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The Technicals: Will $1800 Gold Hold?

For the past year, gold has been battling around the $1,800 an ounce psychological mark. Silver has faced a similar up and down battle near $25, albeit with more volatility. Gold finished 2021 strong at $1830 but then a pullback happened followed by a quick rebound back above $1800 and now $1830. Will $1800 hold […]

Comex Countdown: BofA House Strikes Back

An article earlier this month reviewed the massive volume of physical metal leaving the bank House accounts over the last two years. December 2021 finished the year off with a massive drawdown in House account inventories. While the drawdown continues across most accounts, Bank of America has tried to recoup some of the physical metal that […]

Last Month Proves to Be an Outlier – Metal is Leaving Comex Vaults Again

Last month, we saw a small increase in metal stored in COMEX vaults, but that turned out to be a blip in the trend. Metal is leaving the COMEX vaults again. This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables […]

Can the Deficit Fall Below $1 Trillion in 2022?

In the calendar year 2021, federal tax revenues surged by an incredible 25% compared to 2020 and were up 22.8% over 2019 (pre-COVID). But the surge in tax revenues was not enough to overcome a record $6.8 trillion in spending, breaking the spending record set in 2020 by 1.6%.

Is Omicron Hiding Much Higher Inflation?

The CPI for December was 0.5% month over month, with a non-seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.0%. As the chart below shows, the December data reinforced a downward trend we’ve seen since a .95% reading in October. But is the recent omicron COVID spike hiding much higher inflation?

December Jobs: All but One Category are Way Behind 12-Month Trend

November had been the weakest jobs report of the year until a meager 199k were announced for December. As shown below, over the last 18 months, only December 2020 was weaker. This was right when the Covid second wave was wreaking havoc and before vaccines became available to the public.

Treasury Adds $709B to the Debt in a Single Month

The debt ceiling was raised in December and the Treasury responded immediately, adding $709 billion in debt over the month. To be fair, $470 billion of this was non-marketable, as shown below. Note: Non-Marketable consists almost entirely of debt the government owes to itself (e.g., debt owed to Social Security or public retirement)

Goods Deficit Approaches $100 Billion

November 2021 charted a total trade deficit of -$80.2B just shy of the record -$81.4B in September. However, the data this month is far more concerning when digging into the details. After a massive surge in the trade deficit occurred in September, October saw a big pullback to -$67.1B. The details showed that the volatility was […]

Comex House Accounts Get Crushed in December: The Canary?

I love exploring data to try and understand complex situations. My career has mainly been in finance giving rise to the name: Exploring Finance. Using data to explore the current financial landscape shows an unsustainable situation, which has led me to identify gold and silver as the best defensive investments.

CFTC: Managed Money Did Not Drive Year-End Price Surge

After losing its grip in 2020, managed money is back in the driver’s seat pushing the price of gold and silver around. This analysis is written to explain the short-term price movements, which can be confounding given the strong fundamental backdrop. After very low volatility and a disappointing year in precious metals, it’s likely activity […]

Comex Delivery Results: Will Momentum Continue in January?

As reported last week, Comex January’s open interest activity was looking strong in silver and modest in gold. The initial results are promising, especially given the probability contracts will open mid-month for immediate delivery. This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

Has the Taper Finally Started? Who Will Fill the Massive Gap?

While on the surface, it appears the Federal Reserve asset purchase taper has started, it’s not as easy to prove when you dig into the details. The Fed is certainly not being as aggressive as they promised, and for good reason. As the Fed leaves the bond market, who will fill the gap? Since 2019, […]

November Money Supply: Similar and Different to November 1972

Despite talk about a war on inflation and a quantitative easing taper, the money supply continues to expand at a rapid clip, fanning the inflationary fire. M2 increased by $249.2B in November.

Comex Countdown: December Delivery Surges and January Looks Strong

Silver delivery in December surged to levels not seen since last spring and reversed the downward trend in place since last summer. This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

The Technicals for Gold: Yet Another Battle at $1800

Gold looked very strong through mid-November. Trends in September and October had been pointing to a breakout. The market delivered sending gold up through $1870. Unfortunately, hard resistance kept the bulls in check, despite repeated attempts to breakthrough. The previous price analysis presumed that a Brainard nomination at the Fed would be the catalyst needed to break through $1880. […]

Comex Stock Report: JP Morgan Refill the Coffers

Gold inventories in Comex vaults increased for only the second time since February this year. This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the physical stock/inventory data at the Comex to show the physical movement of […]

Federal Tax Revenues Surge 20% – Will it Last?

The federal government continues to run big budget deficits as spending skyrockets. Increasing tax revenues are the only thing keeping the deficits from blowing up even further. But how long will this tax windfall last?

Expectations Are Finally High Enough for Sky High Inflation

The latest seasonally adjusted inflation rate for November was .76% month over month, with a non-seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.81%. These numbers were generally in line with mainstream expectations that have finally gotten high enough to match the blistering hot inflation numbers coming out month after month.

Data Anomaly Causes October Trade Deficit to Shrink

The October trade deficit fell but the drop was primarily due to a data anomaly. October 2021 charted a total trade deficit of -$67.1 billion. It was the lowest trade deficit since April 2021. Month-on-month, the trade deficit fell 17% from the record set in September.

US Debt: The Landscape Has Changed and the Fed Can Do Nothing About it

Similar to August and September, the total national debt has not increased due to the current debt ceiling that’s in place. Similar to August, the Treasury has raided public retirement accounts to continue funding government spending (light green bar below). Looking at the bigger picture, Covid has forever shifted the landscape of US Debt.

Hedge Funds are Driving Price Action in the Gold Market

Looking at the data, it appears hedge funds are currently driving price action in the gold market Please note: the COTs report was published 12/3/2021 for the period ending 11/30/2021. “Managed Money” and “Hedge Funds” are used interchangeably.

Jobs Analysis: What if Leisure and Hospitality has Fully Recovered?

November was the weakest jobs report of the year, coming in at a paltry 210,000, missing consensus expectations of 573,000. There were modest revisions upwards over the last two months of 8,000 and 15,000 for September and October respectively. Nothing to be excited about.

Gold and Silver Delivery Requests Near 1 Year Highs Prompting Cash Settlements

Gold and silver delivery requests from the Comex neared a 1-year high in November. Note: This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail. Additionally, numbers from Comex for December 1 are still preliminary as of publishing. Numbers may change some.

What Taper? Fed Adds $126 Billion to Balance Sheet in November

The Fed added $82 billion in Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) and $65 billion in Treasuries to its balance sheet while allowing $22 billion in repo agreements to roll off the balance sheet. The net gain was $126 billion in the month that the “taper” was set to begin.

Someone Took Immediate Delivery of 741 Comex Silver Contracts in November (So Far)

With several days to go in the month, the number of silver contracts taken for immediate delivery at the Comex already stands at 741, more than double the total in November 2020. That raises two big questions: who is taking delivery of all this metal mid-month? And more importantly, what are they anticipating? This analysis […]

Money Supply Growth Accelerates Into Year-End

So much for fighting inflation. Despite the Fed’s announcement that quantitative easing tapering would begin this month, money supply growth appears to be accelerating. In the latest period, M2 increased by $193 billion, eclipsing the $21 trillion mark. This represents a 0.91% month-on-month increase. That annualizes to 11.6%. This is above the six-month average indicating […]

Will Gold Blast Through $1900 on a Brainard Nomination This Weekend?

Gold finally broke through the $1,800 resistance after yet another sizzling hot CPI read. Could $1,900 be next? The analysis last month and the month before showed that a breakout in the price of gold looked to be very close. It happened!

Comex Vaults See Another Big Fall in Inventory

Gold stocks in the Comex vaults have recorded another significant drop since the beginning of the month. Silver inventories have also dropped over the last few months. This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the […]

Budget Deficit Represents More Than 35% of Total Federal Expenditures

The federal budget deficit in October came in at $165 billion. That represents a staggering 36.8% of total expenditures for the month. This is slightly below the 12-month average where the deficit represented 39.3% of total expenditures. Over the twelve-month period, the total deficit was $2.65 trillion driven by total expenditures that reached $6.7 trillion. […]

Analysis: CPI Blasts Past Expectations; Price Increases Widespread

The October CPI data came in even hotter than expected, and we saw widespread price increases across multiple categories. The following provides an in-depth analysis of the most recent CPI data.

Treasury Binges in October, Adding Almost Half a Trillion in Debt

After all the drama, Congress finally did what everyone knew it would do.  It raised the debt ceiling by $480 billion in October. The Treasury wasted no time and quickly added $480 billion to the national debt in the second half of the month. With this new debt tagged on, if the Fed has to […]

Strong Jobs Creates Buying in Gold? Is All the Bad News Priced In?

October jobs came in at 531k, finally beating expectations with strength shown across the board. Furthermore, August and September were both revised upwards by over 100k. ‘ Perhaps even more surprising is the early reaction in the gold/silver market. More on this below.

September Trade Deficit Smashes June Record by 10.5%

The September trade deficit smashed the record set just last June. September 2021 charted a total trade deficit of -$80.9 billion. That was up a massive 11.2% over the August trade deficit of -$72.8 billion and crushed the previous June record of -$73.2 billion by over 10.5%.

