Gold and oil prices slump
Strong earnings this week from some powerful companies have bolstered optimism in an economic recovery.
Friday (January 21) morning, General Electric said its fourth-quarter net income was $4.5 billion (compared to $3 billion in the same quarter last year), which amounts to $.42 per share (compared to $.28 cents in the same quarter).
These signs of stability have contributed to lower commodities prices to close out the week.
After spending much of the last two weeks above $90 per barrel, light sweet crude futures currently trade at $89.57 per barrel on the New York NYMEX. This is down two cents from Thursdayâ€™s settle price.
Gold prices are relatively flat in early Friday trade at $1,345.20. Sellers are taking a breather after the price of an ounce of gold fell hard from Wednesdayâ€™s close at $1,370.50 to $1,345.60.
Gold is down over $75 in just three weeks after reaching $1,421 on December 31st. Gold has been the stalwart investment product throughout the struggling economy.
What remains to be seen is whether gold buyers are simply taking a break, leading to a corrective pullback, or whether a long-term trend is developing on signs of an improving global economy.
The dollar has not benefitted much this week as it remains relatively down against major currencies, most notably the euro.
Benefitting from the belief that European Union members are still in a good position to support struggling economies, the euro currently fetches its near-term high price of $1.3583.
Speculators that are avoiding commodity buys or perhaps leaving those positions appear to be moving into equities and other higher risk investments.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is moving ever closer to a meeting with 12,000. The index currently sits at 11,865.06 in late morning New York trade.
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