Monthly Summary

February 2020

February was one of the most volatile months for precious metals in recent history.  Gold and silver saw 7.3% and 13.0% fluctuations between their monthly low and high prices respectively.  Platinum fell 10% for the month and palladium continued to climb, finishing up 13%. 

Corona virus fears dominated market activity throughout February as the virus continued to spread outside China at an increasing rate. Several large corporations revised their revenue estimates downward as a result of decreased manufacturing out of China.  Gold initially rose as its haven appeal resurfaced in light of the global economic uncertainty.  However, once the scope of the virus, both in the number of cases outside China and its potential effect on global growth, became clearer, stocks quickly tumbled which rippled into other markets as investors scrambled for liquidity to meet margin calls.

The last week of February was the worst week for stocks since the 2008 crisis. Less than a month off record highs, the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow all entered correction territory as the sell-off intensified. The Dow shed over 3700 points and had its worst single day loss of 1190 points during this week.  Gold and silver, which benefited most of the month from corona virus worries, ultimately turned negative. Gold fell $75.80 the last trading session of the month, finishing down 0.80% and silver dropped $1.28 the same day, finishing down 10%.

 

Historical Trends & Pricing

Commentaries

March 30, 2020

Despite social distancing guidelines being extended through the end of April, stocks continue last week’s rebound, currently up around 2% for the day.  Gold and silver are down 1.3% and 3.6% respectively today,  as the US dollar rose nearly 1% and supply-chain concerns driving gold futures up have seemed to settle down.

March 27, 2020

Equities got slammed after consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis as COVID-19 continues to shutter economies around the world.  Stocks have since recovered some of their losses after the House passed the $2 trillion stimulus which the President is expected to sign today, but are still trading down about 2.5%.  Gold and silver are down $9.30 and $0.11 today, currently trading at $1,637.40 and $14.51 respectively.

March 25, 2020

Equities got a modest boost today after Congress was finally able to come to some consensus on corona virus aid which involves a $2 trillion stimulus package to help struggling businesses and individuals in wake of this unprecedented economic decline.  Gold and silver have since rebounded somewhat from last week’s lows, trading at $1,627 and $14.55 respectively. However, supply concerns continue to drive premiums ups, even as prices rise.

 

March 19, 2020

Equities are poised to close in the green today for a much-needed respite as daily drops of 5%+ are becoming commonplace due to the uncertainty surrounding the future toll COVID-19 will have on the world.  Silver plunged to an 11-year low this week, sending demand and premiums soaring.  The gold to silver ration has completely collapsed and is currently around 121.

 

March 11, 2020

The WHO(World Health Organization) declared this corona virus a global pandemic today sending stocks crashing.  The Dow is down 5.5%, and is now down 20% from recent highs, teetering on a bear market.  The S&P and Nasdaq are down 4.3% and 5% respectively.  Despite its safe-haven appeal, gold can’t seem to breakthrough as such drastic and sudden drops in equities keep investors scrambling for liquidity.  Oil prices are down again today, adding to the downward pressure on other commodities such as gold.

March 09, 2020

Equities can’t catch a break as markets, still reeling from corona virus fears, continue to get hammered after OPEC and Russia were unable to come to an agreement on production limits, sparking a price war and causing oil prices to plummet.  The Dow and S&P both plunged over 7% in the first minutes of trading, triggering a 15-minute halt in trading to prevent a free fall sell off. Gold ticked above $1700 for the first time in 7.5 years but has since retreated as investors ditch stocks and commodities for bonds.  The 30-year and 10-year treasury yields fell below 1% and 0.4% respectively today to record lows, dropping the whole yield curve under 1% for the first time ever.

March 06, 2020

Today’s robust jobs data meant little to investors as the potential economic effects of the corona virus continue to dominate market activity.  Equities shrugged off a decrease in unemployment to 3.5% and the addition of 273,000 jobs in February to continue their current rout.  The Dow is down 600 points while the S&P and Nasdaq are each down about 2.6%. Gold ticked above $1690 in overnight trading before retreating to yesterday’s level, currently trading at $1665.

March 04, 2020

Gold is trading at $1,643, jumping over 2.5% since yesterday’s emergency 50 bp Fed rate cut.  Equities, which reacted adversely to the Fed cut and fell sharply Tuesday, have since recovered some of their losses with the Dow up 2% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each up over 1.5%.  The initial fall of stocks brought into question the effectiveness of easing to protect against supply chain disruptions caused by this corona virus.  Today, it seems to be helping, however.

