RF's Financial News

RF's Financial News

Monday, June 28, 2010

Barrons - Gold and Silver Buys

Gold and Silver Buys:

OK – here are some thoughts on small miners and areas where I do business:
- In terms of coins and bullion - prices vary day to day and dealer to dealer – there’s no shame in shopping around a bit. Most offer free shipping and insurance.
- 2 web companies: www.golddealer.com and www.coloradogold.com
- For buys of 100 to 1,000 ounces or more – I’ve never seen anyone less expensive than www.tulving.com

In terms of some small silver miners that have a shot at seeing their share prices soar. For example: In 2008 we put out a buy on SLW (a silver aggregator) – at a price of $3.59. We sold it at $11 two years later – and currently (we’re still holding some) and it’s at $22. Although I still like SLW – you could easily argue that the bulk of their move might have already happened. Sure they could get to $30 a share and should – but wouldn’t it be nice if we held them from $4 rather than $22? Now a few of the ones I like trade on the Toronto Exchange – so you may need to go thru a ‘phone based broker’ rather than your web-based platform. And – my yardstick – is the company needs a proven reserve with a proven operation.
- UXG ($5.28) is due for a small pull back, this one has the ability to be a 3X gainer the higher gold and silver go
- NGD ($6.51) is a stock we owned at 3 bucks for months and didn't move – then it ran into the 6’s. I think it's got more to go – to potentially 10.
- MVG ($6.64) is interesting and is not playing the rocketship ride ‘just yet’ – but does have all the attributes.
- NG ($7.37) is one we bought a while back at 6.85 that's already been up to 9, and is back down in the 7's.
- HL ($5.78) had not experienced an explosive move as of yet.
- HLLXF (0.56) is really speculative – but it’s the kind of play that when the gold mania really kicks in it could go to 4, 5, 10 bucks.
- AZK ($5.14) / EGO ($18.38) / AEM ($62.70)
- I like SSRI and PAAS (and own them both) – but they’re not the explosive movers
- EXN (Toronto Exchange)
- EAS (Toronto Exchange)
- CG (Toronto Exchange)
- LSG (Toronto Exchange)

These are my best ideas for buying gold/silver and my best ideas for miners/aggregators poised for explosive growth. I wouldn’t recommend buying all of them – but some risk money spread around this group should reward.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

This week in Barons - 6-27-10

This Week in Barons – 6-27-10:

Can we ever CURE what started this mess – Housing?
Last week new home sales fell 32.7%, to a level just about equal to the disaster of 1981 when we had 20% interest rates. And if you discount the ‘seasonality’ slightly – it was the LOWEST amount of new homes EVER SOLD! Now you can certainly equate this to ‘hitting bottom’ – or ‘potentially trending higher’ – but how many of us make our livings catching falling knives? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when Uncle Sam stopped giving people $8,000 to buy a house – they stopped buying houses. Meredith Whitney – the person that went public with the banks impending doom said: “Consumers have stopped paying their mortgages so that they can cover other bills, leaving banks with rotting assets and a mounting foreclosure problem. A double dip is coming in housing, no doubt about it." Couple that with Richard Russell (the gent that spawned the idea of the DOW theory) stating: “We're now in the process of building one of the largest tops in stock market history. The result will be the most disastrous bear market since the '30s, and maybe worse.”

Now on July 2nd, we are going to get the "Non-Farm Payrolls Report" – often termed the “Unemployment Report”. Last month the addition of U.S. Census workers caused this report to show an addition of 431K jobs – with only the ‘fine print’ telling people (a) these were only temporary positions and (b) they would be all gone by September. This months’ report should show the beginning of some of those layoffs. Combine that with this past Thursday, Congress decided NOT to extend unemployment benefits past the existing 99 weeks - means that upwards of one million NEW people are going to have "no" income in July – as their benefits expire.

