Spot gold prices zoomed to a $27 gain in early New York trading before a big wave of profit-taking set in. Silver, which was at an 11-month high this morning, also saw speculators swoop in to lock in gains. These moves up and down were amplified by a sudden plunge by the US dollar, and its sudden recovery.
Wall St. opened lower, as crude prices suddenly fell by 2% at the start of trading. Light volumes are letting earnings reports from large companies have an out-sized effect, both good and bad.
Today's technical numbers have first resistance at $1,273, just above this morning's high. The next resistance should be seen just before $1,280. First support is at $1,249, then $1,234.
Spot silver was up 4.9% this morning, and gold was up over $27. These jumps were too much the day traders to bear, and they jumped in to book profits. As of 11am, both metals are off their daily lows, but have not tried to jump back up to their highs.
Silver futures closed at an 11-month high on Wednesday, at $17.13 an ounce. June gold futures ended flat, at $1,254.40. Spot gold lost $6 to close at $1,244.30, near session lows.
Crude oil's two-day rally ended this morning, after prices hit another high for the year. This seemed like a good time to book profits to many traders. Oil futures are trading almost 2% lower this morning.
Prices took a nasty tumble Wednesday morning on news that the Kuwaiti oil workers strike had ended, but gained on news that US crude stockpiles had not increased as fast as expected.
Yesterday's Nymex crude market was a little shaky even without outside help. May contracts expired, and June became the front-running contract. May Nymex crude settled 3.8% higher at $42.63. June crude contracts ended 4% higher to end at $44.18. June Brent crude settled up 4% to $45.80 a barrel.
Stocks also ended higher on Wednesday. The S&P 500 closed at its highest point since December, while the Dow ended up at levels not seen since last July. With everything posting big gains over the last two days, it is little surprise that we are seeing a pullback today in most areas.
The European Central Bank policy meeting this morning had little effect on US markets. The ECB basically stood pat, wanting to get some feedback from last month's stimulus measures before changing anything else.
First-time jobless claims for last week came in much lower than expected, but had no real effect on stocks. Applications fell by 6,000 to 247,000. Analysts expected a jump to 263,000 newly-fired people. On the other side of the coin, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index collapsed from a +12.4 to a -1.6. Analysts were expecting a +10.5 reading.
Wholesale price reports in Europe and the US tomorrow may give a clue to which way the Fed is leaning on interest rates. While no one at all expects the Fed to raise rates next week, many people are looking for clues about the June Fed meeting.
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