news.goldseek.com >> 15 March 2017

What’s preventing the Dow from exploding?
By: Clif Droke

The stock market has once again entered a period of consolidation as investors wait for the results of the most important legislative decision of the year. The fight to repeal and replace Obamacare has taken the spotlight as Congress debates the passage of legislation that would eliminate its most burdensome aspects for businesses and individual taxpayers alike.

 news.goldseek.com >> 23 February 2017

Another bubble? Bring it on!
By: Clif Droke

Anytime the Dow makes a new high you can be reasonably assured of hearing the B-word bounced around in the media. Memories of the last bubble are still vivid and painful enough to trigger flashbacks of the bubble’s collapse. It’s only natural then that investors fear a return of irrational exuberance. Despite these fears, the evidence of a newly formed bubble is surprisingly lacking, as we’ll uncover here.

 news.goldseek.com >> 14 February 2017

The bull market no one believes in
By: Clif Droke

The stock market continues to make new highs, yet none of the signs which accompany a market bubble are evident. Investors are asking, “When will the Dow finally correct?” By “correct” they mean “decline.” However, a market correction doesn’t always entail a decline for the major averages and can sometimes take the form of a lateral consolidation or trading range. That appears to be the case for the 2-month period from December through early February when the Dow and SPX made little headway.

 news.goldseek.com >> 6 February 2017

The danger of being bearish in a bull market
By: Clif Droke

One of the biggest contributors to losses for traders in the financial market is the temptation to sell short. Borrowing shares of a company that are not owned by the seller in the hopes of making a massive profit has shipwrecked more traders than probably any other factor. With stories abounding of the quick and easy profits to be made in selling stocks which are supposedly on the verge of plummeting, it’s no wonder that the allure of “shorting” is so irresistible to so many.

 news.goldseek.com >> 2 February 2017

Why stock market analysts will be wrong about 2017
By: Clif Droke

We’re already a month into New Year and there has been an ample amount of sentiment data to suggest that investors, both retail and institutional, aren’t terribly enthusiastic on the stock market outlook for 2017. Granted that institutional analysts are still bullish, as per usual, but in the round table type opinion polls I’ve seen they’ve apparently lowered their expectations. Everyone seems to be preparing for a somewhat disappointing year based largely on the assumption that after eight years of a bull market, surely another major rally is out of the question.

 news.goldseek.com >> 19 January 2017

Dow 20,000: A new beginning…or the beginning of the end?
By: Clif Droke

After touching the benchmark 20,000 level last month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has spent the last five weeks in a tight, narrow trading range just under this level. Famed trader Jesse Livermore theorized in his pseudonymous book, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, that stocks are attracted to major round number levels. In the case of the Dow, the 20,000 level has generated more press and speculation among investors than any number since the formerly mythical 10,000 level was crossed in 1999. Clearly Dow 20,000 carries a tremendous psychological significance, even if it’s a simple case of self-fulfilling prophecy.

 news.goldseek.com >> 12 January 2017

Biggest challenge of 2017 directly ahead for gold, stocks
By: Clif Droke

If you thought the pace of the head-spinning political events of the last two months couldn’t get any faster, think again. One of the most critical decisions of President-Elect Trump’s reign will soon be decided. The final verdict will have a direct impact on the direction of stocks, gold, and the economy in the months to come.

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 January 2017

2017: Year of extremes
By: Clif Droke

Now that another New Year is upon us, it’s time to reflect on what the coming months might unfold. Normally when market analysts try their hand at predicting the year ahead it involves either wild guessing or linear extrapolation based on prevailing trends. I tend to eschew both methods and instead focus on comparing past events in comparable time frames. This method is based on something known as Kress cycle “echo” analysis and was pioneered by my late mentor, Samuel J. Kress.

 news.goldseek.com >> 13 December 2016

Why collapse isn’t on the menu
By: Clif Droke

The word “collapse” instantly conjures primal feelings of both fear and excitement whenever we hear it. We fear it because it evokes our collective belief that collapse is fatal and final, yet it excites our imagination to the possibility, however, remote, that perhaps we’ll be among the lucky few to survive and even prosper from it.

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 December 2016

The great middle class revolt gets bigger
By: Clif Droke

With the U.S. presidential election now behind us, many investors feel they can finally breathe easy again after a nail-biting period of uncertainty since last year. The rally in the major equity market indices since Nov. 9 has been in large part a relief rally of sorts and has been broad-based. The sell-off in bonds has also been an indication of this collective relief.

 news.goldseek.com >> 30 November 2016

Will real estate tank in 2017?
By: Clif Droke

Like most financial assets, home prices have been stuck in a sideways trend since 2014 and by all appearances weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The chart shown here from the Calculated Risk blog shows the CoreLogic Home Price Index from a yearly percentage change standpoint. The dramatic increase in the tax and regulatory burden courtesy of the outgoing regime contributed to this standstill. In the last several months it was the uncertainty over the November presidential election which contributed to subdued speculative activity in the financial markets.