Hedge Funds Increase Net Longs 180% in Gold and 726% in Silver During October

Hedge funds closed shorts and went long in both gold and silver in October. Please note: the COTs report was published 10/29/2021 for the period ending 10/26/2021. “Managed Money” and “Hedge Funds” are used interchangeably. The Commitment of Traders analysis last month highlighted the potential over-extension of the shorts leading to a rebound. This proved to […]

November Comex Delivery Analysis

I reported last week that Comex delivery activity was looking very quiet in both gold and silver. The results for November are very weak. That being said, October and November are historically slow months, so the real test will come in December. This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the […]

Did the Fed Experiment With a Mini-Taper and Fail?

The Federal Reserve has slightly slowed its asset purchases over the last few months. Was this a trial mini-taper? If so, the results are not good news for the central bankers over at the Fed. The Fed balance sheet stands at $8.56 trillion. That’s up by $108 billion from the prior month-end, but down over […]

Money Supply Grows Almost 10% Annualized and Nears $21 Trillion

In the latest period, M2 increased by $163 billion and sits just shy of $21 trillion. This represents a 0.78% MoM increase which annualizes to 9.8%. This is below last month’s rise of $254B and last September’s rise of $223B.

Fiscal Spending Up 18.7% MoM and 4.1% YoY

The federal budget deficit for September 2021 was $61.5 billion, down from the $171 billion in August. Even though the deficit fell 64% MoM, it was driven primarily by receipts. Spending was up 18.7% MoM but receipts were up 71.2% driven by a surge in corporate and individual taxes.

Price Analysis: Gold Diverges from Bonds as Critical Test Looms at $1800

The analysis last month showed that selling exhaustion may be near in the gold market. Since then, gold continues to be range-bound between $1750 and $1800 running up against both solid resistance and support. Meanwhile, silver has shown a mini-breakout. The $1800 level for gold is in play this week and could open the door for […]

Comex Countdown: Quiet Before the Storm?

Both gold and silver are seeing quieter activity in Comex contracts. This is not atypical for October and November which are slow months in the lead up to December. This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

Gold and Silver Comex Vaults Both See 1% Fall in Total Inventory

Both physical gold and silver have been draining from Comex vaults this year. There was a 1% decline in stocks of both metals over the last month. This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze […]

A More Accurate CPI: Up .97% MoM and 7.1% YoY

The CPI data for September came in hotter than expected at 0.4%. That pushed the yearly gain to 5.4%. But an honest CPI calculation would come in even hotter. I am doing something different this month. In past reviews of the CPI, I typically take the BLS data and recalculate the values to get a more […]

Another Big Jobs Miss: All But Two Categories Are Below The 12-Month Trend

For the second month in a row, the jobs numbers in September came in well below expectations. The Labor Department reported an increase of only 194,000 jobs, well below the estimated 500,000. The big miss was similar to August’s report. Despite the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.8% from 5.2% and an upward August revision of […]

Surge in Imported Services Sends Trade Deficit to New Record

The US trade deficit surged to yet another new record in August as Americans are importing more and more services to go along with all of their imported goods. The August trade deficit came in at $73.25 billion, 4.2% higher than the July trade deficit of $70.3 billion. The August deficit set a new record […]

Hedge Funds Pile into Short Positions During September

Please note: the COTs report was published 10/1/2021 for the period ending 9/28/2021. “Managed Money” and “Hedge Funds” are used interchangeably. The Commitment of Traders analysis last month showed a potentially bullish setup in both gold and silver. The washout of Managed Money Net Long contracts that occurred in early August appeared to be over and a […]

Delivery Results: Silver Down and Gold Mixed

As we move into October, physical silver delivery is down on Comex while gold was a mixed bag. This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

Fed Absorbs $60B of 1 to 5-Year US Treasuries in September

The Fed keeps talk, talk, talking about tapering quantitative easing, but the balance sheet continues to get bigger and bigger and bigger. The Fed balance sheet stands at $8.45 trillion, up by$115 billion from the prior month-end.

M2 Grows at Fastest Pace Since February

Even as the Fed talked about tightening monetary policy, the money supply grew at the fastest pace since last winter. In the latest period, M2 increased by $263 billion. This is a major jump compared to the last two months and is the highest month-over-month growth since February. The same period in 2020 saw M2 only […]

Price Analysis Shows Bearish Indicators but Exhaustion May Be Near

One of the major technical indicators for investors is the 50 Day Moving Average (DMA) vs the 200 DMA. This analysis examines these moving averages for both gold and silver along with other technical indicators.

