The price of Gold is surging. After a multi-month downtrend, the yellow metal made a decisive breakout move in late May that has erased nearly all the losses suffered the three months prior. Daily price swings have been wide and there seems to be a lot of momentum behind the metal’s move to 15-week highs.
President Trump’s Twitter feed, which has become perhaps the best leading indicator for equities lately, sent a strong sell signal last Friday morning after the President suggested that, “there was absolutely no need to rush” trade negotiations with China. This comes after a week of saber rattling that sent markets into a volatile tailspin.
This bearish setup was confirmed when the President revealed that the administration was still in the process of implementing 25% tariffs on an additional $325-billion-worth of Chinese goods.
The stock market initially took this breaking trade news… not well.
Market predictions are all over the map after the jaw-dropping fall and rebound in the S&P 500 over the past six months. Some believe the market’s 14% swoon in the fourth quarter 2018 was unjustified given that the U.S. economy remains strong.
Others worry that, after a 13.3% year-to-date rebound, the market has rallied too fast given recent signs that the economy and earnings growth are slowing. The net result is an environment where price action remains headline-driven, with several key levels to watch heading into Q2.
Looking for volatility? Keep an eye on the metals market and the price action in Gold. While the yellow metal has been grinding higher over the past few months, wide intraday swings sent prices higher and lower last week. The wild action has some players wondering if Gold is ready to reach new highs.
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We wrote earlier this week about how large government crises, like the ongoing government shutdown, rarely correlate with increased volatility, encouraging traders to remain disciplined and stick to their strategy. We stand by that.
But as we mentioned in that post, just because these events don’t always correlate with increased volatility doesn’t mean they don’t impact the economy or the way we interact with the markets. There are a whole lot of people out there who missed a paycheck Friday as a result of Washington’s stalemate, and while that’s tragic in and of itself, it could have broader implications for the economy.
December 2018 saw a major surge in market volatility, with the S&P 500 plunging more than 14% at the bottom and the VIX jumping over 68% at its height in the month. While things have settled down some since the start of January, the spectre of volatility looms, everpresent, raising the question: how do you deal with it?