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Market Recap 1/29/10

1/29/2010 03:38:00 PM, Posted by APMEX, No Comment

Home sales took another significant hit in December, raising worries about the housing market's ability to recover once government support begins to wane. Single-family home sales fell 7.6%, following a 9.3% plunge in November, according to an article by Jeff Bader and Sara Murray in the Wall Street Journal. “The new-home market continued to wilt late in 2009,” said Mike Larson, an analyst at Weiss Research Inc. “The buyers who are willing and able to buy are flocking to cheaper, distressed, ‘used’ homes.”

This week, the Senate voted for a second four-year term for Ben Bernake, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. This vote came on the heels of weeks of continued criticism of the Fed Chairman by certain Members of Congress.

“The intense scrutiny of Mr. Bernanke's record underscored risks to the Fed's cherished independence to change interest rates without political interference,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Federal Reserve insisted this week that the economy is starting to recover, but it is still fragile enough that the Fed decided to leave interest rates at record low levels. As a result, the dollar saw gains, causing the stock markets to rally. This activity in the stock market caused the consolidation in precious metals and other commodity prices. Many investors, not convinced that the recession is over, are taking advantage of this consolidation, buying gold at much lower prices compared to recent highs.

Also this week, APMEX featured an unheard of “Gold at Spot” sale. Perth Mint colorized fractional gold coins were offered at spot through an email to APMEX customers. “People really responded to the rare opportunity to buy gold coins at spot. No other precious metals company is in the position to successfully do this kind of sale. We sold out of a huge supply of fractional gold coins in about 6 hours,” remarked Mike Garofalo, Vice President of APMEX.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,093.50. The high during the week was on Monday, January 25th, at $1,104.00, while the low for the week was $1,072.90 and it occurred on Friday, January 29th. Gold ended the week down $10.70 at $1,082.80. This week, the most popular gold items included Australian Gold Lunar Coins, Gold American Eagles and 1 oz. .9999 Pamp Suisse Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $17.06. Silver reached a high of $17.23 on Monday, January 25th, while the low for silver occurred on Thursday, January 28th, at $16.01. Silver ended the week down $0.80 at $16.26. 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds and 2010 1 oz. Silver Maple Leafs were the most popular silver items for sale at www. APMEX.com.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,543.40 and ended the week down $40.40 at $1,503.00. Popular platinum products this week included 1 oz. Scotia Bank .999 Fine Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse .999 Fine Platinum Bars and Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $430.00 and ended the week down $14.40 at $415.60. 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars, 2009 Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs MS-69 NGC and Random Year 1 oz. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs remain popular with palladium investors.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will examine the American Gold Buffalo coin.

The United States Mint introduced the American Gold Buffalo coin in 2006. The coin’s design is borrowed from the famous Buffalo Nickel created by famed American sculptor, James Earle Fraser. The obverse depicts the iconic Native American Indian Head design, while the reverse features the classic buffalo design with inscriptions of the weight, denomination and gold content.

American Gold Buffalo Coins are the first .9999 fine, 24-karat gold coins ever struck by the United States Mint. They are available to investors seeking to invest in a 24-karat gold coin that has its fineness and purity guaranteed by the United States Government.

APMEX offers a great selection of American Gold Buffalo coins dated during the current year and in several prior years in brilliant uncirculated and proof condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 20 or more will be delivered in mint sealed protective plastic sheets.

Market Recap 1/22/10

1/22/2010 03:05:00 PM, Posted by APMEX, No Comment

This week was a shortened trading week for the U.S. markets, due to a federal holiday on Monday.

Stocks slid for the third straight day Friday based on dissatisfaction over companies’ earnings and uncertainty about the President’s plans to limit the size of big banks and to end some of their risky trading practices. The Dow Jones industrial average also saw its largest two-day drop since June.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Ma., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be done away with.

“This committee will be recommending abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their current form and coming up with a whole new system of housing finance, that’s the approach rather than the piecemeal one,” Frank said.

The government released unemployment figures for December, showing an increase in unemployment rates in 43 states. The rise in job losses was a quick change from November, when 36 states reported falling unemployment rates. “A lot of states that had started to add jobs (in November) gave up those gains in December,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director at Moody’s Economy.com. Delaware, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina reported record highs for jobless rates in December.