 news.goldseek.com >> 16 November 2016

U.S. economy at major long-term pivotal point
By: Clif Droke

As the dust settles from the U.S. presidential election, multitudes of political analysts and news commentators continue to scratch their heads wondering “what went wrong?” The collective question they’re asking of course is in reference to the candidate who was elected President. This is the wrong question to ask, however. What they should be asking is what led millions of (mostly) middle class voters to rise up against the favored establishment candidate and voice their disapproval with the incumbent party. As is normally the case with anything relating to politics, the answer is to be found in the realm of economics.

 news.goldseek.com >> 27 October 2016

The next big catalyst for stocks/commodities
By: Clif Droke

We’re about to enter that time when financial commentators offer up their best guesses as to what investors can expect in the Near Year. It always makes for fun reading, but it also never fails to disappoint. Instead of engaging in that tired exercise in futility, investors would do better to focus on something more productive. And that would be next year’s most likely catalyst for stock and commodity prices.

 news.goldseek.com >> 6 October 2016

Will the bull market remain intact in 2017?
By: Clif Droke

The question confronting investors right now is whether the lateral trading range in the major indices represents consolidation of the long-term uptrend, which precedes an eventual upside breakout from the range? Or does it represent distribution (i.e. selling) which precedes an eventual breakdown of the trend?

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 September 2016

Will Deutsche Bank collapse the global market?
By: Clif Droke

Could a Deutsche Bank collapse serve as the catalyst for a 2008-type global credit storm? When analyzing this question one must be very careful from making dogmatic statements since no one (especially an outsider to the international banking industry) can possibly know all the variables involved. There are, however, some guidelines that can help us understand the position of the broad market vis-ŕ-vis the effects of an ailing global institution. These guidelines should allow us to at least handicap the odds of a global financial meltdown.

 news.goldseek.com >> 20 July 2016

Is Kyle Bass finally getting his revenge?
By: Clif Droke

One of America’s most prominent hedge fund managers is betting the farm that China’s economic troubles are far from over. His bet centers around the U.S. dollar and by extension several Asian currencies. What happens to the dollar from here will determine whether this man’s epic trading positions pays off, and China suffers a major setback, and whether his worst case scenario for the global economic outlook is merely a mirage. If he’s right, the outcome of his bet will also affect the commodities market and perhaps even the equities market.

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 July 2016

Why the bears should be scared
By: Clif Droke

The last year has been a scary time to be an investor. In 2015, the slowdown in China’s economy caused undue apprehension to investors and contributed to a nausea-inducing rollercoaster ride which began last July and has continued until now. By the end of 2015 low energy prices were taking a toll on the high yield debt market, which in turn catalyzed another stock market swoon. Although the decline wasn’t severe, the January 2016 market panic ended with the biggest spike in bearish investor sentiment since the 2008 credit crash.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 May 2016

How Strong Is The Economy Really?
By: Clif Droke

In the six years since the recovery began, there has been endless debate over the strength of the U.S. economy. There are basically two sides of the debate. Those taking the positive side maintain the economy has almost returned to its pre-crisis levels and is on a firm footing. The opposing camp maintains that while the upper classes are in fine shape, the middle class is still hurting from the residual damage inflicted by the housing bubble implosion and credit crash. Is one side entirely mistaken or is there truth to both assertions?

 news.goldseek.com >> 21 April 2016

Candidates confirm: No crash this year
By: Clif Droke

The market opinions of high-profile public figures are always as fascinating as they are instructive. Most public figures have only an elementary grasp on the financial markets; this is doubly true for politicians and political candidates. In instances when these figures make public predictions about the market it’s almost a guaranteed contrarian bet that they’ll be wrong.

 news.goldseek.com >> 14 April 2016

The Millennial Moment and the global crisis
By: Clif Droke

The doom-and-gloomers would have us believe that since the credit crash and Recession, the U.S. has entered a period of terminal decline. They further preach that with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, our country’s best days are behind it. What they’ve failed to realize is that Millennials will be gradually transitioning into the economy to pick up the slack left by the exiting Boomers. Indeed, this younger generation is poised to deliver a much needed stimulus to the economy once the long-wave generational cycle kicks into full gear.

 news.goldseek.com >> 7 April 2016

Roadblocks to a full-fledged bull market
By: Clif Droke

Since bottoming in February, the stock market “tape” has been very constructive. The NYSE advance-decline (A-D) line led the rally off the February lows, which is the first thing we look for when judging the strength of a bottom. Even more importantly, the cumulative NYSE new highs-new lows indicator continues to climb off its bottom of a few weeks ago and is advancing on a daily basis (below). Internal momentum, as reflected in the highs-lows, also remains positive.

