Stock Market Correction Phase Over? Spot Price of Gold Looks to Be Bottoming

The third quarter has finally closed…and thank goodness. If you weren’t short the stock market, you were feeling its pain. The broader market basically fell off a cliff in the last week of July and first week of August. The S&P 500 Index has been trading in a tight range ever since around the 1,175 level and the near-term trend seems to be more of the same. If there is to be any breakout to the upside, we’ll need some hardy news; likely regarding the sovereign debt issue in Europe or new policy action from the Federal Reserve. While the earnings picture looks good, it’s hard to imagine spectacular results from this economy.

Also notable late in the third quarter was the price correction in commodities. It only seems reasonable that reduced expectations for global economic growth should be felt commensurately in the prices for raw materials. The spot price of gold is mimicking the recent trading action of the stock market and it’s unclear when it might resume its upward trend.

However, I do think that the medium- to long-run upward price trend in gold is intact and this is due to a combination of fundamental factors that remain in force. And we can’t forget that, while the Main Street economy isn’t producing much growth, inflation is still out there stalking consumers’ ability to employ purchasing power.

I think the current environment is an opportune one to consider gold investments and other precious metals like silver. We’re now in the price correction that precious metals deserved. The top stocks for speculative investors remain gold miners and it’s the one industry that is generating double-digit growth in revenues and earnings.

Long-term, income-seeking investors can be buyers in this market; but, of course, expected returns have been reduced. I think a blue-chip investor would be lucky to receive a 10% return on investment in the age of austerity. It’s the new reality of the economy and it’s going to last for quite a long time.

If you want to see something interesting, pull up a five-year stock chart on SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca/GLD). This is the gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) that’s very popular with both individual and institutional investors. Looking at the chart, you’ll notice a very consistent and defined upward trend in the value of the ETF. You’ll also notice the recent spike to a record price high of $185.00 and the subsequent price correction to its current level of around $157.00 per share. In my mind, this price correction has now fully returned the SPDR Gold Shares ETF to its primary trend and is signaling a technical bottoming out for gold. Accordingly, now seems like an appropriate time to consider new positions in these kinds of assets.

Gold Bullion’s Price Action: Time to Separate the Men from the Boys

By Michael Lombardi, MBA

In the depth of a bear market in gold prices, back in 2001, a bull market in gold was born. Gold bullion traded for about $300.00 an ounce in late 2011, early 2002, and yours truly became a staunch advocate of gold at that time.

Since the beginning of the bull market in gold, we’ve seen an often repeated pattern: gold bullion prices advance sharply, profit taking comes in, the “weak hands” (as I call them) dump their gold as the price for bullion falls, prices bottom out, and the bull market continues. This pattern has been repeated for 11 years now.

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After reaching an all-time record high of $1,921 an ounce on September 6, 2011, gold bullion prices have fallen back to $1,630 an ounce this morning. Could gold prices fall further? Sure they could. A 20% correction in the price of gold bullion could bring the metal down to $1,536 an ounce.

But is it the end of the bull market in gold bullion? Of course not! But remember, gold is up $333.00 an ounce over the past 12 months—26%—so it has plenty of room to give back some dollars and still be in a bull market.

We’ve been down this route many times before. The human memory is very short-term in nature. In early 2003, the price of gold bullion fell 16%; in the summer of 2006, the price of gold fell 21%; from the spring to the fall of 2008, gold prices fell 28%; in the spring of 2009, gold prices fell 15%—and each time the price of gold bullion recovered and moved higher by the year’s end. In fact, for 11 years running, the price of gold bullion has closed each year higher in price than it started the year.

Separating the men from the boys—that’s what corrections in bull markets are all about: seizing the moment as an opportunity, as opposed to panicking and selling one’s holdings. This time is no different.

Michael’s Personal Notes:

An icon has moved closer to becoming a casualty of the Internet.

In its heyday, Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE/EK), often referred to as just Kodak, was a company to be reckoned with. Founded by George Eastman in 1892, the company’s name became synonymous with the word “film.”

But, as the years passed, and technology advanced, Kodak’s business suffered. People take pictures with their mobile phones today. Or they take pictures with cameras and download the images onto their personal computers or Facebook page as opposed to printing the pictures.

This year, Kodak is headed for its sixth annual loss in seven years. In 2010, the company lost $678 million. Most disturbing for me, last week the 131-year-old company drew down $160 million from its revolving bank credit line—not a good sign.