Comex Countdown: Will Gold Lead Silver Higher?

This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex as we move from September into October. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

Gold and Silver Both Drain from Comex Inventory

Gold and silver have both significantly drained from the Comex inventory since August 1. This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the physical stock data at the Comex to show the physical movement of metal […]

Recent CPI Dip May Prove “Transitory”

The latest seasonally adjusted month-over-month inflation rate was 0.3% (vs. .4% expected), with a non-seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.3% (vs 5.4% expected). The reason for the fall from July’s .47% pace was spread across multiple categories, specifically Commodities, Food, Shelter, and Transportation. While the CPI drop-off since the June peak appears to prove the […]

Breaking Down the $171 Billion August Federal Budget Deficit

The Federal Budget Deficit for August 2021 was $171B which was down from the $302B in July. The chart below shows the Federal Budget for the previous 18 months.

Did The Treasury Raid $250 Billion from Government Retirement Accounts (Again)?

The Treasury bumped up against the debt ceiling at the end of July. Since then, it has been using “extraordinary measures” to allow the Government to keep hemorrhaging cash without having to increase the debt ceiling. The chart below shows the month-over-month change in debt for August equal to $0. Despite zero net change, there […]

Commitment of Traders Shows a Potentially Bullish Setup in Gold and Silver

The CFTC Commitment of Traders (COTs) report is released once a week and shows a breakdown of open interest by trader category. The CFTC breaks down open interest by: Managed Money (e.g. Hedge Funds) Producers (e.g. gold mining companies) Swaps (e.g. banks) Non-Reportable Other

Big Jobs Miss: Leisure and Hospitality Add Zero Jobs

The Labor Department released its August jobs report on Friday. To say the numbers were disappointing would be an understatement. According to the report, there was an increase of only 235k jobs, well below the estimated 720k. That’s a miss of nearly 500k jobs.

July Trade Deficit Shrinks but Trailing Twelve Month Number Hits New Record

The month-on-month trade deficit fell in July but remains far larger than it was a year ago. And the Trailing Twelve Month figure hit a new record.

Delivery Results: Gold and Silver Both Underwhelm

This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex. See the article What is the Comex for more detail. Delivery for both gold and silver was underwhelming.

While Fed Talks About Taper, Balance Sheet Grows $111 Billion in August

The Fed balance sheet stands at $8.33 trillion, up $111 billion from the prior month-end. The chart below shows how the Fed Balance sheet has grown by instrument over the last 18 months. The major surge from COVID can be clearly seen as $2.5T was added within 2 months. The monthly changes since then reflect […]

Money Supply Growth Rebounds But Trend Is Down

M2 Money Supply is measured by the Federal Reserve to calculate the amount of money in the financial system. Historically, the term inflation was defined as an expansion of the money supply that generally led to higher prices. Therefore increases in M2 is the measure of inflation. This analysis reviews the changes in money supply as a potential indication of future […]

September 21 Comex Delivery Countdown: Gold Shows Life, Silver Mixed

This analysis focuses on gold and silver physical delivery on the Comex set for September 21, 2021. See the article What is the Comex for more detail.

Aug 2021 Technical Analysis: Gold & Silver Bullish or Bearish?

The price of gold and silver can be driven by many variables both technical and fundamental. Fundamental drivers include Fed meetings/speeches, its balance sheet, inflation data, jobs numbers, market risk appetite, etc. This analysis examines some of the more technical factors driving prices (e.g. Comex OI, Miners price action, technical price action). The CFCT Cots report can […]

Comex Inventory Aug: Gold Slowly Drains But Silver Surges

This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the physical stock data at the Comex. This is different than the delivery countdown that looks to see how many contracts will stand for delivery each month. Instead, it shows […]

US Budget Deficit Up 73% in July as Tax Season Ends

The US government ran yet another massive budget deficit in July. The shortfall was particularly larger on a month-on-month basis with tax season ending and the flow of money into the Treasury slowing. The following analysis puts digs deeper into the numbers and puts them into some historical context.

