to nothing in itself to solve the problem.  Both new leaders are rushing to form new administrations and coalitions to stave off the damage of escalating debt problems.  “Europe is in one of its toughest, perhaps the toughest, hour since World War II,” Merkel told her conservative party in Leipzig.  “If the euro fails, then Europe fails, and we want to prevent, and we will prevent, this.  This is what we are working for, because it is such a huge historical project,” Merkel said.  Investors continue to look for decisive action from euro zone leaders.

This time of year, hedge funds and other investment firms are required to make regulatory filings with the SEC to report their holdings.  These reports can give an indication as to the outlook of some of the world’s savviest investors.  It appears that many are cautiously optimistic but are still avoiding risk, mainly due to fears of a contagion from Europe’s financial woes.  Ryan Detrick, senior analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, said, “We still think it makes sense to be cautiously bullish here.  Don’t go overboard, obviously, because those Europe concerns are clearly still relevant.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Christopher Waller, research director for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, warned that economic recovery in the U.S. is likely to be a process that will take several years and that the Federal Reserve can do little to shorten it.  “Something’s happened in U.S. labor markets that we can’t overcome,” he said, adding, “No matter what we do, recovery is going to be slow.” Bullard has said the Fed shouldn’t engage in any additional easing of monetary policy unless the U.S. economy derails from its current modest growth, stating, “There’s no point in trying to say, ‘Cure cancer with monetary policy.’ It’s just not possible.”

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is pushing for a commitment from the Fed to do more to decrease the nation’s high unemployment rate.  Evans, who has been pushing for more aggressive action from the Fed for some time, said, “I just think this is the time to stretch the boundaries a little bit more and take a few chances.”  He is pushing for a plan that involves asset purchases (some form of quantitative easing (QE) as well as very low interest rates until the unemployment rate drops below 7% or until inflation rises above 3%.  At the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Evans was the lone dissenter on the panel who favored more aggressive action, including a third round of QE.  Now, two more Fed presidents have released statements supporting Evans’ ideas.  But if Evans gets his way, how will the stimulus be paid for?

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,778.40. The high was on Monday, Nov. 14th at $1,797.60, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, Nov. 17th at $1,711.00. Gold ended the week down $50.40 at $1,728.00. 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 $34.10. Silver reached a high of $34.92 on Monday, Nov. 14th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, Nov. 18th at $30.93. Silver ended the week down $1.64 at $32.46. 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 $1,646.40 and ended the week down $48.50 at $1,597.90. 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 $664.30 and ended the week down $57.80 at $606.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

100 Corona Gold Coins & Gold 50 Pesos

For decades, these Gold coins have remained a world favorite for people interested in Gold investments because the premiums charged for these coins are normally lower than for most other Gold bullion coins. The 100 Corona coin contains 0.9802 oz. of 21.6-karat Gold. The Corona coins were originally issued from 1908-14, bearing the date of mintage; after the death of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the coins were imprinted with the commemorative date of 1915. The Austro-Hungarian 100 Corona coin is no longer minted. The 50 Pesos coins were minted in Mexico City. The Peso coin contains 1.2057 oz. of 90% Gold and 10% copper that strengthens the coin to endure the wear of circulation.

Increase your Gold portfolio in thrifty fashion by adding Mexican Gold 50 Pesos bullion coins and Austro-Hungarian Gold 100 Corona coins to your holdings. While supplies last, buy Gold 50 Pesos and 100 Corona coins at only $24.99 per ounce over the Gold spot price at APMEX.com.

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Silver Canadian Maple Leafs- Only $2.29 Per Coin Over Spot

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Take advantage of a remarkable opportunity to buy .9999 fine 2011 Canadian 1 oz. Silver Maple Leaf coins for just $2.29 per coin over spot. Buy as many of these world-class coins as you like for the same low price. Order today, while supplies last.

One of the Purest Silver Coins You Can Own

The 1 oz. Silver Canadian Maple Leaf is .9999 fine — or 99.99% pure Silver — making it one of the purest Silver bullion coins on the market. Sought after by both collectors and investors, this striking coin is an IRA-approved investment.

