Stocks dropped today as reports reveal a reduction in industrial activity in the Chicago area. The data from Chicago (the United States’ third largest metropolitan area) comes just weeks after similar news of a contraction in manufacturing output in New York. “What we’re seeing here, particularly in the Midwest, is a weakness in autos and all the things that go into them, like primary metals,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. After the latest wave of monetary stimulus and a better-than-expected quarter for stocks, Hoffman commented on the dip by stating, “So now we’re having a step backward as some of the QE3-inspired gains dissipate.”
Gold prices have fallen slightly today as the dollar is up against other world currencies. Though today’s decline is the metal’s second in three days, gold is set to realize its largest quarterly gain since 2010. “The most obvious catalyst for gold to break higher this year is going to be good news out of Europe,” Mitsui Precious Metals analyst David Jollie said. “Anything that is dollar negative is going to help gold move to fresh highs for the year.”
At 1 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:
- Gold, $1,772.60, Down $6.90.
- Silver, $34.52, Up $0.15.
- Platinum, $1,663.00, Up $14.90.
- Palladium, $640.30, Up $3.90.
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