11 October 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins

"Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. Lacking any other purpose in life, it would be good enough to live for their sake."

Garrison Keillor, The Prairie Home Companion

I spent much of the afternoon picking up my in-laws from Ohio from their cruise up the East coast. So I missed some of the antics, in New York and Washington.

They were on a 'fall foliage' cruise that left a couple of weeks ago from Port Liberty, but this year the leaves are turning late. If they are falling here it has been from a recent lack of rain. And they tell me that they did not see the leaves turning color on the cruise until they reached Quebec. Even in Maine, in the coastal cities at least, autumn's paintbrush has not yet been unleashed.

We loved to visit Quebec City. We used to drive up there by car every other year or so. The city is beautiful and the people are cordial and most often kind. And the drive up to Montreal was always a nice one particularly in the autumn. We often stopped for an overnight at Lake George.

I have literally never been to Maine. Their cruise stopped in Portland, Rockland, and Bar Harbor. They had a nice time at each place, and again, the people and the atmosphere is wonderful. And apparently the price and quality of the lobsters is equally impressive. For that I miss my days as a computer science student in Boston.

When I was a little boy I kept my 'treasures' in a small cedar box with Bar Harbor Maine on it. It was a souvenir from my parent's honeymoon. The queen and I had intended to take a long drive that way after retirement, but it never really worked out that way. As Thomas à Kempis noted long ago, man proposes, but God disposes.

Stocks were rising today, but I won't call it a rally so much as a quiet rising in a quiet market. Gold and silver also caught a bid and managed to creep back towards the resistance levels from which they were recently turned back.

I have been thinking of how gold and silver might react if there were a seasonal downturn in the stock markets, perhaps in reaction to some catalyzing event. I think it will depend on the cause and nature of the decline. This presupposes of course that there will be a decline. I am sure we are comfortable with forecasts of permanent prosperity.

Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity's problems stem from a man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Someone should have that made into a plaque, and place it prominently on Donald Trump's desk.  Or perhaps at his bedside, or wherever it is he decides to put his fingers to the keyboard.

Have a pleasant evening.