Now – I think we’re running out of things to hype? If it's not a bottom in housing, and it's not job creation, and it's not an increase in credit, what’s left à Earnings! They are going to do their best (this week) to tell you to ignore all the other ills and just focus on earnings – but understand – corporations don’t have Europe to lean on any longer – there’s still an oil spill in the Gulf to contend with – most of our states are virtually insolvent – we haven’t solved the regional banking crisis and potentially we may not even have world peace (that much longer) as we begin to see some form of hostility in the Iran Theatre.

But let’s talk about earnings – right now the accounting of today doesn't even resemble the accounting of years past. Words like ‘Proforma’ and ‘Intent based’ have all but replaced GAP and FASB as our national standards. At "some" point there are so many out of work, so many making lousy wages, so many in desperation, that a company won’t be able to sell its goods and services any longer – without either (a) a huge increase in economic activity, or (b) economic activity slowing to a pace where products and services have to be priced much lower just to sell – which will cause a company not to make as much profit – and then ‘miss’ or ‘fail to beat’ estimated earnings – and the stock price falls. It's my guess that this next earnings season will mark the "top" of the earnings cycle for quite some time. Combine lower outlooks for earnings with all the other ills we face, and you can make a pretty strong case for the market loosing an awful lot of ground. It's also my guess that sometime during the year 2011 we are going to see an even bigger stimulus package than anything we've seen before. Central Banks around the globe will flood the planet with as much liquidity as possible – trillions of dollars.

In the meantime, there is money to be made. Gold and silver will still rise. People who know how to go short via puts and inverse ETF's will do fine. The key will be active management.

I think we hit DOW 9K this summer (September is my guess) – and my longer-term outlook is DOW 5K – potentially lasting years. The only reason we don't have mile long bread lines right now is because of 40 million people on food stamps. The only reason we don’t have riots in the streets is people deciding to stop paying their mortgages, and 6 million people more on extended unemployment benefits. Municipalities, healthcare, insurance, even education – will all need to trim/cut costs fairly dramatically going forward. Into the fall we should see a bounce of some type, followed by the next round of stimulus that will evoke hope – and it won’t be until that final, enormous, tidal wave of coordinated stimulus wears off that we can finally hit bottom, and finally dig our way out of this mess – which could be 2012 (another election year!) I do think third quarter earnings are going to miss the mark – and that will prompt an interesting run till year end.

Now onto the market:
This week the action in the market was all about Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. After two years of 0 % interest rates, and Bernanke telling us we were in a “V-Shaped” recovery and thinking about exit strategies for all the stimulus programs – which became a "U-Shaped" recovery and keeping interest rates "exceptionally low for an extended period of time" – which became a ‘fragile recovery’ – and NOW, we see from the most recent data that the economy has burned through the stimulus money and everyone wants to know "What’s next?"

I think next week we’ll see a push higher for a couple of days – for two reasons: (a) it's the end of the quarter and (b) it's the end of the "half" year. Both of those are fairly important for the fund manager ‘window dressing’ – so all the funds will be buying the leader stocks like AAPL – trying to get into winners ahead of July.
With that in mind, we "should" have a green Monday – potentially Tuesday – and we’ll start getting edgy around Wednesday – as thoughts drift toward Friday’s Jobs Report. Potentially – worse than the jobs report – is that we are seeing some major index's all around the world approach a nasty "technical pattern". It is not good for the Bulls when the 50-day moving average falls below the 200-day moving average. The London ‘Footsie’ has just done that – our S&P is racing toward it – and all around the globe that pattern is showing up, and that pattern often leads to a very sharp decline.

I think the main theme for the next couple weeks is going to be continued volatility. Let's suppose they sell us lower on the jobs report – in a nano-second they will switch to focusing on the earnings season coming up and try and hype that. So, we could be up for a few days early, then drop out Friday into next week and then see them try and rally us into earnings again. I still believe that sometime between this week and approximately July 20, this market will begin to slide down into the DOW 9K area. However, remember the old adage that the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. Simply put – we need to be patient and let the market "come to us". Please be careful out there.

