Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy Gold in a While
Published January 28, 2016

Bank stocks are slumping.

Wells Fargo (WFC), the largest U.S. bank, has fallen 11% this year. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the second largest, has fallen 14%. Bank of America (BAC), the third largest, has plunged 21%.

And those are just the household names…

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index, which tracks 87 large U.S. financial stocks, has dropped 12% this year. For comparison, the S&P 500 has dropped 8%.

On Monday, Bloomberg Business reported that financial stocks are off to their worst start in years.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index has tumbled 11 percent in 2016, putting it on track for its worst month in more than four years…

More than $360 billion of market value has been wiped out of financial companies in January, more than all but one month since data began in 1990.

•  The performance of banks says a lot about the health of an economy…

Banks make money by loaning money to businesses and real estate buyers. The more good loans a bank makes, the more interest paid to the bank.

But when an economy is doing badly, demand for loans falls. Also, when an economy is doing badly, some borrowers don’t pay loans back in full. This increases the cost of bad loans…which is one of a bank’s biggest expenses. This eats away profits from the bottom line.

When the economy slows, people cut back on extra expenses like vacations. People shop less. There are fewer dollars around at the end of each month, so less money ends up in the bank…giving the bank less money to loan out.

Since banks “touch” almost every aspect of the economy, bad performance by banks is often an early sign that the economy is turning down.

•  While bank stocks are down big, bank profits are still solid…

JPMorgan Chase’s profits jumped 10% from the prior year…Bank of America’s rose 9%…and Wells Fargo’s were flat. You’d expect to see much worse results in an industry where stocks are breaking down. This likely means investors are expecting bank profits to shrink soon. Markets tend to “price-in” things before they happen.

Bloomberg Business reports:

Commercial and industrial loans have flat lined in recent weeks after steadily climbing throughout 2015…Growth in such loans offers investors an idea of potential interest income, as C&I loans typically produce more revenue for banks than parking funds in cash or Treasuries.

Bloomberg Business also explained that banks are bracing for losses on oil loans.

Bigger-picture uncertainties are weighing on the group, not least of which is how wounds at energy companies will bleed into this sector. Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan and Wells Fargo have set aside more than $2.5 billion to cover souring energy loans and will add to that if oil prices remain low.

The price of oil has plunged 70% since June 2014. Yesterday, oil closed at $32.

Energy consulting company Wood Mackenzie estimates $1.5 trillion worth of oil projects in North America can’t make money even at $50 oil. With oil at $32 today, the value of money-losing projects has likely climbed above $2 trillion.

Many oil companies are struggling to pay back loans. Credit rating agency Fitch expects 11% of U.S. energy bonds to default this year. That would be the highest default rate for the energy sector since 1999.

This is bad news for banks that have loaned money to oil companies.

Chart of the Day 

Gold has climbed to a three-month high.

Yesterday, the price of gold closed at $1,125 an ounce, its highest level since November. Gold is also up 6.1% since the start of the year. U.S. stocks are down 8% in the same period.

Today’s chart shows that gold is “carving out a bottom”…

On Monday, we explained why “carved-out bottoms” are important. An asset carves out a bottom when it stops falling…forms a bottom for a period of time…then starts climbing higher. A stock that’s carving out a bottom should hold above a certain price for a period of time. This is a key signal that buyers are stepping in at this price, giving it a floor.

Buying an asset that has carved out a bottom is much less risky than buying an asset that’s trending down.

As you likely know, gold has been in a downtrend since 2011. However, since November, gold has stopped going down. It has held above $1,050. This is a clue that gold prices are heading higher.

Casey readers know we own gold because it preserves wealth over the long-term. We try not to get caught up in its daily price movements.

However, gold is at a potential “turning point” today. If you’ve been meaning to buy gold, now’s a good time.

These articles are provided for informational purposes only and were obtained from publicity available sources on the Internet. These articles do not constitute financial advise or trading recommendations by Global Asset Management ("Global"). Global neither warrants the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in these articles, undertakes to update them, nor is it responsible for any omission or error contained in these articles. Viewers are encouraged to conduct, and should only rely on, their own independent research.
The purchase or sale of precious metals involves substantial risk and volatility. If you are contemplating purchasing and/or selling precious metals, you should consult with an independent financial advisor to learn about the inherent risks. Global does not render, and nothing in this website should be construed as, financial advise, a trading recommendations or a solicitation for the purchase or sale of precious metals.

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