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 March 2016

Trump vs. the stock market
By: Clif Droke

The broad equities market has gotten a respite from the selling pressure which plagued it for the last few months. Some of this can be attributed to the Kress cycle “echoes” which we reviewed earlier this year. The echoes, which are based on the 6-year, 10-year, and 30-year cycles, suggested that stocks could experience a rally in the March-April time frame based on past rhythms. To date that expectation has materialized as traders cover short positions that were built up to excessive proportions in prior months.

 news.goldseek.com >> 15 February 2016

A 2008-style meltdown in 2016?
By: Clif Droke

As the global market crisis continues, the danger posed by this crisis to the U.S. economy continues to be underestimated by economists and central bankers. A report recently showed that U.S. job openings surged in December and the number of American voluntarily quitting work hit a nine-year high. According to the report, this data points to “labor market strength despite a slowdown in economic growth.”

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 January 2016

Could the unthinkable happen in 2016?
By: Clif Droke

The most important question investors should be asking at this point isn’t whether the secular bull market which began in 2009 is over, but whether continued equity market weakness in 2016 will lead to the unthinkable, namely an economic recession. A recession in 2016 has been deemed virtually impossible by most mainstream economists, so much so that all discussion of this possibility has evaporated. And while most U.S. economic data categories are still admittedly strong, the persistent weakness under the surface of the equity market over the last several months demands that the topic be reexamined.

 news.goldseek.com >> 29 December 2015

Santa Claus rally or the start of something bigger?
By: Clif Droke

Returning to the broad market outlook, a New Year’s rally largely depends on continued improvement in the internal condition of the NYSE. The most important indicator of NYSE broad market health is of course the new 52-week highs and lows. When traders and fund managers return from the holidays next week, we’ll have a much better idea of what the market’s near-term direction is likely to be since this will tell us whether the recent contraction in new 52-week lows is a holiday-related aberration or the start of internal recovery.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 December 2015

Reversing the damage of global austerity
By: Clif Droke

A significant undercurrent of internal weakness is plaguing the NYSE broad market. This weakness is primarily visible in the dangerously high numbers of stocks making new 52-week lows. Lately that number has exceeded 300 on a daily basis, though it has been above 40 for the last few months in a sign that the market’s health is less than optimal. The best way of showing this internal weakness is in the following exhibit which graphs the cumulative new 52-week highs and lows on the NYSE.

 news.goldseek.com >> 4 December 2015

The cycle of debt release
By: Clif Droke

To many investors cycles are the holy grail of the financial market. Many investors have devoted years to the study of them. Some have even claimed to have found the ideal cycles for consistently predicting price movements. What no one can seem to agree upon is exactly which cycles are most accurate for anticipating market moves. But what all studies of the cycles share in common is an unshakable conviction that cycles hold the answers for what is coming in the future.

 news.goldseek.com >> 19 November 2015

Has Deflation Been Defeated?
By: Clif Droke

The last 15 years have been among the most turbulent on record. Since the year 2000, America has experienced two recessions (including a near depression), two stock market crashes, numerous selling panics, two terrorist attacks, and one of the slowest economic recoveries on record.

 news.goldseek.com >> 5 November 2015

The bear indicator never lies
By: Clif Droke

In the September 10 column entitled, “The bear makes a welcome return”, we discussed the return of the infamous bear image on the front cover of several news magazines and newspapers. The most conspicuous example of the bear could be seen on the front cover of Businessweek magazine, shown below.

 news.goldseek.com >> 30 September 2015

What could reverse the global market decline?
By: Clif Droke

Falling stock and commodity prices around the world are underscoring a change of fortunes for the global economy. As the shockwaves from Europe, China and the developing markets spreads, there is a growing sense among investors that the U.S. might be the next casualty of the global slowdown.

 news.goldseek.com >> 18 September 2015

Halloween came early this year on Wall Street
By: Clif Droke

The Federal Reserve guessing game ended Thursday after the FOMC made its decision on interest rate policy. The Fed left rates unchanged in a tip of the hat to investors who felt the economy was vulnerable to overseas weakness. This was what most on Wall Street wanted, although there was a sharp intraday reversal after the announcement (apparently a case of buy the rumor, sell the news).

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 September 2015

The Bear Makes a Welcome Return
By: Clif Droke

The S&P 500 Index had its worst August since 2001, while the Dow’s 6.6 percent drop was its biggest since declining 15 percent in August 1998. Most investors consider the September-October period to be the witching months for equities, but the past month was a painful reminder to many of them just how bad August can sometimes be.

 news.goldseek.com >> 12 August 2015

Will the stock market return to earth this summer?
By: Clif Droke

What accounts for the equity bull market’s stubborn refusal to bend to the bears’ will despite a clear lack of internal strength? That’s the question investors are asking right now in what has been a grinding, directionless stock market this summer. The answer to that question is simple to answer, yet complex when you look below its surface. Corporate funds are driving this bull market much more so than direct participation by small retail investors.

