Powell & Mnuchin Testify To Congress Today!

December 1, 2020

* The dollar bugs fight back on Monday… 

* Gold & Silver are back on the rally tracks today! 

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you!  And Welcome to December… And good riddance to November!!! I think I’m going to need Tom Terrific today to fight off the Crabby Appleton mood I’m in this morning… You see, the gout in my arm returned over the weekend, and the normal treatment for this ailment is a 5 day pack of steroids. Unfortunately, for me, the first two days of high doses leaves me sleepless in Seattle… Sunday night I got 1 hour of sleep, and last night maybe, 3 in bits… I’m on the downside of the doses now, so maybe tonight some real sleep and rest is in my future. But for today, I’m in no mood to be dealt with, so if you have something not so nice to say to me in the Pfennig Replies, you had better watch out for my reply! Oh, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to write on Thursday morning, as I would be hurried throughout the morning to get it done and out the door, in time for me to be at my oncologist’s office in time.  So, I just made an executive decision for the first time in 4 years!  I haven’t been officially retired for 4 years, but my last couple at the bank were in a reduced capacity mode… They had sent me out to pasture 2 years, before TIAA came along and pulled the pin on my career… But I really couldn’t answer the bell every day any longer, so it was all for the good… I would have liked to been able to make the call myself though, I would have thought that after I had done for the Bank, they would have let me do that, and not just call me on the phone and tell me the gig was up…  I’m just saying…   Ok.. see, I’m in no mood to be nice today! Weezer greets me this morning with their catchy tune: Island In The Sun… 

Ok, that was a long first paragraph… I just thought I would give the folks that only read the first and last paragraphs, something to read while they sip their coffee….   Ok, well, the dollar weakness that we saw yesterday morning, backed off a bit, not much, but by a bit, and it kind of took the edge off the selling of the dollar… For the day, the euro was 1.1987 in the morning, and finished the day at 1.1958, and the Aussie dollar (A$) which was trading over 74-cents in the early morning, finished the day at .7366…  Gold, which began the day down $17 fought back throughout the day, and finished down $11, to close at $1,777.20, and Silver, which began the day down 54-cents, ended the day down 10-cents, to close at $22.70. 

There was no vaccine news, except the VP announcing that distribution of a vaccine will begin in a couple of weeks… Nothing new there, so one has to wonder, what or who threw up the roadblock for the currencies to keep pushing the dollar downward… Strange days indeed, so peculiar momma, Strange days indeed. (John Lennon) I would normally say that it looked like some profit taking was the trading pattern of the day, but these days, with all the manipulations and back room deals, it has become very difficult to decipher what’s what when it comes to a day of selling…  

In the overnight markets, It’s a whole different story for Gold & Silver this morning… Gold is up $31 to $1,808, and Silver is up 78-cents to $23.48. I had a long time reader send me a note yesterday, and asked me  if I thought the low was in for Gold?  I said that I thought that Gold would recover once the delivery period for the December Contracts at COMEX ended, which would began late last week and early this week.  I did say the other day that historically, Gold doesn’t perform too well, during past Decembers… 

But those Decembers didn’t just have the “rout of the month” that Gold experienced in November, so a recovery will be very welcomed, and should erase the dark days of November…  I just thought of something… This year’s November for Gold will be another reason I dislike the month of November so much! 

I had a dear reader send me a note yesterday, to tell me about how he protects his Bitcoin, and I congratulated him on doing that, but… Think about that for a minute, how many people are doing that?  I would think that backing up your computer to a flash drive every night, would be something that most people fail to do, just like changing their passwords, or even turning their computer off and back on, to allow it to refresh… 

OK… I had received a notice from LinkedIn that a former colleague, Peter Mason, has celebrated 1 year at his new job, so I logged into the site to send him a congrats notice, and when doing so I noticed this  message from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) who returned a man’s tax return because of the way he answered this question: “Do you have anyone dependent on you?” the man wrote: 2.1 Million illegal immigrants, 1.1 Million crackheads, 4.4 Million unemployable scroungers, 80,000 prisoners in 85 prisons, and 450 idiots in parliament, thousands of politicians, and an entire group that call themselves Senators.”  

The CRA wrote back that the answer was unacceptable, to which the man answered, “ who did I leave out?”   

Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are, (as Larry the Cable guy says)!  I needed that diversion away from my Crabby Appleton mood this morning!

Of course seeing Gold & Silver back on the rally tracks this morning, and not have to report another “drive-by shooting” cheered me up a bit before reading that CRA stuff…  

The Dollar Index is trading at 91.80 this morning, and shows the pushback that the dollar bugs employed yesterday to bring the Index to that level, from the 91.60 is sat at yesterday morning.  But one day’s trading doesn’t make a trend, like Rome wasn’t built in a day. You have to step back and look at a month’s worth of trading to see the forest from the trees… And that’s what I did yesterday, telling you that the Dollar Index was 93.39 on 10/20…   

I just wish the price manipulators of dollars would realize that their engineered take downs don’t stop of trend when the trend is firmly in place… All they do is give potential buyers of currencies an opportunity to buy at cheaper levels… And we all do thoroughly enjoy cheaper levels, when we’re looking to buy, don’t we? 