March 02, 2020

Stocks got a boost today coming off one of their worst weeks in recent history and are poised to snap a seven-day losing streak with the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P up significantly.  Equities still have a long way to go before they reach levels seen before last week, but a positive trading session today shows at least some confidence remains among investors.  Gold is up $25.00, currently trading at $1591, after breaking $1,600 earlier in the day.

February 28, 2020

Except for Monday,  precious metals got slammed this week as fears of a pandemic continue to grow as corona virus cases outside China increase at an alarming rate.  Gold had a $100 swing this week and is poised to finish down nearly 4% while silver is currently down over 10% from last Friday’s settlement price.  Equities are on pace for their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis and are currently in correction territory. The Dow dropped 1190 points yesterday, its largest single day point drop, and is down over 3700 points for the week. Treasury yields hit record lows today as the stock sell-off continues.

February 26, 2020

After their worst two-day stint in years, equities began the day in the green, trying to rebound in the wake of on-going pandemic fears surrounding the corona virus.  Stocks have since declined and are currently mixed, with the S&P and Dow down slightly and the Nasdaq up a few points.  Gold, which got hammered yesterday even as markets continued to sell off and the US dollar slipped, has consolidated around $1,645, down over $40 from its high on Monday.

February 24, 2020

Gold surged as high as $1,688 today as the corona virus continues to spread with hundreds of new cases popping up in Italy and South Korea.  The sudden spread of cases outside China is pushing the significance of the corona virus from an epidemic to a pandemic and equities are getting hammered as a result.  The Dow is currently down about 1,000 points or 3.45% and the S&P and Nasdaq are down 3.43% and 3.88% respectively.

February 21, 2020

Gold surged over $26.00 today, almost reaching $1,650 an ounce, as corona virus worries continue to hammer equity markets and weaker than expected PMI data released today which came in at 49.6 putting it in contraction territory and falling for the first time since 2013.  Treasury yields also continue to fall with the 30-year hitting an all-time low of 1.8904%.  Gold and silver are on pace to rise 3.9% and 4.6% respectively this week.

February 19, 2020

Gold passed $1,611 today, bringing it within ticks of its highest level in seven years as investors seek haven assets due to downgraded guidance from major companies as the short hiatus in Chinese manufacturing is beginning to be felt.  Gold has since retreated slightly and is trading at $1,607 as positive PPI and housing starts data are giving equities a boost with the Dow and S&P up around .6% and the Nasdaq up nearly 1%.

February 14, 2020

Gold is trading at a weekly high, gaining 1.3% the past two days on renewed corona virus concerns after Chinese cases spiked yesterday and several Chinese manufacturing forecasts have been lowered significantly as a result of the virus. US equities are down slightly going into the final trading hours of the week after declining yesterday on the Fed’s cutback of repos and ongoing uncertainty involving China.

February 12, 2020

The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P all hit record highs today as strong earnings continue to push stocks higher and economic concerns over the corona virus are starting to subside as affected Chinese businesses begin to resume operations. Gold is trading virtually flat at $1566 and silver is down 0.80%, trading at $17.48, its lowest price since December.

February 10, 2020

Gold and silver started the week higher as the corona virus continues to spread at an increasingly alarming rate and at least some of its economic effects are becoming clearer.  Particularly, automobile and smartphone manufacturing outputs are expected to get hit hard as China steps up its aggressive actions to contain the spread of the virus.  A very strong earnings season continues to help push stocks higher in light of corona virus fears with the Dow up 50 points and the Nasdaq hitting a new intra-day record.

February 07, 2020

The US added 225,000 new jobs in January ,which significantly beat estimates of 158,000, and unemployment rose from 3.5% to 3.6%.  The rise in unemployment can be attributed to a 0.2% increase in labor force participation, however, making this job report a very promising one.  Stocks, which rallied over the last three days on easing corona virus fears and promising trade developments with China, seemed to have hit a wall, with major indices down across the board even with the excellent jobs data. Gold is up slightly, trading around $1,570 and silver is down $0.12, trading at $17.72.

February 05, 2020

 Stocks continue to surge on positive employment data and promising corona virus vaccine news.  Today’s ADP Employment report shows 291,000 jobs were created in January, smashing expectations of 156,000.  Also, a UK scientist has made a breakthrough in researching the corona virus that could cut the expected time-frame for a vaccine from years to weeks.  The Dow is currently up over 370 points or 1.3% and the S&P500 and Nasdaq are up .95% and .35% respectively.  Gold and silver are up slightly after dropping to three week lows yesterday, as investors still have some concerns how the corona virus will ultimately impact the global economy.

February 03, 2020

Chinese equities had their worst day in years today, falling over 8%, as the corona virus continues to spread, even after the People’s Bank of China vowed to pump $173 billion into the economy to ease its effects.  Chinese markets were closed last week to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which probably led to the significant drop today.  In contrast, US stocks are up to begin the week, having had an additional week to digest corona virus developments in real time.  The Iowa caucuses kick off the first phase of the 2020 presidential election today, which could stir up volatility depending on their outcome.  Gold and silver are down $7.50 and $0.39 respectively on rising stocks and a stronger US dollar.

January 31, 2020

Gold and silver are trading at $1,584 and $18.04 respectively, having recovered from their drop earlier in the week, as corona virus concerns continue to grow after the World Health Organization labeled it an international public health emergency.  Nearly 9,800 cases have been confirmed, jumping significantly in the past few days.  Stocks are on pace for their worst week in months with the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P500 all down over 1% today.

 

January 29, 2020

Gold is holding steady at $1,570 and silver is trading around $17.45 after falling nearly 3.5% yesterday to its lowest price in over a month.  Stocks continue to rebound as better than expected earnings seem to be overpowering concerns about the spreading corona virus.  The FOMC’s decision today will likely mean very little to markets as rates are overwhelmingly expected to remain where they are; however, Powell’s press conference and any insight into future Fed policy could stir up volatility.

January 27, 2020

Gold begins the week up, currently trading at $1,580, as the corona virus continues to spread, and its death toll continues to rise.  Nearly 2,900 cases have been confirmed and 81 people have died, all of whom have been in China.  Stocks are tumbling on the possible economic impact of the virus as well as new data showing global GDP grew only 2.9% in 2019, its lowest level since 2009 during the last financial crisis.

January 24, 2020

Gold and silver rose Friday on increased haven appeal after US manufacturing PMI unexpectedly dropped to a 3-month low and the corona virus continues to spread with over 800 cases worldwide,  including a second confirmed one in the US.  Stocks are down across the board over the possible economic implications of ongoing quarantines in China.

January 22, 2020

Gold and silver are trading sideways after consolidating around $1,556.00 and $17.80 as metals markets look for any news to swing prices in a particular direction.  Falling bond yields have offset a rising US dollar and President Trump’s impeachment trial isn’t having any meaningful impact on markets.  Equities, which fell yesterday on China’s corona virus fears, have rebounded slightly, but remain lower than they were earlier in the week.

January 15, 2020

Gold got a boost today on weak PPI data that showed wholesale pricing rose 0.10% in December, missing estimates of 0.20%.  For the year, wholesale pricing rose only 1.3%, totaling just half of its 2018 rise.  Gold is up $13.50 currently, as weak inflation data could signal a possible 2020 rate cut, or more likely,  not any rate hikes this year.  The US and China have signed phase one of a trade deal but the ambiguity of when and what phase two will entail leaves much uncertainty regarding future relations between the two countries.  Tariffs are expected to remain in place for the time being.

January 13, 2020

Gold and silver dipped below $1,550.00 and $18.00 on positive US-China news as both countries are scheduled to sign phase one of a trade deal on Wednesday.  The US will also remove China from its currency manipulator list as a sign of good faith.  Stocks are up ahead of this week’s meeting on hopes that phase one will lead to substantive growth and pave the way for further negotiations between the two countries.

January 10, 2020

Gold and silver are poised to end Friday in the green,  after a volatile trading week that saw price fluctuations greater than 4% for each metal.  Today’s rise comes after a somewhat disappointing December jobs report missed expectations for both job growth and wage growth.  Stocks, which began the day on a tear as the Dow broke 29,000 for the first time, have since retreated and are currently down across the board.

January 08, 2020

After rising above $1,610.00 last night when Iran bombed two Iraqi airbases housing US troops, gold has since retreated significantly and is currently trading at $1,560.00 on apparent easing of tension between the two countries.  No lives were lost in the attack prompting speculation that Iran was merely showing their military capabilities.  President Trump’s response this morning called for increased sanctions against the Iranian regime but no military response.  Stocks are surging today with the S&P and Nasdaq hitting record highs.