 news.goldseek.com >> 7 August 2015

The myth of gold price manipulation
By: Clif Droke

How eager are gold bugs to believe their ill fortune over the last four years is the result of sinister forces rather than a lack of prudence on their own part? The answer is easily seen in the writings of gold commentators over the last few months. References to organized manipulation and an official conspiracy to suppress the gold price abound among many analysts and their followers.

 news.goldseek.com >> 28 July 2015

Is the gold price manipulated?
By: Clif Droke

One of the most commonly held beliefs among gold investors is that the market for gold is heavily manipulated. It has become an article of faith among gold advocates that the price is subject to direct control by government, central banks and other parties who have a vested interest in depressing the gold price. In this commentary we’ll explore this belief and try to arrive at a firm conclusion as to its veracity.

 news.goldseek.com >> 12 July 2015

Greece and China: heralding a new bear market?
By: Clif Droke

What started out as typically sluggish summer week quickly morphed into an extremely eventful one. In just the last five days we witnessed the intensification of the Greek debt roller coaster, the bursting of a mini-bubble in Chinese equities, a temporary shutdown of trading on the NYSE, and a brief but meaningful pullback in U.S. equities. And to think the summer is still young!

 news.goldseek.com >> 21 April 2015

Is the death of the U.S. bull market imminent?
By: Clif Droke

A common refrain from commentators over the last year or so is that the bull market in U.S. equities is “long in the tooth.” The very use of this phrase implies a market which has reached a stage of decrepitude from which only bad things can result. “Long in the tooth,” in other words, implies the imminent demise of the bull and the birth of a new bear market.

 news.goldseek.com >> 19 March 2015

The double-edged sword of a strong dollar
By: Clif Droke

Until the latest pullback on Wednesday, the U.S. dollar index had been on a rip-and-tear for most of this year. Earlier this week the dollar hit a new multi-year high as concerns over Europe and China have fueled foreign interest in U.S. assets. The greenback’s relentless strength is also a cause for concern among investors who fear that a stronger dollar will erode corporate profits this year. Since much of the bull market of the last few years was based on the bull market in corporate profits, this point is being taken seriously by Wall Street pros. It’s also worth examining in this our latest installment.

 news.goldseek.com >> 4 March 2015

The psychology of a sideways trend
By: Clif Droke

In my 20 years in the financial industry I’ve concluded that nothing exerts as profound an impact on mass psychology (to say nothing of investor psychology) than a prolonged sideways trend in equity prices. Why this should be is open for debate, but I have what I believe are valid insights. In highly developed capitalist nations such as the U.S. the stock market is the single biggest barometer for measuring the collective expectations for the business and economic outlook among all participants.

 news.goldseek.com >> 19 February 2015

The fear factor meets the Year Five Phenomenon
By: Clif Droke

Despite continued front-page fears over Greece’s threatened exit from the euro and the military encroachments of the terrorist group known as ISIS, investors apparently aren’t sufficiently worried enough to sell equities. If anything, adage about the “wall of worry” has been the driving force behind recent equity market gains as the front-page fears have been largely ignored.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 February 2015

The end of the 1-year sideways trend
By: Clif Droke

Investors are starting to feel numb by the lack of action in the broad market. Since December, the Dow and SPX have settled into sideways trading ranges. The NYSE Composite (NYA) has been range-bound since last summer while the Russell 2000 (RUT) has been stuck in a lateral ranges for the past year. While trading ranges don’t necessarily result in the loss of capital, its effect on the minds of market participants tend to be significant. Trading ranges are frustrating. When trading ranges become established over a period of months the effects upon investor and mass psychology can even be devastating.

 news.goldseek.com >> 5 February 2015

Long-term relationship between gold, oil challenged
By: Clif Droke

Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief this week after a case of the jitters the last couple of weeks. Fears over a deflationary plunge in the euro zone had sparked an increased demand for safe haven assets, including gold and silver. The decline to multi-year lows in the crude oil market as recently as a few days ago also fed into investors’ desire for safety. In the last couple of days, however, those fears have at least momentarily abated as the oil price has rallied while Treasury prices and the U.S. dollar have declined. Consequently, gold and silver safe haven demand has declined in recent days.

 news.goldseek.com >> 23 January 2015

Global QE and the gold price
By: Clif Droke

After months of waiting, the European Central Bank (ECB) finally carried through with its stated promise of unlimited monetary support to its ailing economy. The ECB announced its own version of quantitative easing (QE) on Thursday, a move which lifted the dark clouds that have recently hung over financial markets.

 news.goldseek.com >> 15 January 2015

Will the oil crash spell ruin for stocks?
By: Clif Droke

Talk of deflation was overheard on the Street as a few analysts quoted by the news wires mentioned the D-word. One reason for the recent equity market weakness is the uncertainty among investors as to whether lower oil prices are ultimately beneficial or detrimental for the economy. In one camp are those who maintain that lower oil prices will boost consumption; on the other side are those who claim that plummeting energy prices can only lead to outright deflation. Because neither side has a decisive majority right now, equities are caught in the imbalance of opinion which explains much of the recent volatility.