The coin features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and an elegant single maple leaf on the back. Issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf is widely considered one of the most beautiful bullion coins in the world.

Order Any Quantity for the Same Low Price

There’s no minimum quantity required to secure the special price of $2.29 per coin over spot! Order Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins from APMEX.

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1 OZ APMEX Silver Rounds: $0.99 Per Oz. Over Spot!

Silver prices are on the move! For 24 hours only, you can buy 1 oz. APMEX Silver rounds for the remarkably low price of $0.99 per round over spot! Buy as many of these .999+ fine Silver rounds as you like for the same low price of $0.99 per round over spot, while supplies last. Act now. This special price is only in effect until 4 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Oct. 28.

Build Your Silver Portfolio with a Respected Brand

Bearing one of the most respected names in precious metals, APMEX Silver rounds feature a patriotic design of an American eagle clutching a ribbon that reads “Liberty” on a background of stars and stripes. The reverse is stamped with the APMEX logo, the purity of .999+ fine Silver and the guaranteed weight of 1 troy ounce.

Buy Any Quantity for the Same Low Price

Take advantage of this 24-hour opportunity to own any quantity of 1 oz. APMEX Silver rounds for only $0.99 per round over spot. Buy conveniently at APMEX.com until 4 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, or while supplies last.

Add to your Silver holdings with 1 oz. APMEX Silver rounds.

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Video Commentary: The Potential Impact of the European Crisis on Investments

Is your portfolio ready?

With the European debt crisis continuing to escalate, now could be a critical time to review your asset allocation strategy, particularly as you consider the global economic outlook for the next 3 to 5 years. Having a well balanced portfolio – one that is properly diversified across all asset classes including stocks, bonds, cash and Gold – has perhaps never been more important.

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European Debt Crisis: Alternative Outcomes from History

No one can predict the outcome of the European Union (EU) debt crisis or the impact on the global economy. Regardless of the outcome, if you’ve allocated your investments among asset classes that historically do not move in the same direction, you’ve got a degree of protection for your portfolio. Learn more in our video commentary as APMEX Chief Executive Officer, Michael Haynes, reviews recent economic history and discusses three possible outcomes of the EU debt crisis and the potential impact on YOUR investments.

Uncertainty and Your Portfolio

Global uncertainty and the inter-relationships among world markets mean that an asset allocation strategy that includes exposure to non-correlated asset classes is an integral part of a long-term investment plan. Historically, Gold has played a key role in maintaining a well-balanced portfolio. As this chart shows, Gold has held – and even increased – its value over the past decade while the world’s major stock markets have suffered.

Your Asset Allocation Strategy

When determining your asset allocation strategy, you should consider each asset class – cash, bonds, stocks and Gold – and how each class is likely to perform over the next 3 to 5 years, based on your view and personal economic outlook. If you don’t have exposure to Gold, perhaps now is the time to consider how this world-class asset – with its history of offsetting the uncertainty in stocks and bonds – may help you achieve better balance.

Our Most Popular Products

APMEX offers a variety of precious metals investment options with beautiful Silver American Eagles and Gold American Eagles. Considered some of the most beautiful coins ever minted, American Eagles are among the finest bullion coins in the world. New and seasoned investors alike can purchase American Eagle bullion coins to cater to their individual investment needs.

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10 OZ APMEX Silver Bars: $0.99 Per Oz. Over Spot!

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Take advantage of today’s Silver prices and this significantly reduced premium to add to your Silver holdings. For one day only, you can buy .999+ fine 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars for only $0.99 per ounce over spot!. This special pricing is in effect for only 24 hours, until 5 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, Oct. 26. Order any quantity of 10 oz. APMEX Silver bars today, while supplies last.

High Quality at an Incredible Price

The 10 oz. Silver Bars are .999 pure Silver and feature a patriotic eagle design on the front and the APMEX logo stamp on the back. These APMEX Silver Bars are convenient size for storage and can be easily liquidated. APMEX is one of the most trusted names in precious metals. You can be confident you’re getting high-quality Silver when you buy from APMEX.

Grow your Silver holdings with 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

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