AN ASIDE: Since last week’s letter on Silver – I’ve gotten a tremendous number of requests surrounding where to invest and where to purchase. I will be putting out a supplemental letter today on this topic – thanks to all for your interest.

We’re still almost totally in metals, and they’re performing nicely – all things considered:
- GG at $43, IAG at $17, SLW at $18, SSRI at $20, GDXJ at $27, GLD at $115.86, NG at $6.64 and PHYS at $11.65
- We dabble during the week – taking advantage of day trades here and there – but until we feel comfortable about shorting this market – we’ll stick with the metals for longer term holds, potentially looking again at the VXX, and seeing which way the wind takes us during these next several weeks.

If you’d like to view my actual stock trades - feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

If you’d like to see me in action – teaching people about investing – please feel free to view the TED talk that I gave a month or so ago now:

Remember the Blog http://rfcfinancialnews.blogspot.com/
Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This week in Barrons - 6-20-10

This Week in Barons – 6-20-10:

How to make a Million Dollars over the next 5 to 10 years?
Great Question – well – I think you might be able to do it with silver. We know that the silver market is manipulated by the big institutions, the SEC, the Comex, etc. The commodities commission and everyone else has been put on notice that it's happening AND they have acknowledged that they are looking into it. Consider that for a moment - silver should be trading at $50 per ounce – in fact using history and gold as our guide – then the figure is closer to $100/ounce. But due to big institutions such as J.P. Morgan given free license to naked short 40% of the world’s silver product – you could easily argue that silver is artificially cheap right now. As the worlds fiat currencies and economies continue to sink, people are scrambling to buy value – which is why gold hit an all time high last week. There will come a time when physical demand for silver is going to overcome the ability to keep it down. Currently an ounce of silver costs $18 – and I always advise investing in the physical metal whenever possible.

Let’s suppose that I’m truly not some conspiracy nut – but if silver could find it’s way to end the manipulation – it would immediately be trading for over $30 per ounce. As people around the globe saw the break out – the buyers would enter and silver would end up north of $100 – potentially closer to $125 per ounce – as it coincides with it’s historic ratio to gold. But wait the other piece of this is the investment in the miners – the companies that pull the metal from the ground. As silver increases in value – the miners of silver also increase dramatically. We have historical proof of $5 miners going to $50 a share – and imagine having a few thousand shares of a couple junior miners when silver makes it's sprint?

I do believe that silver is one of the best investments for the next 5 years. I could be wrong and potentially the manipulation can go on forever. But it is currently so undervalued to gold that it’s my bet that they can’t keep it under lock and key all that much longer.

Now – on to some news:
- On Tuesday morning, TV analysts were telling us how well the consumer was doing – and then Best Buy completely missed their numbers and made references to the consumer ‘hunkering down’ – hum?
- Then on Tuesday – 8:37AM – came the news blurb that Fed officials have quietly begun to discuss their next steps in the event that the recovery fizzles or inflation keeps falling. Well the good news is that we NEVER recovered. Let’s talk recovery to the 8 million unemployed! But honestly, $12 Trillion buys a lot, 99 weeks of unemployment buys/costs a lot, and expanding the food stamp program to cover 50 Million people costs a lot!
- Since June 1st, 340K people have lost their unemployment benefits. Estimates say by the end of June - 1.25 Million people will be OFF the benefit roles. Now what happens when over a million people (end of June) stop spending? Now – is it just ‘coincidence’ that Best Buy missed their numbers?
- At 11:48 AM on Tuesday – we learned that 91 banks and thrifts skipped their May TARP payments - 23 of them for the first time. That's up from 74 banks deferring in February, and 55 in November. Twenty banks have missed four or more payments, and eight have missed five. Maybe these are all ‘strategic defaults’ just like the people who have decided to just be squatters in their own homes?
- Single family housing starts fell 17% last month.
- A couple contributions from Steve Forbes:
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (institutions that hold over $6 Trillion in American mortgages = ½ of an entire years GDP) were delisted from the stock exchange this week – with stock share values less than $1 – causing shares in each of them to plummet over 40%
- Lumber futures – a leading indicator of housing activity – have fallen 40% since April.
- Finally – with Fannie an Freddie out of the way – will banks be forced to foreclose on properties and recognize losses – or are the Feds going to start/continue buying up all the toxic assets?