 news.goldseek.com >> 6 January 2015

Deflation and the year ahead
By: Clif Droke

Stocks were hit by selling pressure on Monday as the S&P 500 (SPX) declined 1.83% and the Dow 30 shed 1.86%. The energy sector bore the brunt of the selling with the NYSE Oil Index declining 4.61%. Crude oil prices also dropped nearly 5% for the day to close at 5 ˝-year lows. Fears that Greece may exit the euro zone are being blamed on the latest broad market decline. Upcoming elections in Greece have spooked many investors, who feel that the country’s exit from the euro zone would be disastrous.

 news.goldseek.com >> 21 December 2014

A look ahead into 2015
By: Clif Droke

With 2014 winding down, now would be a convenient time to discuss the prospects for the financial market and economy in 2015. Year 2014 was in some respects a tumultuous year; from the slowdown in Europe and China to the collapse in oil and ag commodity prices, the deflationary undercurrents of the 60-year cycle was apparent this year. The long-awaited bottom of the 120-year cycle of deflation was finally made in October, and aside from some residual weakness still evident, the cycle bottom was a successful one.

 news.goldseek.com >> 9 December 2014

The war cycle: 2015 and beyond
By: Clif Droke

This year witnessed the bottom of one of several components of the 120-year cycle of inflation and deflation. The cycle to which I’m referring is the 24-year cycle. Of particular relevance is that this cycle answers to the cycle of war. Since 1894 when the previous 120-year Grand Super Cycle bottomed and a new one began, there have been four military conflagrations at each subsequent bottom of the 24-year cycle. Most of these wars have been major in scope.

 news.goldseek.com >> 25 November 2014

A brand new 120-year cycle
By: Clif Droke

Last month kicked off a new long-term Kress cycle. The Kress cycle, which answers to the Kondratief wave of inflation/deflation, is responsible for the overall climate of economic and financial market conditions in the U.S. This long-term cycle also influences the course of central bank monetary policy by creating the conditions which the Federal Reserve must tailor its policy response to.

 news.goldseek.com >> 21 November 2014

Investor sentiment in the balance
By: Clif Droke

As several market technicians have pointed out recently, price oscillators and sentiment indicators for the U.S. stock market point to an excessively “overbought” condition, both technically and psychologically. To take just one instance of how overstretched the market has become, take a look at the following chart which shows the SPX in relation to its 200-day moving average. The 200-day MA is widely followed by small investors and big money managers alike.

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 November 2014

Why the Congressional elections won’t change anything
By: Clif Droke

The recent mid-term elections gave Republicans control of both the House and the Senate. Many economists and investment strategists are cheering the Republican takeover since they believe it will mean positive changes ahead for the U.S. economy. If history teaches us any lesson, however, they are likely to be disappointed.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 November 2014

Why a strong dollar is the ultimate stimulus
By: Clif Droke

Earlier this year commodities prices were fairly buoyant thanks in part to strong demand in Asia. The strength didn’t last long, however, and by summer weakness was evident in Europe and China. Global growth slowed considerably in the months leading up to October, when oil plunged below $90/barrel for the first time since 2012. Apart from weakening global demand and the growth of energy supplies (thanks to fracking), the strengthening U.S. dollar has accelerated this trend.

 news.goldseek.com >> 31 October 2014

Gold prices in the post-QE world
By: Clif Droke

Lacking a distinctive catalyst, gold prices have languished in recent weeks after a failed turnaround attempt earlier this month. Gold’s primary form of price propulsion is fear and uncertainty; as long as investors are worried what the future might hold, gold is treated as a financial safe haven and its price tends to appreciate due to increased demand. When investors aren’t worried, however, gold is typically ignored and risk assets (viz. equities) become the preferred choice.

 news.goldseek.com >> 22 October 2014

The inevitability of QE
By: Clif Droke

A swan dive in commodity prices followed by the latest stock market correction has investors talking about the “D word” once again. References to deflation abound in the news while economists seriously discuss the possibility of a global economic recession. What, they ask, will it take to arrest the slowdown in the euro zone and China and prevent its coming to U.S. shores? Why central bank intervention, of course!

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 October 2014

Revenge of the Kress Cycle
By: Clif Droke

Throughout most of 2014, economists were convinced that the threat of deflation had been successfully bypassed thanks to Fed intervention. Indeed, many celebrated economic forecasters have been loudly cheering the mostly solid-looking economic data throughout most of this year. But as Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

 news.goldseek.com >> 16 September 2014

Can gold finally recover?
By: Clif Droke

Gold recently fell to its lowest level in seven-and-a-half months as the dollar rose to a 14-month high. Easing tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East also acted as a drag on gold and silver prices. Investors have been asking the obvious question as to whether gold can recover from here and if a bottom of at least short-term duration is imminent?

