Market Recap 5/6/11

The month of May began excitedly with the global headline of the week. Late Sunday evening, President Obama announced to the world that Osama bin Laden was found and killed. American stock futures and the U.S. Dollar immediately began to rise as the price of Gold fell $16.00. Silver which already had a tumultuous. weekend, took a sharp dive . By mid-day, it was apparent that the bin Laden bounce was short lived.

The ADP Private Sector jobs report was released Wednesday. Private sector jobs increased by 179,000 jobs in April which was lower than analysts’ expectation of 200,000 jobs. The good news is that layoffs level in 2011 reached a marked low. Stock futures had dropped in anticipation of this report and declined further after this announcement. Precious. metal prices continued their retreat in overnight trading but Gold and Silver began recovering with the release of this news.

Later that day, reports came out that Mexico’s central bank had been quietly stocking up on Gold. They boosted their foreign reserves by trading $4 Billion worth of U.S. Dollars for $4 Billion in Gold. “They’re probably thinking that getting out of Dollars and into Gold makes sense because we know that the Dollar has some trend to depreciate in the near future at least,” said Sergio Martin, Chief Economist at HSBC in Mexico City. “I don’t think they’re going to lose money with this.”

Thursday was streamed with bad news and extreme market volatility. The number of U.S. unemployment claims was expected to drop 19,000 this week but instead rose by 43,000 to 474,000. This is the highest level in eight months. The four-week moving average for jobless claims, considered the better trend measurement, rose 22,250 and is now over 400,000 to 431,250.

Also on Thursday, a new report by Clear Capital stated that home prices have double dipped nationwide. Nationwide prices are now lower than their low point of 2009. Prices have fallen 11.5% in the past nine months. Over one third of the national home sales are coming from bank owned properties (REO) and banks want to get these properties off their books, thus driving prices down.

By the end of the day, oil fell below $100 per barrel on the concerns that a slumping economic climate will lower demand. The stock market was down triple digits and precious metals went through a major correction. It all started with the precious metals earlier,” said James Cordier, a portfolio manager at Optionsellers.com in Florida. “Oil is down because everyone is heading for the doors,” he added. A weak jobs report added fuel to the fire with investors again worrying about a double-dip recession, Cordier said. “Here we are supposedly at the height of the recovery and not only we can’t create jobs, we are losing jobs.”

Friday began with what looked like good news but turned out to be conflicting reports. Non-Farm payrolls were unexpectedly up, but unemployment unexpected climbed to 9%. Stock, oil and precious metal prices all bounced up on this report.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,567.30. The high during the week was on Monday, May 2nd, at $1,577.40, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, May 6th, at $1,471.10. Gold ended the week down $66.60 at $1,500.70. 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 $48.04. Silver reached a high of $48.19 on Monday, May 2nd, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, May 6th, at $33.04. Silver ended the week down $12.19 at $35.85. 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 $1,879.00 and ended the week down $87.40 at $1,791.60. Popular Platinum products this week included 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $796.60 and ended the week down $79.40 at $717.20. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, the official Silver bullion coin of Canada, has become one of the most popular Silver coins sought after by investors and collectors worldwide. Since first being minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988, the design of the Silver Maple Leaf has undergone annual changes that include proof releases, various privy marks, holographic enhancements, and commemorative variations. However, the basic features of the Silver coin have remained the same since its inception. The obverse of the coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, and the reverse of the coin showcases the signature Maple Leaf so closely associated with Canadian nationalism and reflective of Canadian pride.

What sets this Silver gem apart from its Gold and Platinum counterparts is the fact that the consumer demand for the Silver Maple Leaf has caused the prices for the coin to skyrocket past the actual bullion value of the coin. For example, while the face value of the Silver Maple Leaf is five Canadian Dollars, the highest face value among international Silver bullion coins, the coin has generated prices that far outweigh its actual face value. In addition to its high value, the Silver Maple Leaf is unique in that it is one of the purest Silver bullion coins on the market. With a 99.99 percent purity, the Silver coin ranks among the purest Silver bullion coins ever produced.