Is it any wonder that (without being a day trader) I recommend Silver and Gold!

Now onto the market
The goal of the market is to take the most money that it can – from the most number of people that it can. This week was options expiration week – and look at the action on Thursday. All day long the market was slightly red, and then in the last forty minutes the day ended green across the board. Friday was the same thing. Our guess was that to continue to roast the shorts (basically make option contracts null and void), the market would move sideways for the day or two, ending with a very small plus or minus. When the final bell rang, the DOW gained 16, the S&P 1.5 – yawn – but they put the market where the most amount of shorts via put options would get burned, without pushing it far enough that any of the call buyers made a fortune.

Now that we have options expiration out of the way – the market is paying attention to the 1120 level on the S&P – and if it gets above that – it could pop higher quickly. But if it can't put in a close for a day or two above that, chances are pretty good we fade back away from that level. Now there’s no question the "desire" is there to make this happen. But considering the latest economic reports, thinking that Russia is considering moving away from the dollar as the world reserve, and considering the "run up in gold" lately – do they have the fire power to make it happen?

Right now we're in no mans land. Earnings will start to trickle out next week, but the real "season" won't start until the second week of July. In normal historical terms, the market does tend to move higher into earnings season as optimism builds surrounding the releases... but it's a bit too early for that. So, one logical outcome is that the market gets trapped here in a trading range, trying to build a base so it can push higher into earnings. And, my bet is that we're going to see a pretty volatile week, without a lot of overall direction.

Although I am still completely convinced we'll see DOW 9K sometime this summer, it would probably make the most sense to see it happen "after" earnings as we start heading into the historically weakest month of the year - September. Between now and then almost nothing will surprise me.

For all of you DAD’s out there – Happy Father’s Day!

We’re still almost totally in metals:

- GG at $43, IAG at $17, SLW at $18, SSRI at $20, GDXJ at $27, GLD at $115.86, NG at $6.64 and PHYS at $11.65
- We dabble during the week – taking advantage of day trades here and there – but until we feel comfortable about shorting this market – we’ll stick with the metals for longer term holds, potentially looking again at the VXX, and seeing which way the wind takes us during these next several weeks.

If you’d like to view my actual stock trades - feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

Remember the Blog http://rfcfinancialnews.blogspot.com/
Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This week in Barons - 6.13.2010

This Week in Barons – 6-13-10:

“I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!”
After seeing the movie “A-Team” this evening – I was reminded that ‘plans’ and ‘soap operas’ have a way of keeping their audience riveted to the screen. Currently Europe's bursting at the seams, Japan's facing financial melt down, and the US is mired in debt that's mathematically impossible to repay. To get into these positions, bankers broke rules, created "exotic" assets, fudged numbers, kept two sets of books, and incorrectly rated virtually everything. The watchdogs in charge of making sure none of this happened were either complacent, or incompetent, or both. Then of course there's the issue of jail. In the movie the A-Team went to jail (erroneously but they were there) – however in our real-life, well scripted soap opera not one of the power brokers that caused the damage to our system went to jail – not a banker or any of the ratings agencies.

Soap operas keep people coming back because you never really know what's going to happen next. Well in our real world soap, what keeps me coming back is the simple fact that this soap opera plan effects my life. When Nixon decoupled us from the gold standard in 1971, it gave the bankers the green light to virtually do anything that they wanted. It gave our politicians the green light to spend on any entitlement or pork program they desired. I really wish more people would "tune in" and watch the real world soap opera called "our economy" and see just how completely warped things are.

