Tag: middle

Gold, Silver Prices Today Rise to 30-Year High on Unrest in Middle East

Ongoing unrest in the middle east is causing investors to push up the price of gold and silver today, with silver reaching a 30-year high, and palladium also rising to its highest levels in 10 years.Physical demand for gold in the middle east has been skyrocketing, increasing 39 percent in the fourth quarter, according to World Gold Council, as locals in the region see the potential for

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ABC Bullion Blog: Stocks fall, oil, gold, silver rise as Mideast …

Filed in Bank Gold, Gold, o, silver by on February 16, 2011 0 Comments

In what may become the common theme of 2011 yesterday stocks fell while Brent Crude topped $104 and gold and silver headed back to their former highs of last year. The cause? More unrest in the Middle East. …

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The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class

Filed in BP, Debt, economy, Ford, Gold, GOld juniors, inflation, Lear, o, recession, silver by on February 16, 2011 0 Comments
The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class

Here’s a copy of the chart of the day.As you might have suspected, the rich get richer while everyone else basically gets to tread water. The article that follows once again drives home a point I have been harping on for years now: The Middle Class in a state of terminal decline. And when it vanishes for good, America will be a very different place. If you ask me, in a lot of ways it already is…. From CNNMONEY by Annalyn Censky entitled: How the middle class became the underclass “ Are you better off than your parents? Probably not if you’re in the middle class. Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it’s not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed. In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data. Experts point to some of the usual suspects — like technology and globalization — to explain the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. One major pull on the working man was the decline of unions and other labor protections, said Bill Rodgers, a former chief economist for the Labor Department, now a professor at Rutgers University. International competition is another factor. While globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in developing nations, it hasn’t exactly been a win for middle class workers in the U.S. Factory workers have seen many of their jobs shipped to other countries where labor is cheaper, putting more downward pressure on American wages. “As we became more connected to China, that poses the question of whether our wages are being set in Beijing,” Rodgers said. Finding it harder to compete with cheaper manufacturing costs abroad, the U.S. has emerged as primarily a services-producing economy. That trend has created a cultural shift in the job skills American employers are looking for. As a result, the disparity between the wages for college educated workers versus high school grads has widened significantly since the 1980s. In 1980, workers …

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Brent Crude at $104 per Barrel on Spreading Mideast Unrest

Filed in commodities, Gold, Lear, New Gold, o, Spot Gold by on February 15, 2011 0 Comments
Brent Crude at $104 per Barrel on Spreading Mideast Unrest

Filed under: China , Middle East , Commodities , Oil When it comes to the biggest threat to world economies, oil scarcity is second only to nuclear war. What started in Tunisia, then spread to Egypt has now spreading to Bahrain and Iran, where protesters are clashing with police. In Iran, lawmakers are threatening death to protesters. The fear of chaos spreading across the Middle East has sent the oil market into overdrive. Brent crude traded at $104 per barrel Tuesday. Continue reading Brent Crude at $104 per Barrel on Spreading Mideast Unrest Brent Crude at $104 per Barrel on Spreading Mideast Unrest originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 15 Feb 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Three Garbage Stocks

Three Garbage Stocks

The market goes up everyday… This two-year chart represents the thirty varsity players on the U.S. economic court. You might look at this 100% gain in two years and think that this bull market is overdue for a correction. But don’t worry. Uncle Ben, our fair Chairman over at the United States Federal Reserve, has it all in hand. This is not the time to fret over debt, inflation, taxes, or unemployment… Don’t fight the Fed This market is simple. The Fed is pumping liquidity into the market at an unprecedented rate. There is an old Wall Street platitude that says “Don’t Fight the Fed.” It means you buy stocks when interest rates are dropping and sell when they are going up. The current Fed fund rate is at 0.25%. It can’t get much lower, and no one expects them to hike rates in the near future. What are you waiting for… zero percent? People heed the Bernanke It looks like folks just like you and me are putting the hard times behind them… The adjusted retail numbers for December showed $380.9 billion in sales, an increase of 0.6 percent from the previous month, and 7.9 percent above December 2009. Total sales for 2010 were up 6.6 percent. For the fourth quarter, they were up 7.8 percent. Car sales jumped 14.7 percent over last year. For non-store retailers like Amazon, sales jumped 15 percent. The unofficial numbers for January show a 4.1 percent gain from a year ago. This is great stuff. Amazon investors liked it so much that the company now trades at twice the price it did during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Amazing. ~~SIGNUP_WD~~ The screen It’s a good idea to screen for stocks at least once a week. I generally screen for low P/E, small market capitalization, and good dividend. From there, I go through the list and look for red flags and growth potential. I like the companies that are under $250 million in market value, with high future growth and fat margins. I also look at debt ratios. I call these “garbage stocks” because they ain’t for widows and orphans, but they tend to run under the right circumstances. Today, three companies in the retail sector popped up on my screen. All three shared my garbage stock credentials. And they have something else in common: They cater to the petite bourgeois. They are Books-A-Million (NASDAQ: BAMM), Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT), and CPI Corp. (NYSE: CPY). The merchant of Wal-Mart All of these companies sell products to the middle class, but none of their products are necessities… Books-A-Million runs 223 discount bookstores in the Southeastern United States. Collectors Universe provides third-party authentication, grading, and related services for rare collectibles like coins, trading cards, and sports memorabilia. CPI runs Wal-Mart Portrait Studios and PictureMe Portrait Studios. BAMM has a market cap of $92 million and a trailing P/E of 6.62. The company had a negative revenue growth of 5.5% year over year, but it does pay a fat 5.2% dividend. (They could also be a beneficiary of Barnes and Noble going bankrupt.) CLCT has a market cap of $109.34 million, a P/E of 6.6, gross margins of 60%, quarterly revenue growth of 8%, and a dividend yield of 9%. CPY has a market cap of $152 million, a P/E of 8.06, 8% margins, a flat quarterly revenue growth, and a 5.10% dividend yield. …

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The Egyptian intifada and what it may mean for Israel/Palestine

Filed in Gold Spot Market, lead, o by on January 29, 2011 0 Comments

The Egyptian uprising against the Mubarak regime is historic and important in its own right. But it may also lead to significant changes in the region that could be positive for the Palestinian cause. Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door. The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that completely ignores the wishes and aspirations of people on the ground. The U.S. and Israel are scared of the new order that is to come.

