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Gold gains as Donald Trump warns of a “big fat bubble” in stocks
by Blanchard Coins | December 21, 2015

Gold continues to surprise Wall Street with renewed strength just days after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

Bullion rose almost 1% Monday, hitting almost $1,080 and building on a 1.4% move higher Friday. That day also saw bullion holdings in the biggest gold-linked exchange-traded fund, the GLD, grow almost 3% to 648.92 metric tons.

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg survey of 28 traders and analysts found that 17 think gold prices will rise in 2016 and reach a median estimate of $1,200.

“A lot of risks” across globe: U.S. economic data remain mixed at best, with the Fed’s index of national economic activity falling to six-month lows. Meanwhile, the global economy continues to sputter, with the Bank of England suggesting that it’s in no hurry to follow the Fed by raising its own benchmark rate.

“What happens in the U.S. doesn’t erase what’s happening in the rest of the world, where there is still accommodative monetary policy which should be good for gold,” Simona Gambarini of Capital Economics told Bloomberg. “There are a lot of risks out there and so there’s a need for diversification into gold at a central bank level and retail level.”

Also boosting gold’s allure are U.S. equities, which have clearly been struggling in the wake of the Fed’s rate increase. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump reiterated his warning about the stock market last week.

Bursting bubble won’t be pretty, Trump says: “Remember the word bubble? You heard it here first,” he said. “I don’t want to sound rude, but I hope if it explodes, it’s going to be now, rather than two months into another administration. … We could be on a bubble and that bubble could crash and it’s not going to be a pretty picture. The market has gone down big league the last couple of weeks. We could be in a big fat bubble and if that bubble crashes, it’s a problem.”

And it’s not just high-profile public figures who see danger in the financial markets. Respected analysts are weighing in too. Writing Dec. 19, Investment Research Dynamic blogger Dave Kranzler noted: “The Dow Jones Transports Index is down over 18% from its peak last November; the SPDR retail ETF, XRT, is down 15% from mid-July this year; the iShares Biotech ETF, IBB, is down 18% since its high close in mid-July — perhaps ironically one day after XRT closed at its high; AAPL is down 20.3% from its February 23, 2015 all-time high — technically AAPL is now in a bear market; Dow Jones homebuilder/construction index, DJUSHB, is down over 10% from its high close (not even close to all-time high) in August — notwithstanding all the other fundamental headwinds starting blow at housing with full force, hiking interest rates will act like a roadside bomb on the housing market.”

“Very expensive” stock market: No wonder some high-profile analysts are predicting a flat to down 2016 for U.S. stocks. “I think we’re going to have another flat year in the stock market,” Wells Capital Management’s Jim Paulsen told CNBC. “We had a pause this year in the stock market, but it wasn’t a refreshing pause. We didn’t do anything constructive. We didn’t bring down valuations, we didn’t really gut-check investment sentiment. We had a correction, but it was so brief that you reinforced the buy-on-the-dip mentality.”

“The Fed is raising rates in a very sluggish, mediocre, global economy,” added Lindsey Group chief market analyst Peter Boockvar. “At the same time, asset prices over the past six years have gotten very expensive. … What we’ve seen over the past couple of months is just a dress rehearsal for next year.”

As good as it gets?: Mizuho Securities chief economist Steven Ricchiuto observed that “what (Fed chief) Janet Yellen told everyone the other day was that ‘this is as good as it’s going to get.’ That’s a problem because ‘as good as it’s going to get’ has left us with an overvalued market,” he said.

And Index Futures Group CEO Jack Bouroudjian warned that a 20% to 30% correction is possible. “We are in the final stages of the first leg of a great bull market, maybe one of the greatest ever,” he said. “The market always gives you warning signals. It’s best to heed those warnings and adjust accordingly.”

Adjusting accordingly is simple: Make sure that your portfolio includes a prudent allocation of gold and silver bullion as well as rare coins. If stocks correct sharply in the coming year as the Fed withdraws monetary stimulus, it makes sense to load up now on precious metals, which already have fall from all-time highs and tend to rise when equities fall.


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