On Thursday the stock market roared higher by almost 300 DOW points – but what changed?
- The news out of China was that their exports gained some incredible 50% - and if they are shipping 50% more goods - that means the world is buying 50% more goods, and therefore the global consumer is back – BUT wait – at 9:36 AM on Friday we learned that the Baltic Dry Index dropped another 3.9% - extending an 11-session losing streak in which it's dropped 21.9% - and a huge 14.5% on the week. This index measures demand for base commodities aboard bulk carriers, and is considered a barometer of economic demand. Well – if China is exporting 50% more goods, how are they getting it around the globe if the Baltic Index is crashing?
- Also on Thursday the initial jobless claims fell "unexpectedly" by 3000 folks. That’s a good thing – yes – BUT wait – it appears that last weeks initial jobless claims number was "revised higher" by 6000 people – so Thursday’s drop wasn’t really a drop at all.
- Then we heard that production in Japan was going along well and their GDP data suggested that they too were looking good – BUT wait – at 7:51 AM - Naoto Kan warned that Japan could face a debt crisis similar to Greece's unless it urgently deals with its growing national debt.
- Then at 7:35 AM we found out that UBS is the target of a preliminary forgery investigation by Luxembourg prosecutors, in relation to how the Swiss bank oversaw funds connected to Bernie Madoff.
- Then at 7:59 AM (timed to coincide with the release of its 2009 mortgage report) the FBI reported planning a nationwide crackdown on mortgage fraud, with hundreds of people likely to be arrested next week on charges such as inflating home appraisals and encouraging document falsification.
- Steve Forbes wrote to tell us à 7.5 million loans are in some stage of delinquency or foreclosure – which means that there is an 8.5 million "shadow inventory" of homes (over a two-year supply) that need to close just to clear the overhang of distressed properties. 25% of all current mortgages are ‘underwater’ – causing more and more homeowners to just walk away. These strategic defaults accounted for 35% of the December 2009 defaults — up from 23% in March of 2009. And the ‘zinger’ - nearly 70% of all of the loans that were modified - re-default within 12 months.
- But with all of this – and a 20% under/unemployment rate – How could the Michigan Consumer Index rise to its highest level in two years last week?
- Then there is a new Single Stock Circuit Breaker Rule that says if an S&P 500 stock rises or falls 10% in a 5-minute time period, a market-wide trading pause will occur in the stock for at least 5 minutes. The pause would give the markets the opportunity to attract new trading interest in an affected stock, establish a reasonable market price and resume trading in a fair and orderly fashion. However – the opening and closing price of a stock will NOT be subject to the 10% move threshold – in that the markets are open between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM – and this rule will only be in effect between 9:45 AM ET and 3:35 PM – allowing the Goldman’s of the world to profit early and profit late. You potentially wondered why the last 30 minutes of trading lately has been absolutely ‘crazy’?
- And finally – the BP Soap Opera – understand that BP cannot pay for the clean-up and the reparations. No single company can withstand all the health ramifications – the property value loss – and the loss of tourism – especially to the ‘sunshine state.’ BP will either have to be bailed out, or go belly up in it's American unit.

The Market:
Understand that Bull markets do not create 300 point up days; however, Bear market bounces do! The issue however is that you really never know how far one of those bounces will go. So – does the bounce prove to be another one-day wonder, or does it have legs – my feeling says that it has more legs. The Market will not allow all of those ‘put buyers’ to succeed – and it needs to take more people in on the ‘long side’ and then when it's satisfied that it's got as many suckers as it can get, it's going to roll lower. I still think we have a date with DOW 9,000 this summer. The fact that on Friday we pulled out a flat day, proves to me that they are a lot more brave people out there. In past weeks, they would have never held the market up on a Friday fearing some nasty news out of Europe that may cause a nasty gap down on Monday. But Friday everyone was OK holding in there – and therefore, I suspect we have some more upside to come. If we can get past 10,255 there's no reason we can't flirt with 10,500 soon enough. That being said - no matter how far a bounce takes us, even if it's beyond that number, it's still a bounce in a Bear Market – and in due time being “SHORT” will be the right way to be.

