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Spiders In The Classroom                            

Somewhere in our memories is the scene of a kid (usually a boy) who unleashes a spider or other icky creature on his classmates (usually girls) and everyone screams, laughs and generally acts irrationally from start to finish. 


Thus was the case yesterday and overnight last night when traders scurried about crying aloud over the jobs report that was about to be released. This crying took the form of pushing gold down. The report has been released, of course, by this writing. The response is a one word utterance young people use a lot these days to indicate something of indifferent quality: "meh." Say it out loud. Sounds right. 


The number of jobs created in July was 162,000, not exactly a robust number, but it did push the unemployment rate down to 7.4%, about where it was in April of this year and less than 1/2 of 1% lower than it was in September of 2012. 


"This isn't a disaster of a report but it shows the U.S. remains vulnerable to a slower economic growth performance," said Julia Coronado, chief North American economist at BNP Paribas in New York, which had projected payrolls would rise by 165,000. "This isn't the kind of progress the Fed would like to see. At the margin, it keeps them cautious."


The median forecast was for 183,000 new jobs. So, 162,000 is a disappointment. But there is subtext upon subtext in the full report - ones that will give even Fed QE hawks much to contemplate.


According to Bloomberg, "The number of discouraged workers, those not looking for a job because they don't believe one is available, climbed to 988,000 in July from 852,000 a year ago." 


Moreover, average earnings per hour fell 0.1 percent to $23.98 in July from the prior month, and are up only 1.9 percent over the past 12 months. What's most telling, though, is that inflation in the same period is up 1.8%. That means that the average working person saw real income growth of 0.1%. If this is a recovery, what does stagnation look like?


We often focus on employment statistics because thus far they have been a very good predictor of where the Fed is heading with its QE3 position. In a parallel to Hamlet, they must keep asking "To taper, or not to taper?"


"Labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months, on balance, but the unemployment rate remains elevated," policy makers said in their statement this week at the conclusion of a two-day Fed meeting. The Federal Open Market Committee also said it will maintain its $85 billion in monthly bond buying. "Economic growth will pick up from its recent pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline."

The perceived strength of the U.S. economy will also be a driver for Fed decision-making, but it won't hold a candle to the unemployment rate, which is not just an issue for precious metals bulls, but a political issue that will gain greater traction as we get closer to mid-term elections in 2014.


Wishing you as always good trading,


Gary S. Wagner

Executive Producer

Market Forecast:

There can be no doubt between this week’s FOMC meeting and the jobs report today gold prices can be best characterized as a typical amusement park roller coaster. Increased volatility, major price swings and market uncertainty, along with a new record and high in the US equities markets were prominent on traders’ minds this week.

Today’s video will detail our current take in terms of support and resistance levels in both gold and silver prices. Gold in overnight trading broke easily below 1300 to trade to an intraday low of 1282. These lower prices were to be short-lived as a disappointing non-Farm payroll report was released. Upon the release of the report, and within one hour of trading, gold was able to regain its losses on the day to close positive by almost 5 dollars. Although a $40 range is on the high side in terms of daily range in volatility, we can expect to see increased volatility during the summer months as volume is low. We go into the weekend with no open positions and will outline our strategy for next week on today’s video



Proper Action:


 Long gold @ 1323/4 stop hit at 1305 

Long silver @ 19.81 stop hit at 19.30



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COT LINK  See previous weeks in Historical Commitments of Traders Reports.

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Gary S. Wagner - Executive Producer