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Oil Price Fantasy: The True Cost of Crude

Filed in Gold, Gold Market, ubs by on September 21, 2010 0 Comments
Oil Price Fantasy: The True Cost of Crude

Like most Americans, I often wonder what the world would look without our dependency on the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. Of course, this has always been something of a national fairy tale… But it’s still fun to fantasize. Ever since the gas lines of the 1970s, Middle Eastern oil has become the ultimate global hobgoblin— a thorn in the foot of the industrialized world. And every day this geographic lottery treats us to a never-ending stream of bad news from an area of the world that we will never completely understand — or conquer. Without the region’s abundance of black gold, I think I can safely say that what is happening in the Middle East would be as interesting to us as what’s going on in, say, Borneo. By the way, the big news in Borneo these days is that wildlife rangers have successfully rescued a few endangered Pygmy elephants that recently went astray. While this news may be interesting to some folks, most Americans could probably care less. And I think that’s how most of us would feel toward the majority of news coming out of Syria, Iran, and the places in between— if it weren’t for the size of those oil fields. Absent the crude, it would be a giant and collective: “Who cares?” or, “Saddam Hussein? Never heard of him… ” The true cost of oil But that’s simply not the hand the industrial world has been dealt. By fate, the majority of oil is in places where instability is something of a way of life. And while I do understand that oil is not the only reason we involve ourselves “over there,” I think we all instinctively understand that crude is at the root of it all. But hey— so long as the price of a gallon of gas is still under $2.90, most people live with the devil in the details. After all, if there’s one thing that nearly every American driver makes his or her business, it’s the price of gas… I don’t know about you, but I can easily name at least 10 people who routinely drive across town to save a penny or two at the pump. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. But what if I told you— or them— that this “bargain gas” is nothing more than a mirage, since it doesn’t actually capture all of the input costs? Would that change your mind about a few things? That’s because the price of a barrel from the Middle East is the real fantasy here. Its spot price may be about $74/barrel; but the reality is that the true cost of a barrel is much, much higher— we simply pretend that it’s not. How much higher , you ask? Try $469.00 per barrel higher, if that crude comes from the Persian Gulf… That means that the true cost of a barrel of Middle Eastern oil is not $74 as is widely believed; but a hefty $543.00 — or 7.3 times its spot price. …

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Poll: Vast majority opposes attack on Iran

Filed in Bank Gold, gld, Gold Spot Market by on September 17, 2010 0 Comments

Two-thirds want US to be neutral in Israeli-Palestinian conflict Americans increasingly accept torture, survey finds Fewer than one in five Americans would support a US military strike on Iran if the Middle Eastern country continued to pursue its nuclear program in the face of international sanctions, a new poll indicates.

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Consumer Sentiment Falls In August

Filed in Gold Investing by on September 17, 2010 0 Comments

Another weak consumer confidence report for August. From Dow Jones:Consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level since August 2009 as of the middle of September. The preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for the current mont…

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Obama Appoints Warren an Adviser to Shape New Consumer Agency

Filed in Gold, obama by on September 17, 2010 0 Comments

– President Barack Obama appointed Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren an adviser to help shape the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling her “one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class.”

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Israel’s shameless mouthpiece

Filed in Bank Gold by on August 29, 2010 0 Comments

In yet another revealing speech, this time delivered at a symposium at IDC University in Herzliya, Tony Blair has exposed himself for what he truly is; not a “peace envoy” by any stretch of the imagination but a shameless mouthpiece for the State of Israel. Just days before direct negotiations are due to take place in the Middle East, in which he is supposed to be taking a neutral stance representing the Quartet (UN, EU, Russia and the USA), Blair has taken it upon himself to set aside any pretence of impartiality and reaffirm his “passion” for Israel.

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Der Spiegel: US middle class vanishing

Filed in gld, Gold, lead, recession by on August 22, 2010 0 Comments

Press TV August 22, 2010 According to an article appearing in the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, the negative consequences of the global financial crisis include a widened social class rift and the elimination of the middle class in the US. The article states that many Americans are beginning to realize that the American Dream has now become a nightmare as people are having to face the bitter reality of a shrinking job market along with decades of stagnating wages and dramatic increases in inequality. More than a year after the official end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate remains consistently above 9.5 percent. But this is just the official figure. When adjusted to include the people who have already given up looking for work — or are barely surviving on the few hundred dollars they earn with a part-time job and having to use their savings to supplement their income — the real unemployment figure jumps to more than 17 percent. Having A Supply Of Healthy Foods That Last Just Makes Sense In its current annual report, the US Department of Agriculture notes that “food insecurity” is on the rise, and that 50 million Americans were unable to buy enough food to remain healthy at some point last year. One out of every eight American adults and one out of four children now survive on government food stamps. These are unbelievable numbers for the world’s richest nation Last week, leading online columnist Arianna Huffington issued the almost apocalyptic warning that “America is in danger of becoming a Third World country.” In a recent cover story titled “So Long, Middle Class,” the New York Post presented its readers with “25 statistics that prove that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.”

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