We’re still almost totally in metals:

- GG at $43, IAG at $17, SLW at $18, SSRI at $20, GDXJ at $27, GLD at $115.86, NG at $6.64 and PHYS at $11.65

If you’d like to view my actual stock trades - feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

Remember the Blog http://rfcfinancialnews.blogspot.com/
Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This week in Barrons - 6-6-2010

This Week in Barrons – 6-6-10:

Jobs – Jobs – Jobs … What Jobs?
Remember all the analysts telling us how great the jobs report was going to be – well on Friday we added 430,000 jobs – BUT:
- Not so fast - Uncle Sam admitted that 411K of the 430K were Census workers. Those are Part time jobs that will go away starting in June and will be completely gone in September. That leaves 19k jobs created.
- Not so fast - 31K of those jobs came from "Temporary Services".
- And not so fast (it even gets better) – 215,000 jobs were ‘fictionally’ created with the ‘birth/deal’ model – these are the unemployed that decide to start their own business – they’re really fictional jobs – and year after year when the government ‘must’ do their "estimat” we find out that these ‘birth/death’ jobs never exist – last year they REMOVED a million jobs off the ledger.

So why did the market fall 323 DOW points on Friday – because we LOST 227,000 JOBS! And – if those census workers are going away over the next 4 months – that means we’ll at least be LOSING 103,000 jobs each month due those Census worker hires – just at the start!

BUT Wait a second – it gets better … (thanks to thank Jacob H for this tidbit):
- President Obama last week signed an order halting work on 33 exploratory wells in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. This means that roughly 33 floating drilling rigs – typically leased for hundreds of thousands of dollars per day – will be idled for six months or longer. These 33 gulf wells were inspected immediately after the Deepwater Horizon blowout (per Interior Secretary Ken Salazar); and in those inspections, “only minor problems were found on a couple of rigs”. But ‘shut em all down’ became the political thing to do – so follow me on this one.
- At $250,000 to $500,000 per day, per rig – this results in roughly $8,250,000 to $16,500,000 per day in costs for idle rigs – and secondarily this also impacts supply boats – 2 boats per rig with day rates of $15,000/day per boat - $30,000/day for 33 rigs – nearly $1 million/day – not counting other impacts to other supplies and related support services (i.e. welders, divers, caterers, transportation, etc.)
- JOBS – each drilling platform averages 90 to 140 employees at any one time (2 shifts per day), and 180 to 280 for 2 2-week shifts. Each exploration job supports 4 other jobs; therefore, 800 to 1400 jobs per idle rig platform a reasonable total of 50,000 JOBS are going to be lost. Wages for those jobs average $1,804/weekly; potential for lost wages is between $165 to $330 million/month for all 33 platforms.
- Secondarily - many offshore workers live in Louisiana. The state is going to see a decrease in income taxes and sales taxes that would normally be paid by those employees.

So, despite TRILLIONS of dollars in stimulus, all the programs designed to spur spending, all the FASB mis-regulations – the U.S. economy cannot produce JOBS. With no JOBS, and with millions on "emergency extended benefits", foreclosures soaring, bankruptcies soaring, commercial real estate crashing - people around the globe are finally getting the view that the U.S. may be a pseudo-safe haven – but it’s the best of a very bad lot.
- 08:20 AM May 26 saw 133,459 U.S. bankruptcy petitions, the second-highest daily level since 2005 and a 10% rise from the year before.
- During the months of March and April stock funds experienced steady inflows - in the week ending May 26, U.S.-focused funds saw outflows of $13.4B (and $3.9B from international funds), the biggest outflows since March 11, 2009

