Declining Retail Sales Slow Down Market

Hello traders everywhere. The Commerce Department reported today that retail sales for January and December in the U.S. unexpectedly declined as receipts were revised lower, indicating that consumer demand in the first quarter may slow down.

Retail Sales

Highlights From The Report

  • Overall sales fell 0.3% (est. 0.2% gain), the most since February 2017, after little change in prior month (prev. 0.4% increase)
  • Purchases at automobile dealers dropped 1.3%, the most since August
  • So-called retail-control group sales, which are used to calculate GDP and exclude food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations, unchanged following a revised 0.2% decrease in December (prev. 0.3% gain)
  • 7 of 13 major retail categories showed declines in receipts
  • The Labor Department’s core Consumer Price Index, which excluded the volatile food and energy components, increased 0.3% in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of 0.2%. However, the year-on-year rise was unchanged at 1.8%

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2018: Supply/Demand Trends Can Make Or Break Oil Prices

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies- Crude Oil Price


The crude oil price started the year off strong, as January posted the highest OPEC Reference Basket price ($66.85) since November 2014, the month in which the Saudis decided to wage an oil price war with American shale oil. But the market gave up its 2018 gain during the first week of January, as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) incorporated the huge November production surge into its short-term outlook and weekly time series data. To top it all off, Baker-Hughes reported the most significant one-week gain in its oil-directed drilling rig count.

Whether the market shifts back to bullish sentiment, or whether the bearish sentiment takes control this year, depends mainly on several key assumptions. The central hypothesis is how fast shale oil production will grow this year, and the second is what OPEC production will be, given the on-going risk to Venezuelan output. Based on U.S. production from August through November, the recent lagged response in drilling rigs, and the high prices experienced October through January; I expect that U.S. production will rise faster than either the DOE or OPEC assume in their forecasts.

EIA’s February Outlook

The EIA released its outlook, revising its U.S. crude production estimates much higher. For the year, it now expects crude production to average 10.59 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2018, and to exit the year at 11.13 mmbd.

The EIA’s estimate of production for February is 10.260 mmbd. That figure is 1.07 mmbd higher than August. If anything, EIA’s 2018 prediction seems low. Continue reading "2018: Supply/Demand Trends Can Make Or Break Oil Prices"

Gold Failed And Silver Is On The Edge

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals- gold silver prices


As promised in my earlier post I updated the silver chart for you in this post as I spotted some exciting patterns forming on the chart below. But first, I would like to start with the stronger of the two metals, gold.

Chart 1. Gold Daily: Couldn’t Tag Previous Top

gold silver prices
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com

Indeed, it was another excellent try when the bulls attempted to break loose from this long-lasting range established between $1046 and $1375 in 2016. But the RSI indicator didn’t agree as lower tops showed a hidden Bearish Divergence and this spoiled this nice bullish attack. The $1375 resistance has been left untouched. Moreover, now this strong indicator indicates that the bears took the ball as it dipped below the crucial 50 level. Continue reading "Gold Failed And Silver Is On The Edge"

Weekly Futures Recap With Mike Seery

We've asked Michael Seery of SEERYFUTURES.COM to give our INO readers a weekly recap of the Futures market. He has been Senior Analyst for close to 15 years and has extensive knowledge of all of the commodity and option markets.

Michael frequently appears on multiple business networks including Bloomberg news, Fox Business, CNBC Worldwide, CNN Business, and Bloomberg TV. He is also a guest on First Business, which is a national and internationally syndicated business show.

Gold Futures

Gold prices in the April contract are currently trading at 1,319 an ounce after settling last Friday in New York at 1,319 as the U.S. stock market dropped 10% in a matter of days. Generally speaking, that sends gold prices much higher, but not in this case as the precious metals continue to go lower. The U.S. dollar is the main culprit to this phenomenon as its higher once again today as investors are buying the dollar and selling all assets including the metals as silver and platinum continue to move lower coupled with the fact that copper has absolutely fallen out of bed this week. If you take a look at the daily chart gold prices bottomed out on December 12th at 1,242 while then topping out on January 25th at 1,370 and the 50% retracement stands around the 1,306 area. I think that will be tested in next week's trade as I am currently not involved in any of the precious metals. Gold is trading below their 20-day moving average, but slightly above its 100-day as we are right near a five-week low as investors don't want to own anything at the current time. It looks to me this could continue next week as well. However, there is panic going on at present as there will be very good buying opportunities in the coming days ahead.
TREND: MIXED - LOWER
CHART STRUCTURE: POOR
VOLATILITY: INCREASING

Continue reading "Weekly Futures Recap With Mike Seery"

A Few Marijuana ETFs For U.S. Investors

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - Marijuana ETFs


The marijuana industry is taking North America by storm, well maybe that happened back in the 60’s, but now the legal marijuana industry is doing it today. Despite the fact that the U.S. Federal Government still considers marijuana a Schedule I substance and therefore illegal, it appears the “pot” movement is taking hold as 29 U.S. States have already legalized the use of medical marijuana and another eight have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

This movement has drawn the attention of everyday investors and those on Wall Street. Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of small, risky, marijuana investments pop up. The sheer number of options has been overwhelming and very risky for average investors to get involved with, but that is all changing very quickly.

In the spring of 2017 the first marijuana ETF, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ), debuted. This was investors first chance to buy into the industry without taking on ‘single-stock’ risk in a very fragmented and risky industry.

The big issue though with HMMJ is that it is a Canadian ETF and thus it trades on the Toronto Stock exchange. That means for U.S. based investors it was either difficult, as in their online broker wouldn’t allow them to buy the investment, or very expensive, as in $60 per transaction (that is $60 trading commission to buy and $60 to sell it). Continue reading "A Few Marijuana ETFs For U.S. Investors"