The History of Russell 2000 Death Crosses & SPX Performance Following Them

By Rob Hanna

I have seen a fair amount of hubbub about the Russell “Death Cross” that is happening today and the potential bearish implications for the market. A “Death Cross” is a catchy (though perhaps not terribly accurate) term for when the 50-day moving average of a security cross below its 200-day moving average. It is being promoted as a warning of a potential bear market. Of course all bear markets will see this happen at some point, because a bear market is an extended decline. But the real question when considering the implications of the Death Cross are whether it serves any value in predicting a bear market. To answer this I did an examination of past Russell Death Crosses, and what they meant for the S&P 500.

Both of my data sources show Russell data back to late 1987. And since I need 200 days to calculate a 200-day moving average, the earliest the study could look back to was 1988.

Continue reading The History of Russell 2000 Death Crosses & SPX Performance Following Them

The Failure of a Gold Refinery, Report

By Keith Weiner

So this happened: Republic Metals, a gold refiner, filed bankruptcy on November 2. The company had found a discrepancy in its inventory of around $90 million, while preparing its financial statements.

We are not going to point the Finger of Blame at Republic or its management, as we do not know if this was honest error or theft. If it was theft, then we would not expect it to be a simple matter of employees or management walking out the door with the gold. $90 million is about 2.6 tons. Unless it happened very slowly, over many years, that seems like a lot of gold to disappear. And if it occurred over years, why didn’t regular audits and other internal controls catch the discrepancy until now?

We want to make a different point altogether. We define inflation as the counterfeiting of credit. Legitimate credit has four criteria. Most of the focus is on the latter two: the borrower has both the means and intent to repay. Did Republic have the means to repay? They had a good business for 38 years, so we will assume yes. Did they have the intent? Well, unless this was a simple theft and theft by the owners, then we have to answer yes again (with one quibble which we will get to, in a moment).

The other two criteria are often overlooked. Does the lender know he is extending credit, and does the lender agree to do so?

Continue reading The Failure of a Gold Refinery, Report

Approaching the Point of No Return?

By Jeffrey Snider

At the end of June, the crude curve really got out of hand. WTI futures had returned to backwardation many months before, and then the eurodollar/collateral explosion May 29 sapped some crude strength. Over the following month, curve backwardation would become extreme as the benchmark price seemed ready to skyrocket.

After getting up near $80 a barrel, the price reversed. During the several weeks of weakness, the futures curve remained in steep backwardation – the expectation that the recovery (narrative) would continue whatever any short-term profit taking.

But as prices did rebound through September, there was already trouble underlying. The curve was changing shape, flattening out even beyond normalizing that pretty ridiculous backwardation spike late June/early July.

Continue reading Approaching the Point of No Return?

McEwen Mining (MUX): Why so quiet about your news, Rob?

By Otto Rock

[biiwii comment: thanks Mark, I was just reviewing this one for the possibility of a future buy and this is surely a consideration]

I mean, normally Rob McEwen is bouncing off the rooftops and shouting to the world about McEwen Mining (MUX) any time it has news to offer the market, but for some strange reason he seems to want to keep this one quiet.

  • MUX filed the news late on Friday evening to SEDAR
  • There was no news release to accompany the Reg Fs
  • And today, still nothing from the company

Why would that be? Hmmm…perhaps if we look at the news it might help:

Continue reading McEwen Mining (MUX): Why so quiet about your news, Rob?

Gold Inflation

By Steve Saville

Here are two long-term charts illustrating the annual rate at which gold is extracted from the ground. The second of these charts shows why mine production can be ignored when trying to understand what happened to the gold price over the preceding few years or figure out what’s likely to happen to the gold price over the next few years.

The first chart shows the amount of gold produced by the global mining industry during each year from 1900 through to 2017 (data sourced from the US Geological Survey). The second chart shows the percentage increase in the world’s above-ground gold supply during each year (1900-2017) resulting from that year’s new mine production. In effect, the second chart shows the gold inflation rate.

Continue reading Gold Inflation

Back to Fundamentals

By Doug Noland

The Dow (DJIA) jumped 545 points (2.1%) in Wednesday’s post-midterms trading. The S&P500’s 2.1% rise was overshadowed by the Nasdaq Comp’s 2.6% and the Nasdaq100’s 3.1% advances. Healthcare stocks surged, with the S&P500 Healthcare Index up 2.9% (Healthcare Supplies index jumping 4.5%). Led by Amazon’s 6.9% (113 points!) surge, the S&P Internet Retail Index gained 6.1%. From October 29th trading lows to Thursday’s highs, the S&P500 rallied 8.1% and the Nasdaq100 jumped 9.6%.

The post-election bullish battle cry was a resolute “back to fundamentals!” With the market surging, analysts were proclaiming “reduced uncertainty” and “the best possible outcome for the markets.” The President and Nancy Pelosi both adopted restrained tones and spoke of efforts to cooperate on important bipartisan legislation. Prospects for a market-pleasing infrastructure spending bill have improved. What’s more, a positive spin was put on the return of Washington gridlock. Less Treasury issuance would support lower market yields generally, ensuring the U.S. economic expansion maintains ample room to run. The weaker post-election dollar was said to be constructive for global liquidity.

The EEM emerging market ETF rose 1.9% Wednesday, pushing the rally from October 29th lows to 11.0%. The South African rand and Indonesian rupiah gained 1.5%, as most EM currencies temporarily benefited from the weaker dollar.

Continue reading Back to Fundamentals

Sector Shorts: Technology

By Tim Knight

Preface to all sector posts: I’m not going to dance around it: I am very short again. I have 99 different short positions and am aggressively positioned for the week ahead. I have gone through all my charts and have broken a portion of them into distinct sectors. Here is the next gallery, and as always, you can click on any thumbnail for a larger image. You can scroll left and right through the gallery.

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