Now what’s important here is the timing. The week ending May 26 saw the market put in it's lowest reading in over a year – now where was the market on April 23rd (one month earlier) – it stood at 11,200. So the market sucked in the amateurs (who were completely brainwashed into thinking – get in or miss the party) – and when the market was convinced that it had pulled in enough suckers, it rolled over and crashed – and people SOLD. Now – the previous largest outflow was March of 2009 – and what happened in March of 2009 – the market hit lows not seen since the 90’s. So doing the math – the masses bought at the highs of ’07 (DOW 14,000) – held thru the plunge ‘08, and into ’09 – and then - when they couldn't take it any more they sold enmasse and stampeded for the exits. Remember when we said – when the amateurs rejoin the market (when Cramer was screaming ‘buy-buy-buy’) – it’s really time to sell – because the majority of people are now going to ‘buy high and sell low’. Because as we wrote in February of 2009 – “the one thing that the market usually does, almost better than anyone and anything, is punish the maximum amount of people.” At the time we suggested to people to take $5,000 – buy 1,000 shares of FAS @ 2.64 per share (it went to $40 per share) – and we ask that you take the remaining funds and purchase Apple (APPL), Google (GOOG), IBM and the DIA’s. Google’s stock doubled, Apple’s went from 84 to 270 – you get the picture.

I bring all of this up for one reason – to show you that the market is designed to take your money, unless of course you know the game and know how to play it. Our economy is crumbling, Europe's a disaster, China's having growing pains, and the entire world is deleveraging (trying it's best not to spiral into the toilet) while paying down debt. Frankly we are IN a depression right now, but all the social programs, the welfare, the food stamps have softened it: the 99+ weeks of unemployment, etc. But I still believe it gets worse – and if you base your investing on what you hear out of the major media - I'm afraid you're going to pay a very dear price.

Now – you can bet going forward – we’re going to hear about WAR more often. These are desperate times in a lot of countries, and if war will keep our/their economies afloat – then war is what we will get. That's probably going to be Iran, if not Iran and North Korea at the same time. Please be prepared.

The Market:
I previously said we were going to see DOW 9,000 this summer – and after Friday’s 300-point plunge we are in the 9000's already. But I am confident we have a lot more downside to come. It won't come smoothly, as the FED will instruct it's member banks to manipulate the market with all it's got, but it certainly will come. Reading the above - it looks like I made myself out to be some form of market genius (and that’s not the case). A few weeks back we shorted the market and went long the VXX – and felt pretty good in covering - taking gains on both – in fear of a snap back rally – where we would reload our ‘short positions’. Well that snapback rally was so herky-jerky, we never got a chance to reload the short wagon. Oh well, we'll have more shots at it for sure going forward, and short side gains come much faster than long side gains.

But what next? I can make the case for a very nasty Monday, and an all out sell fest, or a "bounce" of some magnitude. If we don't get ANY bad news out of Europe this weekend and things are relatively calm, "they" will try and rescue the market early this week from the plunge. We're only 70 points away from DOW 10K, and "they" will use that level as some form of psychological platform to keep the masses content. But that said, ANY more bad news, whether it be a statement out of Hungary about possible default, or some form of contagion to another country and we could easily shed several hundred more points quickly. So, being cautious here makes a whole lot of sense.

In my opinion, the path of least resistance is going to be "down" for a while, then as earnings start coming out, they'll use them as "more proof" that the economy is great (like they used JOBS - which was proven wrong) and we'll get some wicked bounces. If you are a long-term investor, I'd be awfully cautious, and for you short term traders, enjoy the volatility!

Let’s assess where we are – mostly in metals:

- GG at $43, IAG at $17, SLW at $18, SSRI at $20, GDXJ at $27, GLD at $115.86, NG at $6.64 and PHYS at $11.65

If you’d like to view my actual stock trades - feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

Remember the Blog http://rfcfinancialnews.blogspot.com/
Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson