Gold futures on the COMEX for February delivery closed up 1.4% today, January 20, at $1866.50 an ounce. That’s the highest finished for the most active contract on the futures market since January 7. Silver for March delivery closed up 1.8% to $25.766 an ounce. All the talk about the need for a big stimulus program, bigger even than in response to the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, has sent some traders looking for inflation plays.
Yes, the big indexes were down today, January 4, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 off 1.48% at the close; the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.25%; and the NASDAQ Composite lower by 1.47%. But I think we can find some clues about tomorrow’s action–and the moves over the next month or more–from taking a look at individual stocks and sectors.
Notes You Need for December 28: Air travel, $15 minimum wage, BMW electric car and charging point estimates, gold rally, dollar decline, coronavirus checks, coronavirus vaccinations lag, climate change insurance costs, retail debt downgrades
In my daily trawling through the market I come upon lots of tidbits of knowledge that I think are important to investors but that don’t justify a full post. I’ve decided to start compiling these notes here each day in a kind of running mini blog that I’m calling Notes You Need. I launched this new feature on JubakAM.com on December 1, 2016. It runs only on JAM and won’t appear anywhere else. (Because I haven’t done one of these in a while and because there’s so much news, this might run on for a while.) For example, today at 10:20 a.m. I posted: More than 2.4 million people moved through TSA airport checkpoints this past weekend. That’s about 50% down from the number of people who went through airports in the two days after Christmas in 2019. But it’s the busiest weekend since March. More than 1.28 million people traveled Sunday, the biggest number since 1.52M people flew on March 15. Air travel hit a low of 90, 500 people flying on April 12. The CDC has advised, and state health officials have pleaded, for people to stay home for the holidays in an effort to damp the surge in coronavirus infections.
Closing all of my Options hedges in the Volatility Portfolio; holding off until January or February to add new downside protection
Stock have moved up so strongly that the Put Options I own in my Volatility Portfolio are no longer providing any significant downside protection against a market downturn. Especially since two of the three–the Puts on MGM Resorts International, and Vale l expire on December 18. The last Put, the one on American Airlines, expires on January 15, 2021, but I’m closing that position as well. I’m also selling my two Call Options on Barrick Gold, and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF since they also expire on December 18 and they are also so far out of the money the holding is pointless. Those Calls on gold were also added as protection against an outbreak in market volatility that never arrived.
The Dollar Spot Index (DXY) fell by 0.7% today to the lowest level in more than two years on the biggest drop in almost four weeks.