January 06, 2020

Gold continues to soar, rising as high as $1,589.00 in early-hour trading before stabilizing around $1,563. 00.   Silver rose as high as $18.50 but quickly dropped and is currently trading at $18.10.   Increasing hostility between the US and Iran and subsequent uncertainty surrounding the future political landscape of the region continue to weigh on investors. Stocks so far,  are on track for a better day than their last two trading sessions with the Nasdaq positive and the Dow and S&P down only marginally.

January 3, 2020

Gold is trading at $1,547.90, up $22.80, after a US drone strike killed General Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp and one of the highest-ranking military officials in Iran.  While Iran’s conventional military capacities are limited, its financing and influence of groups like Hezbollah throughout the region are cause for concern.  Oil prices are up significantly, and equities are down, with the Dow losing over 180 points midday.

December 30, 2019

Stocks are down heading into the final two trading sessions of 2019,  as manufacturing and pending home sales data both fell short of expectation. Gold and silver are trading virtually flat Monday afternoon, as weak economic data is being offset by promising trade news between the US and China as the two countries are likely to sign the first phase of a trade agreement by the end of this week.

December 27, 2019

Gold and silver are on pace for one of their best weeks in months, rising 2.3% and 4.4% respectively as the US dollar continues to lag, down over .50% today. Stocks are up marginally, hoping to continue their impressive winning streak that has seen several record closes over the past two weeks including the Nasdaq breaking 9,000 for the first time ever yesterday.

December 20, 2019

Metals are mixed with gold down slightly trading at $1,477.20 and silver reaching its highest level in over two weeks, currently trading at $17.20. Platinum and palladium are down significantly, dropping 2.1% and 4.6% respectively Friday.  Equities are on pace for another record-breaking week, still feeding off improving trade relations and unphased by President Trump’s impeachment.

December 18, 2019

Gold and silver are still hovering around $1,475.00 and $17.00 as volatility continues to decrease amid increasingly predictable monetary policy from the world’s major central banks and less erratic trade relations between the US and China.  Impeachment hearings in DC seem to be having little to no effect on markets, with the House poised to vote to impeach a President for the third time in US history.  Stocks are up marginally midday, with the Nasdaq leading the way, 0.25% in the green. 

December 16, 2019

Stocks continue to soar on news of a preliminary phase one trade agreement between the US and China and positive housing data released today shows homebuilder confidence is at a 20-year high. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up about one percent and the Dow is up about 0.65%, each hitting new records today. Gold and silver are trading near $1,475 and $17 respectively, both maintaining most of their gains made last week.

December 11, 2019

Gold and silver are both trading at weekly highs, currently $1,471.30 and $16.82 respectively,  ahead of today’s FOMC meeting conclusion.  Rates are expected to remain unchanged but Fed Chair Powell’s press conference and the Fed’s outlook for 2020 could stir markets a bit.  Palladium is having a record-breaking week and is now trading above $1900.00 as supply concerns out of South Africa continue to push it higher.  The US dollar and stocks are relatively flat heading into this afternoon.

December 09, 2019

Both equities and metals are relatively quiet to begin the week with gold and silver trading flat and stocks down marginally.  This week’s FOMC meeting will provide some insight into future monetary policy but will unlikely shake up markets like they have in the past this year, as the likelihood of an additional rate cut is near zero.  US-China relations will remain in focus as markets digest any new trade revelations ahead of Sunday’s tariff deadline.

December 06, 2019

Gold and silver are currently down 1.1% and 2.5% respectively, on pace for one of their worst days in recent months after the US jobs report shattered expectations.  In November, 266,000 jobs were added (vs. 180,000 expected) and unemployment dropped to 3.5%, a 50-year low (vs. remaining at 3.6% expected).  Equities are surging today after the report was released, with the  Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all up over one percent.

December 04, 2019

Gold and silver continued their recent surge this morning in early trading after yesterday’s comments from President Trump about delaying a trade deal until after the 2020 election sent metals soaring and equities sliding. Later this morning, however, reports that an initial trade deal may be likely much sooner,  reversed Tuesday’s market moves sending gold and silver falling, currently down $5.10 and $0.33 from yesterday’s settlement prices. Stocks are up significantly on the news, trying to break a three-day losing streak.  The past two days once again illustrated how volatile markets have become as a result of ongoing trade tension.

December 2, 2019

Gold and silver are currently trading at $1,464 and $16.92, down slightly from last week’s highs reached after President Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong protestors, further increasing trade tension between the US and China. Equities begin the week in the red as well after weak manufacturing data missed estimates and showed the US is in its fourth consecutive month of contraction. The Nasdaq is currently down 0.90% and the Dow and S&P 500 are each down around 0.60%. 

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