For its numerous positive qualities, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a treasure that could potentially enhance any coin collection or investment portfolio. Because of the high value, purity level, and clear symbolism of Canadian culture, the Silver Maple Leaf is a coin that has developed a high international profile and will most likely continue to play a major role in the world coin markets.

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Market Recap 4/29/11

Gold and Silver started the week on the upside and remained upbeat all week. On Monday, Silver nearly broke the $50 barrier before backing off profit-taking. It turned out to be preparation for another move upwards. On Monday the IMF (International Monetary Fund) dropped bombshell news. The Age of America will end and then China will take over as the world’s largest economy in 2016. If you forgot your calculator, that is less than five years away.

The University of Texas made an extraordinary investment decision on April 15th. Not only did they move 5% of their assets into gold, they bought physical Gold instead of an ETF. This second-largest academic endowment in the U.S. decided they needed insurance against inflation as a result of current fiscal and monetary policies. “The role Gold plays in our portfolio is as a hedge against currencies. The concern is that we have excess monetary and fiscal stimulus,” Bruce Zimmerman, CEO of The University of Texas Investment Management Company told CNBC television. Mr. Zimmerman also described Gold as an anti-currency since it is in limited supply. He described, “You can’t turn on the printing presses and make more Gold.”  Gold will not only protect you against inflation and currency risk but market failure as well. This story created big news and was commentated on for three to four days.

The buzz began on Monday as the investment world awaited Wednesday’s Federal Reserve Board announcement. Federal Chairman Bernanke was the first Federal Chairman to ever hold a press conference which immediately followed the announcement on interest rates. The precious metals market was unusually jittery preceding the event.

During the Fed announcement, Gold and Silver began to go up. Platinum and Palladium, which had declined on Monday and Tuesday, also began to rise. Once Mr. Bernanke’s press conference concluded, they rose more and continued this path through Friday.

The Fed is continuing down the same path. Mr. Bernanke acknowledges there were inflationary pressures in the first quarter, but the Fed feels they are transitory. He acknowledges the economic growth was less than expected in the first quarter, but this is also transitory. Gold and Silver went up as a bet against their wisdom and the stock market climbed on the news of more easy money. The U.S. dollar began its descent down to 3-year lows.

On Friday, Gold soared to all-time record highs. Silver was up marginally, while Platinum and Palladium both showed significant gains. The decline of the U.S. dollar has begun to signal more Central Banks to exchange their U.S. dollars for Gold.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,513.50. The high during the week was on Friday, April 29th, at $1,558.00, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 26th, at $1,492.00. Gold ended the week up $53.80 at $1,567.30. 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 $46.86. Silver reached a high of $49.82 on Monday, April 25th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, April 26th, at $44.61. Silver ended the week up $1.18 at $48.04. 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 $1,816.60 and ended the week up $62.40 at $1,879.00. 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 $771.80 and ended the week up $24.80 at $796.60. 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 2011 Gettysburg & Glacier Silver Two Coin America The Beautiful Set.

Minted in the same design as the popular America The Beautiful quarter series, these extremely popular “large format” five ounce .999 fine Silver bullion coins are the first two America The Beautiful coins to be released in 2011. One side features a prominent national park design and the opposite side features founding father George Washington. The parks featured in this set are The Gettysburg National Military Park and The Glacier National Park.

The Gettysburg National Military Park coin shows the Soldiers National Monument, which stands in the center of the Soldiers National Cemetery. This monument was constructed to honor the soldiers who fell at the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. The statue now stands guard over the 6,000 American soldiers laid to rest at Gettysburg.

The Glacier National Park coin depicts the majestic glacier-carved Mount Reynolds. The mountain goat in the foreground reminds us of the diverse wildlife fostered within Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park obtained federal protected status on February 22, 1897 and consists of 1,000,000 acres.

The Gettysburg & Glacier Silver Two Coin America The Beautiful Set will only be sold as a set and will not be available individually. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products and a satisfaction guarantee.

