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.

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.

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 this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

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.

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

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.