July CPI: Many Price Categories Are Still Increasing

For the first time this year, CPI data came in within expectations. Many in the mainstream took this as a sign “transitory” inflation might be cooling. But many prices continue to increase. The BLS Consumer Price Index (CPI) has become one of the most anticipated data points each month. The CPI has become a controversial […]

Government Jobs Account for Nearly a Quarter of July Gains

The BLS provides an employment picture of the US on the first Friday of every month. It estimates how many jobs were added or subtracted by sector. While some of the assumptions may be controversial (e.g. the birth/death model) and job numbers are prone to revisions, it remains the most widely anticipated statistic each month by […]

Total US Debt Shrinks by $101 Billion into Debt Ceiling Saga

“Just because something is inevitable, does not make it imminent, but eventually the future arrives” The US Government is on an unsustainable debt trajectory. Even though the Federal Reserve has acknowledged this fact, most mainstream pundits consider it a distant problem or even not an issue at all. They argue that debt fears have raged […]

June Trade Deficit Sets New Record of $75.7 Billion

The US Trade Balance shows the deficit and surplus of US trade for Imports and Exports. A deficit occurs when imports are greater than exports. When the Trade Balance is in deficit (which it has been for decades), it accounts for one of the two components of the Twin Deficits. The Fiscal Deficit accounts for […]

CFTC COTS Analysis July 2021

The CFTC Commitment of Traders (COTs) report is released once a week and shows a breakdown of open interest by trader category. As discussed in the gold/silver pricing analysis, Open Interest can be a major factor in the metal price. The CFTC breaks down open interest by:

Comex Delivery Results: August 2021 Contract

This analysis focuses on gold and silver data provided by the Comex/CME Group. The Comex (or CME Group) is a global derivatives market that allows for trading in futures contracts. They allow two parties (a long and a short) to speculate or hedge in specific commodity markets and guarantee the transaction in the process. The majority […]

Fed Balance Sheet July 2021: 143B Added

The Federal Reserve has three primary tools to conduct Monetary Policy: reserve requirements, the discount rate, and open market operations (Quantitative Easing). Open market operations are how the Fed uses its balance sheet to provide liquidity to the market. More details can be found here. The Fed defines Open Market Operations as:

Money Supply July 2021: Growth Rate Sees Massive Drop

M2 Money Supply is measured by the Federal Reserve to calculate the amount of Money in the financial system. The Fed defines M2 as: Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing savings deposits (before May 2020), small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1. Historically, […]

Comex Delivery Countdown: Mid-July Update

This analysis focuses on gold and silver data provided by the Comex/CME Group. See the article What is the Comex for more detail. Silver: Recent Delivery Month First Position Day is when contracts must post 100% margin to stand for delivery. Once delivery begins, contracts can settle in cash, or more contracts can be opened […]

US Budget Deficit Analysis: June 2021

The US Budget Analysis shows the deficit or surplus of the US Federal Government. A deficit occurs when spending (outlays) is greater than income (receipts). When the US Budget is in deficit (which it has been for over 2 decades), it accounts for one of the two components of the Twin Deficits. The trade deficit […]

Gold and Silver Pricing Update: Mid July 2021

Many variables can drive the price of gold and silver. These include Fed meetings/speeches, inflation data, jobs numbers, risk appetite, etc. Some people speculate that the price is suppressed and manipulated by the banks and Fed. While coordinated suppression is not impossible, there are other more probable explanations for gold and silver price action. This […]

US Debt Analysis: June 2021

The US Government is on an unsustainable debt trajectory. Even though the Federal Reserve has acknowledged this fact, most mainstream figures consider it a distant problem or even not an issue at all. The argument highlights that debt fears have raged since the debt crossed $1T decades ago and no negative consequences have materialized. This […]

Comex Stock Update: July 2021

This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. It provides historical context and defines many of the terms used below. While it is exciting to track the countdown to First Notice to determine how many contracts will stand for delivery in […]

Trade Deficit Analysis: May 2021

The US trade balance shows the deficit and surplus of US trade for imports and exports. A deficit occurs when imports are greater than exports. When the trade balance is in deficit, it accounts for one of the two components of the twin deficits. The fiscal deficit accounts for the other component and will be […]

Comex June/July 2021 Update

This analysis focuses on gold and silver data provided by the Comex/CME Group. The Comex allows investors/traders to gain exposure to commodities using futures contracts. Contracts can settle for delivery of the physical commodity. Tracking the demand for physical metal can give better insight into the market. See the article What is the Comex for […]

The Fed in a Box Part 2: They Cannot End Quantitative Easing

If the Fed tapers QE, it may reveal waning appetite for long-term treasuries The Treasury may have used its cash balance reserve to anchor inflation expectations If inflation persists, the Fed may have to increase rather than decrease QE Note: By definition, inflation is an expansion of the money supply. In this article, inflation will […]

The Fed in a Box Part 1: They Cannot Raise Interest Rates

3 Key Takeaways The US Government has over $28 Trillion in Debt Much of the debt is short-term, making it extra sensitive to higher rates Higher Interest Rates would immediately start putting strain on the Federal Budget Introduction The US has over $28 Trillion dollars in debt and it continues to grow at an alarming […]

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