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Market Recap 4/8/11

The week started with Silver reaching a fresh 31-year high, over $38/oz. Who knew it would be a sign of things to come? The theme with precious metals this week was new highs. Silver hit first on Monday, thanks in part to the looming U.S. government shutdown, inflation fears (oil rose over $108), a weakening U.S. dollar, and the geopolitical situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

APMEX CEO Michael Haynes appeared on CNBC to talk about the importance of precious metals in your portfolio. He was also introducing our new mobile platform, mobile.apmex.com, which is available on your Android-powered smartphone, Blackberry, or iPhone. China raised their interest rates Tuesday in another effort to combat inflation, something the European Central Bank echoed later in the week. Ben Bernanke continued to downplay inflation, which seemed to increase inflation fears. Radioactive fish were discovered near the Japanese nuclear power plant that continues to have issues, creating fears of radioactive food imports in other countries. These issues drove Gold to a record high (over $1,450/oz.) and Silver to a new 31-year high (over $39/oz.) early in the week.

Matthew West of CNBC pieced together a great article on Gold, explaining the bullish sentiment towards precious metals, as well as why Gold as a hedge is here to stay. The radioactive water leak in Japan was plugged Wednesday, but many tons of contaminated water was being pumped back into the ocean due to a lack of storage space at the facility. The conflict in Libya hit a bump as the Libyan rebels were unhappy with NATO support. There were also possible mistakes made by NATO strikes that hit rebels instead of Moammar Gaddafi’s forces. Gold and Silver closed at new highs yet again, with Gold crossing the $1,460/oz. mark and Silver inching closer to $40/oz. by midweek.

After Moody’s downgraded Portugal’s debt rating Wednesday, reports surfaced that against their best efforts, they will end up requesting a bailout before June. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to investors, as seen by precious metals hardly reacting to the news. The ECB officially raised interest rates by 25 basis points, acting as fresh fuel to the fire of inflation fears. A 7.4-magnitude aftershock rocked Japan, hampering production across the country thanks to power outages. On Thursday, Gold closed lower than Wednesday, however it did hit an intraday record high at $1,466.50. Silver closed at a fresh 31-year high as well.

Friday started with news that Euro-zone finance ministers will hold Portugal to a harder reform to receive a bailout. The U.S. government shutdown deadline is here, and there seems to be no hope in sight to avoid it. Some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed. The impending shutdown seems to have investors flocking to the safe haven appeal of precious metals, as Gold and Silver were already at new highs in early morning trading. Gold topped $1,470/oz., while Silver strongly broke through the $40/oz. ceiling.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,429.20. The high during the week was on Friday, April 8th, at $1,476.40, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $1,429.10. Gold ended the week up $47.20 at $1,476.40. 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 $37.91. Silver reached a high of $41.03 on Friday, April 8th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $37.81. Silver ended the week up $3.09 at $41.00. 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 $1,768.50 and ended the week up $48.00 at $1,816.50. 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 $775.50 and ended the week up $21.00 at $769.50. 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 Austrian Silver Philharmonic bullion coins.

One of the most beautiful Silver coins on the market, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic has begun to attract attention from collectors and investors all over the world. Minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are .999 pure Silver and are the first Silver bullion coins denominated in Euros. While the Austrian Silver Philharmonics are Silver bullion coins that can serve as investment opportunities, they are also striking additions to any coin collection.

The Silver Austrian Philharmonic coin features the same design as the Gold Vienna Philharmonic, Europe’s leading Gold bullion coin. Like the Gold Philharmonic, the Silver Philharmonic pays tribute to one of Vienna’s most iconic symbols: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Housed in Vienna’s Golden Hall, the Philharmonic Orchestra is considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. In honor of this prestigious orchestra, the Philharmonic coin’s design features a theme based on Vienna’s musical heritage. The obverse of the Silver Philharmonic coin displays the Great Pipe Organ in Vienna’s Golden Hall. The reverse depicts a medley of selected instruments from the world-famous orchestra. Through these designs, the Silver Philharmonic allows you to commemorate the mastery of classical music in Vienna.

If you are looking to purchase the stunning Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins, shop APMEX’s wide selection of Silver Philharmonics. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products and a Satisfaction Guarantee.

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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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