20 February 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Try a Little Tenderness - Comex Options Expiration

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he hungered. And the Tempter came to try him."

Mark 4:1-2

"And whenever you may stand to prayer, forgive, if you hold anything against any one, so that your Father in the heavens may also forgive you."

Mark 11:25

It is a passage so familiar, the 'temptation in the desert', that we hear it, but we may not really think about it, and its implications.
'Then Jesus was led, by the Spirit, into the wilderness.'
So our Lord was tempted, by the devil himself of course, but with the seeming complicity of the God the Holy Spirit, who led Him into it.

This also recalls another passage so familiar that we also do not think of its implications.
'And lead us not into temptation...'
Doesn't it seem odd and out of place that God would lead His own people into harm's way?  Isn't temptation a very negative thing that we are told to avoid at all costs?

Temptation is certainly not something we should seek out, given the risks in taking that proposition as our own choice.  But if we think instead of temptation as a 'trial' or a preparation for our calling, as in the case of our Lord whose time in the wilderness preceded his public ministry, it is something that can strengthen us, make us stronger in our faith through that trial, that testing, in the practical applications of what we believe.

If the words we have received are at all accurate, it is not intended that spiritually we remain an untested bunch of cream puffs, riding to heaven on feather beds, with God attending to all our needs like the staff on a cruise ship.

Like an athlete, we must train for the contests, but it is in the contest itself that we do most of our learning and growing and extending ourselves to the limits.   Such exercises are always marked by pain, in the muscles, and in the core of our being.

To varying degrees we are preparing and are called upon to be God's hands, and feet, and the living manifestation of His word here on earth, in a life long journey through the peaks and valleys of both good and evil, success and failure.  We are 'the Church militant' here and only later, one would hope, triumphant at long last.

Or as J. H. Newman put it:
"Let us simply obey God's will, whatever may come.  He can turn all things to our eternal good.  Easter day is preceded by the forty days of Lent, to show us that they only who sow in tears shall reap in joy."
And it is one of the most sublime ironies of God's economy that the greatest weapon in our battle is not the violence and power of the world, but the service and self-effacement of God's love.  As the pilgrim of the absolute Léon Bloy said,  “Love does not make you weak, because it is the source of all strength, but it makes you see the nothingness of the illusory strength on which you depended before you knew it.” 

The power of love and forgiveness is unfathomable and bewildering to the principalities and powers of this world, and the spiritual darkness that rules them.   And this then is to be their failure and their demise.

Gold and silver were being hit today, for several reasons.  The yields on Treasuries were rising because of the record high issuance of notes and bills his week in the neighborhood of a quarter trillion dollars.  That drove the US dollar higher in the short term, and helped drive down the metals.

And of course we will be having an option expiration for precious metals on the Comex this week, and so all the pick pockets, cut purses and dips will be taking their usual cuts by managing prices in their desired directions.  This has become so regular an occasion that you might tell the time by it.

We may also see some action around the release of the FOMC minutes tomorrow at 2 PM.  They like to talk bearishly between crises.

Stocks were weak because the higher rates will make it less convenient for companies to buy back their own stocks through debt issuance, which as I am given to understand is the major source of stock buying at these lofty valuations.

The US financial system and the elite establishment are morally and intellectually exhausted. They produce little, for the most part, are draining the nation of its resources in endless wars and financial control frauds, while they allow its systems and infrastructure to decay. 

And having been soundly rejected in the last election, they are looking for some scapegoats to blame.  Since they are perfection itself, they could have not possibly lost fairly, being so deserving of the win.

They rule not by merit and faithfulness, but through fraud and force. And as the fraud fails, the force must inevitably increase.

How are the mighty fallen, and their instruments of oppression, broken.

Have a pleasant evening.

17 February 2018

Net Asset Values of Certain Precious Metals Trusts and Funds

It has been a while since we have had a look at this.

It is odd to see the relative 'bearishness' on silver. 

The gold/silver ratio is very high, and the discount on PSLV is more than normal.

All things being equal, silver would seem to be a screaming buy here.

However, this may highlight that gold is being favored as a 'flight to safety' asset, and that there are deep underlying concerns about the US economy and financial system.

As a reminder there will be a precious metals options expiration on the Comex this Thursday the 22nd of February.

16 February 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - And the Wind Began to Howl - Comex Option Expiration Next Thursday

"He explored everywhere the seats of power,
and learnt of everything the sum of wisdom.
He saw what was secret, discovered what was hidden,
he brought back a tale of before the Deluge.
He came a far road, was weary, found peace,
and set all his labours on a tablet of stone.

See the tablet-box of cedar, release its clasps of bronze!
Lift the lid of its secret,
pick up the tablet of lapis lazuli
and read out the travails of Gilgamesh, all that he went through."

Epic of Gilgamesh I1–28

"Now he had learnt to see the great, the eternal, the infinite in everything; and therefore – to see it and revel in its contemplation – he naturally threw away the telescope through which he had hitherto been gazing over men’s heads, and joyfully feasted his eyes on the ever-changing, eternally great, unfathomable and infinite life around him.  And the closer he looked, the more tranquil and happier he was.  The awful question that had shattered all his mental edifices in the past – the question why? no longer existed for him."

Leo Tolstoi, War and Peace

The quotes above are from a lecture by Andrew R. George that I was watching today to escape the boredom and folly of the markets. 

Stocks had a wide ranging day, with the SP futures doing the heavy lifting.

But alas, the markets did not seem to want to go into the US' three day weekend holding the longer side, and so stocks went out lower to unchanged.

Gold and silver lost some ground, largely because of a relief rally in the US Dollar, which took back the losses from yesterday.

There will be an option expiration for the precious metals on the Comex next Thursday, 22nd February.

Monday is the Presidents' Day holiday in the US, so the markets will be closed.

It was a drizzly, sleepy day here with temperatures still hovering in the mid 50's. It is supposed to get much colder for the weekend, with 2 to 6" of snow forecast for Saturday evening.

Please remember to feed 'the least of these,' especially during the harsh winter weather.

Have a pleasant weekend.

15 February 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Among Us

"Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
For fools turn away from the Lord to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency."

Proverbs 1:31-32

Stocks were higher, going out near the highs. As I said, the anxiety of the big recent decline in stocks would be quickly forgotten.

Frothy is as frothy does. And this speculative excess will likely continue until stocks hit a hard wall, and collapse.

Gold and silver pushed higher on continuing dollar weakness. Uncle Buck was flirting with 88.50 at the close.

The economic data is decidedly mixed, and not all that bullish.

Have a pleasant evening.