“Woe to the land whose king is a child and whose leaders are already drunk in the morning. Happy the land whose king is a nobleman, and whose leaders work hard before they feast and drink, and then only to strengthen themselves for the tasks ahead”. (Eccl 10: 16-17)

"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Money flows out of Bonds is fueling the current stock rally

Modern markets are all about speculative money flows, and primarily money flows from hedge funds. That can be subdivided further into "RISK" trades versus "RISK AVERSION" trades.

Take a look at the following composite chart of the US Treasury Bond and the S&P 500 index. Note the extremely close inverse relationship between the two lines.

Basically you can see the RISK trade versus the RISK AVERSION trade portrayed here. When traders are running away from risk trades, they are running into Bonds pushing those prices higher in the process.

When they are feeling aggressive towards risk, they are dumping bonds driving those prices lower and shoving equity prices higher.

So where are we in all this? Simple - if traders/investors believe that the actions of the European monetary and political leaders in regards to the bank recapitalization plans will be successful in averting any worsening of that situation, they will continue to move towards RISK trades and sell their recently purchased bond holdings as at least one source of "deflation" will be eliminated from off their radar screen.

If risk trades come back into favor, then the SILVER/GOLD Ratio is going to move  back in the FAVOR of SILVER after having moved in favor of gold since late April of this year.

Gold Bulls Pressing against the Bears' Line of Defense

I have noted that $1680 is a key technical chart resistance level for the gold market to overcome if it is to have a shot at $1700 and a chance to begin a trending move higher. I say this because one can see from the short term price chart that since late September, all forays into this zone have been successfully repulsed by the shorts.

Today the bulls pressed through this defense line but could not muster enough strength to hold their gains in a convincing fashion as the market retreated back below the $1680 level, although just barely. We have two days left in this week for trading. If gold can clear $1680 and hold this level by the time it closes for trading Friday afternoon, it should easily hit $1700 next week where the only resistance is more psychological in nature than technical.

Note that the downsloping red trend line has been broken in today's session gains by the bulls.

There are several factors currently working in favor of gold. The first is the recapitalization plan for the European banks which seems to have enough traders/investors convinced that the worst of that storm is over and thus are willing to take on the "risk trades" once again. The second is closely related to that in the sense that the safe haven trades are being jettisoned meaning that the US Dollar is getting slammed lower as long liquidation is the order of the day in there. The combination of a weaker Dollar and an environment in which risk trades are in favor has brought buying into the gold market. Since there is no need to sell gold to raise cash for any trades that have soured nor a need to meet margin calls, this overhead pressure on gold has for the time being been vanquished.

One other factor, which is important, needs to be mentioned. The upcoming Diwali festival season is fast approaching in India. A tremendous amount of gold is bought by dealers ahead of this season in order to meet the surge in demand that ordinarily results from Indians buying of the metal. That is working to keep a good flow of support into the physical gold market, especially on dips lower in price. That is being reflected in the rising levels of chart support that can be seen on the price chart.

The US Dollar continues to fade

Dollar bulls had better hope for a breakdown in the plans of the Europeans to get their bank recapitalization rescue package moving forward because it is rapidly falling out of favor as hedge funds flee the "SAFE HAVEN" trades (buying the Dollar and the US Treasury market). The Aussie is back over the 1.00 level, the Euro has pushed up to the 1.38 level, the Loonie is at the .98 level and threatening to move back to parity and even the Swiss Franc is showing a few signs of life.

There is a fairly large contingent of speculators who are (were) on the long side of the Dollar as they were plying the safe haven trade. Those positions, especially the ones that have been placed within the last three weeks, are all under water and bleeding red.

The Dollar is now moving into what should provide some buying support so some of these trapped longs are holding out hope that it can bounce from here. If not, it will fall back towards 76.50 as long liquidation is going to occur.

HUI nearing important chart resistance level

Mining stocks have been rallying alongside the broader equity markets as the bulls are frollicking in the pastures of increased liquidity being provided to the European banks courtesty of the recapitalization plans being discussed in that corner of the globe. That has taken away fears of bank failures tied to deteriorating balance sheets over in Europe and by inference, any hit to the banks here in the US. The result is "GAME ON" for the hedge funds once again as in they come into a variety of markets once again.

That had led to both a wave of short covering in the mining shares as well as fresh buying in some issues that has taken the index nearly 70 points off the recent spike low made earlier this month. However, shares have basically moved lower since the opening period of trade today as chartists are seeing a zone of formidable resistance against which some of either booking profits from fresh longs or are using as a strategic entry point for fresh shorts. That zone is a combination of of horizontal resistance associated with the swing high made back in May of this year as well as the most significant of the Fibonacci retracement levels, the 50% level which happens to come in very near the 560 level.

If the bulls want to take prices higher, they are going to have to buy in sufficient size across the sector to drive the index through 560 for a minimum. If they hesitate here, the index runs a good chance of retreating and moving back down towards 520 once again.

If the bulls show some mettle and charge higher, then 577-580 comes into play. A close of the index through this level would set up another run at 600-605.