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 September 2014

Will Europe’s woes hurt the U.S. economy?
By: Clif Droke

The U.S. economy has so far shown remarkable resilience in the face of several roadblocks year. It has shrugged off the threat of wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, has ignored the tapering of QE, and has been generally unfazed by every other obstacle in its path, whether real or imagined. Now, however, another threat looms in the horizon and poses a much bigger threat than previous challenges.

 news.goldseek.com >> 7 September 2014

The coming trading range breakout
By: Clif Droke

Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the NASDAQ, this year has been a tough one for many investors. The relative lack of volatility, combined with the underperformance of small cap stocks, has kept many portfolios unchanged for the year to date. To give you an idea of what 2014 has been like for some investors, checkout the following graph of the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index (RUT). Clearly, the lateral trading range action of small cap stocks, which comprise a substantial portion of many portfolios, has been a frustrating experience.

 news.goldseek.com >> 3 September 2014

A new 10-year cycle begins soon
By: Clif Droke

Among the components of the 60-year economic super cycle due to bottom this fall is the 10-year cycle. It is this cycle which is the core component of the super cycle and is responsible for this year’s financial market behavior. The upcoming bottom of this cycle, followed by the commencement of a new 10-year cycle, will also herald a major opportunity for investors in the coming 1-2 years.

 news.goldseek.com >> 26 August 2014

A look at the coming 30-year inflation cycle
By: Clif Droke

The upcoming bottom of the 60-year cycle will drastically alter the U.S. economic landscape. The ending of the long-term disinflationary/deflationary undercurrent will soon give way to a new long-term cycle of re-inflation/inflation, bringing with it both challenges and opportunities. As we begin a new 60-year cycle, the main challenge for the Federal Reserve will be to resist the temptation to stimulate the economy during periods of sub-par growth. The saying, “Old generals fight the old wars” applies here as the Fed has always had difficulty in discerning the dominant economic undercurrent.

 news.goldseek.com >> 22 August 2014

Deflation’s final curtain call (part 2)
By: Clif Droke

As the 60-year cycle enters its final few weeks of descent, a few conclusions can be made. We can also make some projections as to what the foreseeable future might hold based on the upcoming bottom of this important economic cycle.

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 August 2014

Deflation’s final curtain call
By: Clif Droke

Gold has once again begun to assert its safe haven value after the recent drop in equity prices. Last week’s Argentina bond default scare coupled with rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine have combined to spook global equity markets. On Thursday NATO warned that Russia was preparing to send 20,000 troops into eastern Ukraine under the pretext of a humanitarian mission to save separatist rebels. Due to these concerns gold’s value has risen to a 2-week high. Gold’s rally is all the more conspicuous in light of the recent rally in the U.S. dollar index.

 news.goldseek.com >> 28 July 2014

Will crashing commodities crash the stock market?
By: Clif Droke

There are some analysts out there who maintain that the precipitous decline in commodity prices this year bodes ill for the stock market. Witness for example the dramatic drop in the price of corn. Below is a chart of the Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN), a proxy for corn futures. As you can see, corn prices are at multi-year lows right now. This is ironic given that the mainstream media assured us earlier this year that higher ag commodity prices were on the way.

 news.goldseek.com >> 22 July 2014

Will Argentina’s debt crisis rock the global markets?
By: Clif Droke

One of the recurring headlines adding to the “wall of worry” is the battle between U.S. hedge funds and the Argentina government over payment of the country’s bond debt stemming from the country’s 1998-2002 economic crisis. Pundits worry that a default is imminent and that the country faces a bleak future if fails to pay hedge fund managers $1.3 billion by a court-mandated July 30 deadline.

 news.goldseek.com >> 18 July 2014

Is it 1999 all over again?
By: Clif Droke

Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and NASDAQ 100 (NDX) remain above their rising 30-day and 60-day moving averages as of Thursday, July 17, there are a couple of negative signs among the major indices. One such area of weakness is the small cap stocks. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index (RUT) has recently made a negative divergence when compared with the other major indices.

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 July 2014

Three cheers for the fear trade!
By: Clif Droke

The long-anticipated summer rally for the precious metals (PM) sector gained strength this week even as the U.S. broad market stumbled. The recent plunge in small cap stocks isn’t an unrelated phenomenon, however; it’s one of the reasons behind the rally in the PM sector. In this commentary we’ll examine the main drivers behind the latest push to multi-week highs for gold and silver.

 news.goldseek.com >> 2 July 2014

Will overseas volatility hit U.S. shores?
By: Clif Droke

While the U.S. indices have been mostly upbeat, most of the action has been in Europe. Stocks across several European exchanges were hard hit last week as investors overseas panicked over a slate of negative news – the same news, ironically, that investors in the U.S. blithely ignored. Adding to the dramatic reversal in sentiment, the European Commission reported on Friday an unexpected drop in household and business economic confidence. Economists are also concerned about the threat of deflation since the euro zone inflation rate remains stubbornly below 1%.