Where the Market Stands; Where it’s Headed:

The stock market is severely oversold and due for a bounce. For the four days ended September 22, 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its biggest four-day drop since 2008. About $1.1 trillion in value was wiped from stocks last week.

I believe that a bear market rally in stocks that started in March 2009 continues to preside.

What He Said:

“If I had to pick one stock exchange that would rank as the best performer of 2007, it would be the TSX (Canada’s equivalent of the NYSE). Interest rates in Canad are mainly very low and they are not expected to rise anytime soon. Americans looking to diversify their portfolios, both as a hedge against the U.S. dollar and a play on gold bullion’s price rise, should consider the TSX. Most brokers in the U.S. can buy stock on this exchange.” Michael Lombardi in PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL, February 8, 2007. The TSX was one of the top-performing stock markets in 2007, up just under 20% for the year.

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Stock Market & Gold: An Opportunity Like We’ve Never Seen Before?

By Michael Lombardi, MBA

I’m so excited this morning; I can hardly control my excitement.

Being the type of person who looks at the glass half-full as opposed to half-empty, I see yesterday’s sell-off in most investment categories as presenting investors with huge opportunities for profit.

Let’s start with the stock market: Since August, there have been five breakdowns by the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the 10,500 level. Subsequent to each of the downside moves, the stock market has rallied. As of last night’s close, the Dow Jones Industrials are selling at only 12.2 times this year’s earnings! The Dow Jones Industrials offer a dividend yield today of 2.9%—trumping most other forms of investment in respect to income.

The stock market is severely oversold; there is great value in stocks.

Moving to precious metals, the big correction in gold and silver I have been predicting and warning about is on! Finally, gold’s back under $1,700 an ounce. Finally, silver is back under $33.00 an ounce.

If you believe that the world’s financial problems will go away, if you believe that the U.S. will get out from under its mountain of debt, sell your gold.

On the other hand, if you recognize that gold bullion has risen $397.00 an ounce in the past 12 months (31%) and investors are finally taking some profits off the table, if you believe that the world’s economic problems will only get worse, that the U.S. will continue piling on the debt, that U.S. dollars will continue to be printed at a rate that spurs inflation (all the stuff I believe), then you might want to take this opportunity to buy more gold investments (like I am).

Global Stocks Enter Bear Market,” said the headline on a Bloomberg news story yesterday. Investors are panicking again and stock advisors are at the most bearish level in months. When you see this amount of negativity, stocks usually go the other way and climb the wall of worry higher. Stock market rallies end when investors are most optimistic, not when they are as pessimistic as they are today.

Michael’s Personal Notes:

Shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE/BRK-A) are trading at $100,000 for the first time since the beginning of 2010. I believe there are two reasons this is happening and I don’t believe the price action of Berkshire stock is indicative of the future of general stock prices.

First of all, the company’s reinsurance units have taken a hit. Japan’s earthquake in March and the U.S. windstorms this year have resulted in Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group taking a loss in the first half of 2011.

Secondly, as the company has grown so much, it’s just getting tougher to make deals with big returns. Most of Buffett’s bets have been secure ones: buying preferred shares of big companies and getting a small of amount of warrants as a bonus. The bigger Berkshire has become, the more difficult it has become to make deals where the eventual returns are substantial. Berkshire will be hard pressed to find a deal like Coca-Cola again.

Where the Market Stands; Where it’s Headed:

Despite yesterday’s sell-off in stocks, I believe we continue to be in a bear market rally in stocks that started in March of 2009. Yes, the rally has been long and is getting tired, but I believe the bear market rally has more upside potential left.

What He Said:

“Partying Like a Drunken Sailor: The party continues. Stocks are making new highs and people are spending like there is no tomorrow. Why? I really don’t know. Big (cap) stocks, they just continue going up. Wall Street bonuses are at record levels. Popular consumer goods are flying off the shelves. Designer clothes, fast and expensive cars, restaurants with one-hour waits…people are spending in America today at an unbelievable clip. 1932, 1933…who remembers those years? The depression of the 1930s was the biggest bust of modern history. 2005, 2006, 2007…welcome to the biggest boom of the same period. When will it all end? Soon, my dear reader. Soon.” Michael Lombardi in PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL, February 7, 2007. Michael started talking about and predicting the financial catastrophe we began experiencing in 2008 long before anyone else.