APMEX sales were very strong this week, due to the retreat in the price of gold. “Customers have taken advantage of the corrections in the price of gold, seeing the opportunity to buy low,” said Mike Garofalo, Vice President of APMEX.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,130.70. The high during the week was on Tuesday, January 19th, at $1,140.50, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, January 22nd, at $1,080.90. Gold ended the week down $37.20 at $1,093.50. This week, Gold American Eagles, Perth Mint Fractional Gold and 2009 1/10 oz. South African Gold Krugerrands remain in the forefront of investor’s minds.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $18.46. Silver reached a high of $18.80 on Tuesday, January 19th while the low for silver occurred on Friday, January 22nd, at $16.86. Silver ended the week down $1,41 at $17.05. This week, the most popular silver items included 1 oz. Silver American Eagles, 2010 1 oz. Silver Maple Leafs and 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,621.50 and ended the week down $69.00 at $1,552.50. Platinum American Eagles, 1 oz. Credit Suisse Platinum Bars and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars were popular with platinum investors this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $451.00 and ended the week down $17.80 at $433.20. Popular palladium products this week included 2009 Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs MS-69 NGC, 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Random Year 1 oz. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will examine the Austrian Philharmonic Gold coin.

First minted in 1989, the Austrian Philharmonic Gold coin was the most popular selling gold coin in the entire world during 1992, 1995 and 1996, according to the World Gold Council. Elegant is the perfect word to encompass this lovely and unusual coin. These exquisite coins were created as a tribute to the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest musical ensembles in the world.

A harmonious design of musical instruments represents the world famous orchestra on the reverse of this gold coin. The obverse depicts the Great Organ of the Golden Hall in Vienna's concert hall. Many collectors and investors consider this to be one of the most beautiful designs of all gold bullion coins. The Austrian Philharmonic coin is struck in .9999 fine gold and is available in 4 sizes: 1 ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce and 1/10 ounce. There is even a very special limited-edition 20-Ounce Philharmonic Gold coin available in very small quantities worldwide.

APMEX offers a great selection of Austrian Philharmonic Gold coins dated during the current year and in several prior years in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 10 or more will be delivered in mint tubes, and orders of 500 or more come in sealed mint boxes when available.

Market Recap 01/15/10

1/15/2010 03:07:00 PM, Posted by APMEX, 2 Comments

The stock market saw significant losses this week as multiple companies reported fourth-quarter losses for 2009, including earnings bellwether Alcoa. “The aluminum giant posted a narrower loss but missed expectations, sending jitters through the market,” according to MSN Money.

In a report released this week by the U.S. Department of Labor, there were nearly 6.4 unemployed workers, on average, for each available job at the end of November. That number is a record high and it is up from 6.1 unemployed workers per job reported in October. When the recession began in December 2007, there were only 1.7 people without jobs for every opening, according to the Associated Press.

This week, the Fed said demand for loans either continued to decline or weakened further in much of the United States. Also, credit quality was still deteriorating and financial institutions in districts including New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland said loan delinquencies were on the rise.

This week, APMEX received very favorable reviews and high marks on the National Inflation Association’s website (http://inflation.us/), where a number of online precious metals dealers were rated. This unbiased review was launched by the NIA at the request of NIA Members seeking reputable online precious metals dealers.

Since the release of the APMEX “Gold Silver” iPhone application last week, over 6,000 iPhone and iPod Touch users have downloaded and installed the app. Ratings have been high and consumers have been reviewing the app with great positive comments. “This application is cutting edge,” said Mike Garofalo, Vice President of APMEX. “Mobile applications and hand-held computing is the wave of the future. APMEX is positioning itself to be the precious metals leader of the 21st Century.” The APMEX “Gold Silver” app not only provides live precious metal spot prices, but also displays up-to-the-minute BUY and SELL pricing on 40+ of the most popular bullion products at www.APMEX.com.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,139.00. The high during the week was on Monday, January 11th, at $1,163.00, while the low for the week occurred on Wednesday, January 13th, at $1,118.50. Gold ended the week down $7.50 at $1,131.50. This week, Gold American Eagles, 2009 1/10 oz. Gold Krugerrands and 2009 1/10 oz. Gold Canadian Maple Leafs remain in the forefront of investor’s minds.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.50. Silver reached a high of $18.85 on Monday, January 11th, while the low for silver occurred on Tuesday, January 12th, at $18.22. Silver ended the week down $0.04 at $18.46. This week, the most popular silver items included 1 oz. Silver American Eagles, 2010 1 oz. Silver Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,577.50 and ended the week up $21.60 at $1,599.10. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Credit Suisse Platinum Bars and 1/2 oz. Platinum American Eagles were popular this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $428.00 and ended the week up $22.80 at $450.80. Popular palladium products this week included 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars, 1 oz. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs and 10 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars.


Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will look at the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin. Silver Maple Leaf coins are some of the world’s most recognizable silver bullion coins. First minted in 1988 and struck every year since, the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins contain one troy ounce of pure silver. They are minted in .9999 fine silver, making them one of the purest of all silver dollar-sized coins. These Maple Leaf coins are magnificently designed, with attention to every intricate detail. This has made the Silver Maple Leaf coin highly desirable by investors and collectors alike.

On the obverse, or front, there is a depiction of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse, or back, depicts the national symbol of Canada – the Maple Leaf. These stunning coins are backed by the Royal Canadian Mint for their purity, content and fineness.

APMEX offers a superb selection of Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins in a variety of dates and special designs as produced by the Mint. Current dated coins purchased in quantities of 25 or more will be delivered in special mint tubes and quantities of 500 or more coins are shipped in the special Royal Canadian Mint boxes.

Market Recap 01/08/10

1/08/2010 04:13:00 PM, Posted by APMEX, No Comment

The stock market opened this week with a rally due to manufacturing gains in China and the United States. The market finished the day at its highest level since October 1, 2008, according to MSN Money. While precious metal prices and energy stocks led the way the rally was very broad.

But the market rally was short-lived, as the Labor Department issued a report showing the economy lost 85,000 jobs in December. The number of job losses was higher than expected and rekindled worries about the reality of an economic recovery. The overall unemployment rate was unchanged at 10% and according to David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors, “the economy continues to take three steps forward and two steps back.”

In a speech to the American Economic Association in Atlanta, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended Fed moves during the recession and continued by saying, “the central bank has to be open to increasing interest rates to prevent future bubbles.” Due to this uncertainty, gold ended higher as it snapped a string of five weeks of losses. Nervousness about the possible economic recovery and the possible timing of interest rate increases “boosted the appeal of the metal as an alternative asset,” according to DailyWealth.com.

APMEX is very excited to start the New Year off with the release of its FREE iPhone Application. This new application not only provides live precious metal spot prices, it displays up-to-the-minute BUY and SELL pricing on 40+ of the most popular bullion products at APMEX.com. You can hold all of this information in the palm of your hand, and it comes from one of the most trusted online precious metal dealers in the nation.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,099.00. The high during the week was on Wednesday, January 6th, at $1,141.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, January 4th, at $1,093.80. Gold ended the week up $40.00 at $1,139.00. This week, 1 oz. Gold American Eagles, 2009 1 oz. Gold Buffalo Coins and Random Year 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs saw significant sales volume.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $16.96. Silver reached a high of $18.53 on Friday, January 8th, while the low for silver occurred on Monday, January 4th, at $16.90. Silver ended the week up $1.54 at $18.50. This week, the most popular silver items included 1 oz. Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds and 2010 1 oz. Silver Maple Leafs.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,477.20 and ended the week up $105.80 at $1,583.00. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Scotiabank Platinum Bars and ½ oz. Platinum American Eagles were popular with platinum investors this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $409.85 and ended the week up $22.55 at $432.40. Popular palladium products this week included 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars, 1 oz. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs and 10 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will examine the South African Gold Krugerrand. It was the first gold bullion coin ever struck by any nation. These coins were originally minted in 1967 to help South Africa sell some of its vast gold reserves to investors around the world. The Krugerrand was also the world’s first gold coin that weighed exactly 1 Troy ounce and many worldwide investors purchased them to add a precious metal investment to their portfolios. These beautiful coins are struck in 22-karat gold and weigh just over one ounce. The additional metal is a copper alloy that was used to make the coins harder and more resistant to scratches. They have been minted continuously since 1967.

On the obverse, or front, of these coins is a portrait of Paul Kruger, the last President of the Republic of South Africa. The reverse, or back, of this coin depicts a Springbok Antelope, a beautiful creature that is one of South Africa’s national symbols. The name "Krugerrand" is a combination of Paul Kruger’s name and the word "rand" which is one of the monetary units of South Africa. These attractive coins are backed by the government of South Africa for their purity, content and fineness.

APMEX offers a great selection of South African Krugerrands dated the current year and in several prior years in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 20 or more will be delivered in special tubes.