 news.goldseek.com >> 19 June 2014

Is VIX beckoning the bear?
By: Clif Droke

The FOMC issued guidance at its Wednesday policy meeting to the effect that interest rates would remain low into the foreseeable future. It further lowered the pace of its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $35 billion per month. The Fed also said it expects the unemployment rate to range between 6.0% and 6.1% for the rest of the year, which is slightly lower than its previous projection.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 June 2014

The summer sell-off scenario
By: Clif Droke

One of the most salient features of the market environment of recent months is the evolution of investor psychology. From March through May, stocks experienced a classic internal correction in which the most overbought and overvalued stocks declined while fairly valued large caps remained buoyant.

 news.goldseek.com >> 4 June 2014

When money printing runs wild
By: Clif Droke

Since the advent of the quantitative easing (QE), the Fed’s unprecedented attempt at reversing the impact of the credit crisis, many long-held beliefs and assumptions have been demolished. One of the most sacred assumptions on the part of investors and economists alike is that central bank money printing always eventually leads to inflation. Yet six years have passed since the Fed first embarked on its historic attempt at reversing the effects of the credit crash and alas, no signs of inflation are on the horizon.

 news.goldseek.com >> 22 May 2014

How bad will the 60-year cycle bottom be?
By: Clif Droke

Of course there will be periodic setbacks and “corrections” that occur over the course of the bull market and we may still witness such a setback this summer before the 60-year cycle bottoms. But the odds that the 60-year cycle will completely derail the bull market are slim.

 news.goldseek.com >> 15 May 2014

No war in year four (so what’s next for gold)
By: Clif Droke

Gold investors are wondering how much longer the metal will remain stuck in the mud as they await the next major “fear catalyst” that will launch a sustainable rally. Gold futures have gone nowhere recently as traders assess the safe haven demand for the metal in the wake of recent economic reports from the U.S., China and Europe.

 news.goldseek.com >> 2 May 2014

The upcoming dawn of the 60-year cycle
By: Clif Droke

The latest action by the Federal Reserve is part of a policy shift, the most important one in fact of the last five years. The Fed’s plan for unwinding its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus coincides with the bottom of the 60-year cycle of inflation/deflation. It couldn’t be happening at a better time and the results will be either very positive or extremely negative, depending on where you stand when the smoke clears.

 news.goldseek.com >> 29 April 2014

The death of deflation
By: Clif Droke

If investors have learned nothing else from the events of the last five years, they’ve at least learned that fighting the Fed doesn’t pay. Indeed, the biggest lesson of all since 2009 is that monetary liquidity is the single biggest determinant of future stock prices. Given a loose enough monetary policy, stock prices will always respond by going higher.

 news.goldseek.com >> 11 April 2014

Beware another recession is lurking
By: Clif Droke

The New Economy Index (NEI) is on the brink of sending its first confirmed “sell” signal in four years. The index is a blend of the leading U.S. retail and business service stocks. NEI is based on the concept that these component stocks are accurate reflections of changes within the real-time U.S. economy (as opposed to the lagging economic statistics favored by the Labor Bureau).

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 April 2014

How will gold respond to global deflation?
By: Clif Droke

With economies slowing down in China, Japan, Eastern Europe and other regions of the globe, many investors wonder if 2014 will deliver another global deflationary epidemic. As I’ll explain in this commentary, the next six months has the potential to be the most exciting period for investors since the 2010 financial crisis in Europe.

 news.goldseek.com >> 2 April 2014

A look at the 4-year presidential cycle
By: Clif Droke

For all the bullish 2014 expectations among Wall Street analysts, few if any consider the impact of the long-term cycles. After all, it’s in late 2014 when several major long-term yearly cycles are scheduled to bottom in unison, from the widely followed 4-year cycle to the well-known 10-year cycle and on to the even bigger 40-year and 60-year cycles. Each of these cycles tends to stamp its unique presence on the stock market when they bottom individually. How much more then can we expect to feel their presence when they’re bottoming contiguously?

 news.goldseek.com >> 27 March 2014

A preview of the next global crisis
By: Clif Droke

Investors dodged another bullet recently as geopolitical instability temporarily subsided after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Although U.S. equities have experienced an internal correction since then, most of the damage has been relegated to over-extended tech stocks that were in need of a pullback.

 news.goldseek.com >> 13 March 2014

Bearish banks help fuel gold’s meteoric run
By: Clif Droke

Just when you thought the last of the big institutional banks were ready to throw in the towel on their bearish metal forecasts, yet another one has joined the ranks of the gold bears. Morgan Stanley was the latest to enter the fray on Monday when it lowered its gold price forecast for 2014 and 2015 in a research report. The group based its lower forecast on the expected impact of reduced monetary stimulus combined with increased regulatory pressure on investment banks to reduce the scale of proprietary commodities trading.

