Ben Stops, Shoots, Scores! No, He Misses!
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sent up two sets of smoke signals - or were they smokescreens? - in testimony before Congress today.
The first signal from befuddling Ben spoke of how the U.S. economy is not doing all that well, especially the labor picture, which is blurry at best. The gold market soared as if Moses himself had come down from the mount to give his tired people an 11thcommandment: Thou shalt bid precious metals up on clear stimulus news from the Fed.
It was easy to believe that this was the start of a new, stronger rally. It was not to be.
Shortly after the first statement, Bernanke released a more mealy-mouthed one that said (more or less) that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will look at easing in "the next few meetings."
On the heels of that, we feel compelled to say to both the Chairman and to traders, "Are you candidly telling us that from time to time you have NOT been looking at ending or slowing QE3?" Of course they have. These aren't a bunch of guys who pooled their pocket change trying to decide whether to buy a Snickers Bar or a bag of M&Ms, for crying out loud.
They have heated debates. There are a number of camps - doves and hawks doesn't quite cover it - that argue for more Keynesian intervention or a lighter touch of Keynes, and others, all along the spectrum until you get to extreme Friedman-ism. At this juncture, what else would they be discussing in FOMC meetings? New drapes?
"This week's volatility, and a failure to push below the $1,320 levels earlier this week, suggest some schizophrenia about the future intentions of the Federal Reserve with respect to their asset purchase program," Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said.
"The recent declines in the gold price probably have more to do with investors lightening their exposure to gold, rather than getting out of it completely as the search for yield sees capital flow into equity markets and the more risky European sovereign bond markets," Hewson also said.
From India came this take: "My sense is that Bernanke will look at U.S. consumer spending, U.S. business spending and U.S. hiring until the end of summer season and then take a call on QE," said Chintan Karnani, an independent bullion analyst in New Delhi.
News certainly can be a kind of fundamental factor in trading of any commodity, equity or bond. Yet, these news flashes are usually "false positives," because in the end, only the facts matter. We can try to guess what the Fed is really saying, but it is far better to understand that the economy is improving at glacial speed and while some matching up is starting regarding the requirements for slowing or stopping QE3, the fit is not yet a tight one. Another thought is that the Fed just doesn't know, and most economists don't know.
Based on Bernanke's waffling as to what has gone on in the economy and how the Fed might (ought, could), Daniel Pavilonis, senior commodities broker with RJO Futures, said, "Gold pulled back. Silver pulled back. Stocks pulled back. The euro pulled back. It all happened around that time."
"The market was high on hopes there would be continued QE confirmed by Bernanke," Pavilonis said. But when Bernanke cautioned about a possible withdrawal, traders began unwinding positions, Pavilonis added.
How do you spell financial schizophrenia?
Let's see, for lack of a better answer right now - B-E-R-N-A-N-K-E...
Wishing you as always good trading,
Gary S. Wagner - Executive Producer
Market Forecast: Posting solid gains during the initial testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, gold prices surged past $1400 per ounce to an intraday high of 1414. However as Bernanke continued to speak during his testimony to Congress, analysts and traders became exceedingly bearish as his statements were deemed more bearish than originally thought. The net result was increased volatility, and increased price swings which we suggested could certainly occur today. On a technical basis gold has shown strong support at approximately 1335, and strong resistance just above $1400 per ounce. Although we made a new intraday high as the market broke solidly through 1400, it’s plunge back below that price point was just as quick.
We have over the last few trading days recommended initiating short positions by placing price orders to sell the market at and around $1400 per ounce. Our current target to exit this trade is approximately 1364 better. Depending on when you initiated the trade you can look to tighten or trail stops below current highs, with 1415 being the absolute high for any stops within the market. As you will see on today’s video we are looking at a strong level of support at 1340 which I believe could in fact unfolds as a bottom in the market. Today’s video will look at that scenario in detail.
Market Sentiment: Possible bottom at 1320 current resistance at 1400 then 1470, you should be short from 1400, exit target 1360 or better
From the week of 05.17.2013
COT LINK See previous weeks in Historical Commitments of Traders Reports.