Friday, December 20, 2013

7 Hot Reads for Friday ... and 1 Christmas Video

This is the last full trading day before Christmas (because if you expect to get anything done on Monday you're kidding yourself).  We're at the start of the holiday sillly season.

Here's what I'm reading today.

The grand total of bills signed into law in the 113th Congress is 58. That’s the lowest one-year output since at least 1947, and only the tiniest fraction of the 6,366 bills introduced by lawmakers, according to House and Senate records.

2. Shanghai Gold Exchange Contract Volume Surges on Price Slump

“Quite a number of investors in China have been waiting in the wings for a bargain-hunting opportunity,” said Liu Xu, senior analyst at Capital Futures Co. in Beijing. “Volumes also jumped as some investors, who had bought before the Fed meeting betting on an inutile-gesture from the Fed, had to close out their positions now.”

3. What Will Be The Biggest Economic Stories of 2014? Some good ideas here; it's well worth the read.

4. Obama and the Democrats Are Mussolini-Style Corporatists, Just Like the Republicans
"Obamacare IS corporatist. Here we have the industries that are significant contributors to why the American medical system is so overpriced – the health insurers and Big Pharma – actually playing a major role in writing the legislation.

"And how is it not a sop to large companies to have the government require that citizens buy your product or else pay large tax penalties? Mr. Market certainly thought so, for the price of health insurer and drug company stocks jumped the day the ACA passed. And remember, the beneficiaries of Obamacare extend beyond the insurers and pharmaceutical makers. Hospitals, who increasingly engage in oligopoly pricing (most surgeries need to be done in hospitals), also come out even stronger."

5. GDP Growth Kicks Into Higher Gear. I included this chart in a Gold & Resource Trader issue I sent out today ...

My comment on the chart: "The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today that real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1% in the third quarter of 2013 (that’s the change from the second quarter to the third quarter).  In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.5%.

"So, it seems that the economic momentum in the US economy shifted into higher gear in the third quarter."

6. Silver Bells May Soon Be Ringing
They say that a bell never rings at the top and the bottom of the market. But there’s some real jingling going on in silver right now. And it may just be the start of something big. Could you profit from it? Yes!

7. Investing in Diamonds 2014. "We have seen a further increase in demand from our Chinese investors for high grade Fancy Color Diamonds ...  We have noticed as well that there has also been a stable increase in demand for smaller Fancy Color Diamonds, mainly in yellows, and other various colors for jewelry by the ever growing middle class, which is predicted to grow three-fold in the next decade. This translates into over 750 million people, or twice the full population of the USA. This does not include the similar increase from India, where similar growth will also occur."

8. I'll close out with a Special Christmas Edition of "Between Two Ferns" hosted by Zach  Galifianakis, with guests Tobey Maguire, Samuel L. Jackson, and a musical appearance by Arcade Fire.

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