 news.goldseek.com >> 6 March 2014

The deflationary effects of the crashing Kress cycle
By: Clif Droke

Stocks came under selling pressure on Monday in the wake of renewed concerns over geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe. An escalation of tension between Russia and the Ukraine led to a plunge in Russia’s stock market, which in turn had a spillover effect on U.S. equities.

 news.goldseek.com >> 28 February 2014

The deadly undercurrent of deflation
By: Clif Droke

Despite the overall positive state of U.S. equities and the improvements in the retail economy, the stealth enemy known as deflation is still lurking in the shadows. Consider the following graph of real disposable income, courtesy of Zerohedge.com. This shows the true underlying state of the real economy and is a testament to the continued presence of deflation.

 news.goldseek.com >> 21 February 2014

The counter-intuitive gold play
By: Clif Droke

Gold has so far enjoyed a terrific start to the New Year, most recently closing at its highest level late October 2013. It has even succeeded in closing above its psychologically significant 200-day moving average for the first time in over a year. In summary, gold futures have risen over 12% through Feb. 18, reversing its biggest annual drop in over three decades. It also hit a three-month high on Tuesday. Holdings in ETFs backed by bullion increased by 3.2 metric tons last week – the greatest amount since December 2012 – after slumping 869.1 tons in 2013, when prices were down 28%.

 news.goldseek.com >> 18 February 2014

Gold’s comeback and Bitcoin’s silent crash
By: Clif Droke

It’s the tale of two assets: gold, which was largely shunned by investors for most of last year, has made an impressive comeback in recent weeks. Meanwhile Bitcoin, the white-hot “investment” of 2013, has lost value in recent weeks and threatens to violate an important long-term trend line. Gold made its return to the headlines after exceeding the psychological $1,300 level for the first time since November. Trading volumes have hit their highest level since May as U.S. investors gradually awaken to the attractiveness of gold in the near term.

 news.goldseek.com >> 7 February 2014

Will 2014 be another 2008?
By: Clif Droke

One of the biggest problems for the stock market entering 2014 was the near unanimous belief on Wall Street that stock prices would only go higher this year. Indeed, you had to look a long way to find even a hint of bearishness at the start of the year.

 news.goldseek.com >> 31 January 2014

Why the 40-year cycle is bad news for stocks
By: Clif Droke

Lost among all the bullish predictions for the 2014 market outlook is a salient fact that few Wall Street analysts are aware of. What they fail to realize is that the powerful 40-year cycle bottoms later this year. Just how powerful is the 40-year cycle? Well consider that in the previous 120 years the 40-year cycle bottom has never failed to produce a major market decline. From the decline in late 1894 to the corrective pullback of 1934 to the devastating decline of 1974, the 40-year cycle has always made its presence felt in the stock market.

 news.goldseek.com >> 23 January 2014

What could go wrong for stocks – and right for gold – in 2014
By: Clif Droke

Are investors too bullish on the stock market’s prospects for 2014 and too bearish for gold’s? It would certainly seem that way based on the near unanimity of analyst consensus. Most institutional analysts have published bullish forecasts for equities in 2014 and a bearish, or at least cautionary, outlook for gold. The favorable forecast for stocks and bearish gold outlook is based on the assumption that deflation remains at bay for the coming year.

 news.goldseek.com >> 17 January 2014

How Washington is ruining the recovery
By: Clif Droke

Columnists and newsletter writers are tripping over themselves to describe what they collectively believe will be a bullish year for stocks and the economy in 2014. They point to the Fed’s artificially low interest rates and continued commitment toward a lower unemployment rate as key reasons why the party will continue in the coming year. They also believe that government intervention both at home and abroad will produce a sixth year of recovery.

 news.goldseek.com >> 10 January 2014

Surprising hedge fund plays of 2014
By: Clif Droke

A number of hedge fund managers have already begun to make waves at the start of the New Year. In this commentary we’ll look at a couple of areas where hedge funds have taken big stakes and which could have major repercussions in the year ahead.

 news.goldseek.com >> 8 January 2014

Stock market outlook for 2014
By: Clif Droke

Stocks sagged on Monday as the annual “Santa Claus rally” season came to an end last week. As Stock Trader’s Almanac points out, “Santa Claus tends to come to Wall Street nearly every year, bringing a short, sweet respectable rally within the last five days of the year and the first two in January.” Santa Claus did indeed appear on Wall Street this time around but was a bit stingy compared to the previous five years.

 news.goldseek.com >> 6 January 2014

Bitcoin’s prospects for 2014
By: Clif Droke

Is it a bubble or mania destined for collapse? Or can it beat the odds and become a viable alternative to the dollar? That’s what many are wondering about Bitcoin, the electronic currency which has captured the Internet world’s imagination. Many observers have dismissed the e-currency as a passing fad – a flash in the pan destined to suffer the same fate as break dancing and Beanie Babies. This conclusion is far too simplistic, however. Due to the complexities of the new currency the Bitcoin issue demands a deeper analysis.