Of course if you’re already set on your balances, and not looking to buy more at the time of the price dip, you don’t like seeing a cheaper buying opportunity!  So, as the old saying goes, You can make 1/2 of the people happy 1/2 of the time…   sure does come into play here, eh? 

OK… get ready for this today…  Cartel, I mean Fed, chairman Jerome Powell, and Treasury Sec. Mnuchin will go before a Congressional hearing on the CARES Act spending…  This is where things could get quite ugly, IF the right questions are asked and answers are demanded… Honest answers…  I’m sure our friends over at www.wallstreetonparade.com will have something to write about, since they’ve been all over this ongoing missing funds since the beginning…  

Other than that testimony, the U.S. Data Cupboard has the Nov. ISM Manufacturing Index today. The ISM has been a real mystery to me, in the past couple of months as it recovered from its sub-50 levels of the spring, and jumped to a 58 level in Rocktober… But what about the shutdowns? I think the Nov. report today will show the effects of the shutdowns, and will be weaker… But then I never expected to see the ISM rise so strongly the last few months either…. Hmmm….  

There will also be some cartel, I mean Fed Heads, on the speaking circuit today, with Brainard, and Daly, speaking…  I started to make a joke about it being Ladies Day, but then I thought, that might be not politically correct, so I won’t…    See? I’m waking up and rounding about in a better mood as I write… So, writing is good for my soul, I guess…  It doesn’t put me to sleep is all I know! 

To recap…  The dollar bugs pushed back yesterday, but the move was small, and the currencies are back to pushing the envelope of currency appreciation across the desk once again this morning. And after suffering through another Monday morning of downward movements, Gold fought back, although still ending down on the day, but has reversed its downward course this morning, and is up $31 as I write…  Today, is the day that Powell & Mnuchin speak to Congress about the Cares Act spending, Chuck believes this could be really good Pfodder for the Pfennig tomorrow! 

For What It’s Worth…  OK… longtime reader Bob, sent me a link to an article about businesses shutting down, and at first I thought, no news here, but when I clicked on it, the article talks about how many businesses have shutdown in New Jersey… I have friends that live in N.J. so this interested me and thought it to be FWIW worthy! And you have find the article here: Almost one-third of small businesses in New Jersey have have closed: report | TheHill

Or, here’s your snippet: “A third of small businesses in New Jersey have closed down in 2020, according to a report from The Star-Ledger newspaper.

“It’s really bad… And without federal dollars coming into New Jersey, the Main Street stores and other establishments are not gonna make it through the winter.” said Eileen Kean, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Harvard-based data project TrackTheRecovery.org estimated that 31 percent of businesses have closed down so far as of Nov. 9. This number is just above the national average estimated by the website. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association reported similar numbers, estimating 28 percent of businesses had closed down by October.

The newspaper notes that despite the holiday shopping season, business leaders are still concerned that the trend could get worse as stimulus talks stall on Capitol Hill.

New Jersey, like most of the U.S., is currently experiencing a surge of new cases. Over 329,000 cases and nearly 17,000 deaths have been reported. On Nov. 21, New Jersey recorded 4,669 cases, the most it has ever reported in a single day.

Last week New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was harassed by hecklers who shouted at him while he and his family ate at an outdoor restaurant. Speaking to “CBS This Morning,” Murphy said he understood “the overwhelming amount of stress.”

Chuck Again…  economic shutdowns are really stupid and that’s my take on it and you won’t change my mind!  

Market  Prices 12/1/20: American Style: A$.7361,  kiwi .7035, C$ .7706, euro 1.1966, sterling 1.3321, Swiss $1.1038, European Style: rand 15.3040, krone 8.8613, SEK 8.5350,  forint 298.56,  zloty 3.7447,   koruna 21.9276, RUB 76.17, yen 104.41, sing 1.3408, HKD 7.7517, INR 73.58, China 6.5784, peso 20.11, BRL 5.3411,  Dollar Index 91.80,  Oil $45.18,  10-year .86%, Silver $23.48, Platinum $987.00, Palladium $2,423.00, and Gold… $1,808.60

That’s it for today… A little shorter than the previous 3 Pfennigs, eh? I look up at my pictures on the poster board that faces me at my writing desk, and I see a picture of my darling granddaughter, Delaney Grace sitting on Santa’s knee when she was 2 years old… And I thought, man, is she so darn cute! And then a sad thought came into mind, that kids won’t be able to sit on Santa’s knee this year and tell them what they were wishing him to bring them…  This is American tradition…  Damn plandemic!  Man, I quickly went back to Crabby Appleton there didn’t I?  Ok, I had better end this here before I really say something to tick off everybody!  Faces take us to the finish line today with their song: Ooh La La…  One of my all time fave songs for sure!  I hope you have a delightful December, and a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler