|Bid||0.00 x 800|
|Ask||0.00 x 900|
|Day's Range||261.75 - 265.97|
|52 Week Range||254.77 - 296.69|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||79.11|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.00|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.04%|
Silver prices have fallen almost three times as much as gold prices have in 2018 thus far. While the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) has fallen 4.8% year-to-date, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) has fallen 14.6% in the same period. Silver (SIL), on the other hand, has had no such luck.
Lipper data showed that investors withdrew record cash from US-based stock and bond funds for the week ending December 12. While a record $46.2 billion was taken out from US stock mutual fund ETFs (SPY) (VTI), a near-record $13.4 billion was withdrawn from bonds (AGG) (BND). According to Lipper, the average US-based equity fund has fallen 6.3% year-to-date through December 11, while its bond counterpart has fallen 0.9%.
China’s (FXI) National Bureau of Statistics reported industrial output and retail sales growth data for November on December 14, 2018. Both of these data points came in below the market’s expectations. The industrial output grew by 5.4% YoY, which is its slowest pace in almost three years.
China’s (FXI) domestic demand is on a downtrend, as is evident from the latest batch of Chinese trade data, which showed weaker-than-expected exports and imports for November. China’s auto sales data were released on December 11. With just one month left in 2018, it’s highly likely China will report its first yearly decline in automobile sales since 1990.
The truce trade deal between the US (SPY) and China (FXI) seems to be causing more harm than good to the markets at the moment. As we’ve already discussed in the previous parts of this series, the markets lost more than double the gains they made on the truce deal. The contradictory claims from within the White House is now causing more damage to markets.
China’s trade surplus with the US (SPY) has been hitting one record after another. In November, China’s (MCHI) trade surplus rose to $35.6 billion, which is a new record. While China’s exports to the US rose 9.8% YoY (year-over-year), the imports fell 25% YoY.
Vale’s (VALE) CEO mentioned during Vale Day that the recent weakness in iron ore prices was expected due to the start of the winter season in China. Also, steel capacity cuts in China are lower this year as compared to last year, while steel mills are following the same approach of producing more in advance. This has led to additional weakness in iron ore.
Fed policymakers are watching job data closely, as it gives them insight as to whether the US economy (SPY) (IVV) is strong enough to withstand interest rates hikes. The Fed has already raised interest rates three times this year. The Fed is expecting one more hike in December.
The unemployment rate for October remained steady at 3.7%. The labor force participation rate also inched up to 62.9% from 62.7% in September. This unemployment rate is the lowest level in the last 49 years.
The non-farm payrolls for October in the US (IVV) (QQQ) were 250,000 in October, which far outpaced economists’ consensus of 190,000. The strong job additions came after lackluster September additions of 134,000, which were further revised downward to 118,000 in October. After last month’s strong job additions, economists are expecting payrolls to come in at 200,000, which is below October’s payrolls but still healthy.
On November 20, Jeffrey Gundlach told Reuters that investors haven’t shown an appetite for Treasuries (TLT) even though US stock markets have fallen. He said, “Obviously, it is not a deflationary bear market, otherwise you would have a bond rally.” Gundlach also advised investors to stay out of investment-grade bonds. Gundlach is concerned that the selling pressure in the US stock markets (IVV) (QQQ) wasn’t accompanied by higher volatility (VIX). Investors should note that the drop on December 4 was also accompanied by higher volumes and volatility.
Since the Fed might increase short-term rates by another 25 basis points at the December meeting, the yield curve (BND) could invert. The Fed has maintained that its future decisions will depend on market data (SPY) (IVV).
One often-cited reason for the current market volatility and the reason for expected pressure on companies’ earnings is trade uncertainty, especially between the United States (SPY) and China (FXI). While the markets weathered the first two rounds of tariffs from the United States (IVV) (VTI) with relative resilience, the third round was quite inclusive and led to business and consumer sentiment deteriorating. The third round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods could go up to a 25% tariff at the beginning of 2019.
Which Gold Miners Have Shown Upside Potential since Q3? Since high debt levels can strain a company’s credit rating and growth decisions, it’s important to look at its financial leverage. Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM) have come a long way as far as their financial leverages are concerned.
Could Gold Be the Best Bet amid Increased Economic Uncertainty? Bank of America (or BofA) analysts contend that gold prices (GLD) should surge over the next year. The firm stated that higher real US interest rates, a strong US dollar (UUP), and equity market volatility have kept a lid on gold prices year-to-date.
In the BAML (Bank of America Merrill Lynch) November 2018 survey, trade war concerns were again named as the top concern among global fund managers. About 35% of fund managers surveyed cited it as their top tail risk, which is the same as last month and lower than 43% in September. The trade risk is still fresh, and the recent trade escalations between the United States and China (FXI) have kept fund managers concerned about ongoing trade tensions.
November marked the second straight month of investors’ bearishness with 44% of them believing that global economic growth will decelerate in the next 12 months. It believes that investor sentiment could take a sudden turn for the worse. While 16% of investors surveyed in October thought that the stock market has peaked, the number increased to 30% in November.