Friday, June 19, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - June 19

Dollar Down, Gold, Silver, Oil Up - As the dollar declined primarily due to increasing optimism in the global equity markets, gold and silver moved higher. The dollar has been caught in a trading range between $1.37 - $1.40 on the euro recently. Gold and silver were positive today, but they are still down for the week, and this would be the third week in a row that they are negative (the longest losing streak in two months). Gold and silver are normally seen as a hedge to the dollar, so the day's move was expected.

Oil is higher Friday by about 0.5% as news of a pipeline explosion by Nigerian rebels helped push the commodity higher. Contributing to the gain though was a release by the World Bank where they raised the 2009 growth forecast for China, the world's second largest consumer of oil. The news came on the heels of a study that showed China's oil demand increased in May for a second month.

"Quadruple Witching" Pushes Stocks Today - Quadruple witching is the term for equity options, index options, single-stock futures and index futures expiring simultaneously. In the past, it has brought on additional volatility (and helped push the market higher), but some analysts are saying that they believe most of the moves were made early this week.

Stanford Indicted On Fraud Charge - Financier R. Allen Stanford was indicted on federal fraud and obstruction charges, according to media reports Friday. The Justice Department is expected to announce charges against Stanford and other Stanford Financial Group executives for defrauding investors of billions of dollars in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

*** Note - Look for a new post by Joe Rollins tomorrow regarding healthcare.

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