Gold Price Bogged Down In The Bus Station

November 5, 2017

Longtime readers of The gold Update know of which that title is analogous. 'Tis Chris Issak's in concert description about a girl standing in a Greyhound bus station: she has dirty blonde hair, is wearing a taupe miniskirt, white boots and has next to her a small overnight case: "Goin' Nowhere".

Indeed we need only above glance at the gold Scoreboard to see that price this year-to-date has tracked pretty much the same as last year, both by shape and level. One week ago, gold was one point below where it had been the year before; now 'tis below even more, price settling yesterday (Friday) at 1270. 44 weeks have thus far passed during 2017: Gold has settled 17 of them inside of The Box (1280-1240). And for those of you scoring at home, through the first 44 weeks of 2016, Gold settled 12 of them inside The Box. Thus if you sense that the "monotony" of which we wrote a week ago is getting worse, you're right.

And yet from the "Gold Pom-Pom Cheerleading Dept.", (still chaired by yours truly), came a query last evening from a valued reader as to if there's still time for a move by year-end. Our honest reply was "Of course. But should it continue to be 'last year all over again', said move shall be down." Further as we saw a week ago, gold's weekly parabolic trend has flipped to Short. However, should this year's history of Short trends repeat itself, as you can next see in the weekly bars chart, the prior two red dot stints have themselves been "short-lived" such that the support of The Box can again contain price from further careening:

Next let's revisit gold's 300-day moving average. Remember throughout the millennium's opening decade how valiantly the average supported price time-and-again? But as we below see across gold's daily settles following its All-Time Closing High of 1900 on 22 August 2011, that pretty much through 2015 the average became the barrier to any upside gold progress. Then since the low close of 1050 on 17 December 2015, the average has become a centerpiece 'round which gold has been oscillating: thus 'tis no surprise that the average (presently 1255) has been stuck in The Box during 2017 for 176 consecutive trading days ... which 91% of the year-to-date:

Now with the Federal Reserve purportedly poised to rate its Funds target rate on 13 December by 25 basis points up to the 1.25%-to-1.50% range -- and the economy doing so well as reflected by the Economic Barometer -- might "Team Yellen" finger a farewell "salut" to the Trump administration with a 50 basis point raise? Such hefty hikes have happened in the past, the last one being in May 2000 from 6.00% to 6.50%. 'Course, 50 basis points in today's 1% world would be far more massive than back in the days of 6%. And to think that a year ago we were opining about the Fed perhaps rescinding their rate hike from December 2015. But with the Baro is blasting higher, we wouldn't put it past "Team Powell" (following a 25 basis point rise this December and then a quiet "Exit Janet" meeting at January's end) to go another 25 basis points come his first shot from the Eccles Building podium on 31 March of next year.

Still, specific to the Baro, the rise from 18 September through today is the steepest climb we've recorded over any 35-day trading period since that ending 08 April 2002 when the economy was courageously pulling itself back together from "9/11", albeit the stock market then still suffering through Q1 of 2003. In fact, the only other period since our creating the Baro back in 1998 in which it has risen this steeply was right into March 2000, which as you'll recall was a major top for the S&P 500 with the "dot-com crash" then in the balance.

Therefore one wonders: if the only two other times the Econ Baro has risen this steeply 'tis then been met with a relentlessly falling stock market, what if the Trump Tax Bill fails on the Hill? We know the S&P is horribly overdue for a "correction", (we think by at least 20%). Factor too that in coming into the closing weeks of Q3 Earnings Season, of the 373 S&P 500 companies having reported their bottom lines, only 174 (47%) have made more money than in Q3 of a year ago.

"But they're beating 'estimates', mmb..."

Oh good grief, Squire. Here's the Baro:

With respect to how gold fared back 'round 2000-2002 when those two previous Econ Baro spikes occurred, it on balance held its own throughout the stock market's groan, but that's not really sayin' a lot: in those days, gold pretty much resided in the upper 200s, acting more like a savings account than as a mitigant against currency debasement, debt accumulation, zero interest rates and the creation of the Euro, the latter back then in its bare infancy.

Fast-forward to today and we've the following two-panel graph of gold's daily progress over the past three months on the left and price's 10-day Market Profile on the right. As noted a week ago, this is the first time in 2017 that gold's baby blue dots of 21-day linear regression trend consistency have failed during a material upswing to make the full trip from -80% to +80%; yet fortunately price appears to be basing rather than further declining. As for the most commonly traded price over the past two week, 'tis 1277 as stands stark in the Profile:

The picture is similar for Sister Silver, her "Baby Blues" (left) perhaps displaying a bit more alacrity than those of gold, and her Profile (right) putting punctuation on a greater number of price points as labeled:

As to what we see for gold in the new week: not much. The EconData calendar is quite light and beyond the fussing and stewing over the contents of the new tax proposal, which we sense by passage time shall appear little as it does presently, it looks like hem 'n haw overall. However, there always are a few items of bemusement out there:

■ The Bank of England this past week nudged up its Official Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.50%, the first such increase in better than 10 years ... in the face of apparent economic growth weakness. But you know what they say: when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

■ The darling of the so-called "cryptocurrencies", Bitcoin (aka "Bits**t") has just bollocked up and beyond $7,000/bit into orbit. That's better than a 700% increase year-to-date. But we've wondered since 'tis all a digital bit, would it be easy to counterfeit? Either way, we see it all eventually falling into its own crypt.

■ Don't "dis" the Swiss: the banking haven's prosecutors are looking for an easier conviction path against those who can't keep secret about the secrecy. Another glass of schiwasser to wash down that firm slice of Sbrinz?

■ Seeking Alpha writer Victor Dergunov asked this past week if the stock of General Electric (GE) ought be trading down into the teens, ('tis at this writing $20.14/share). Our answer is yes, given the price/earnings ratio is stated at 25.5x, (our "live" p/e being 23.1x), essentially double the stock's traditional multiple. 'Course given our "live" p/e for the S&P 500 Index itself is presently 38.6x, the whole doggoned market is ripe to be halved.

■ Which in turn brings us to a colleague from way back in our SocGen days, Jean-Marie Eveillard, whose 1980s business card still sits in our stack. In a recent interview, JM points to the mindless behavior we've had by central bankers leading to today's equities being so very historically expensive such that it may all end badly. We've that box checked as well, given regression to the earnings mean is inevitable ... which includes gold's catching up to the mean of foundationless faux dough creation. Bonjour, Bébé!

The bottom line? As the background declines, 'twill be grand having gold as it grows on the vine!

www.deMeadville.com
www.TheGoldUpdate.com

China is poised to become world's biggest gold consumer.