Government-issued currencies and bonds were all lower this week, but stocks and commodities were mixed. The largest gains were in Bitcoin, which rose 4.9%, more than making up for the prior week's losses. Cotton fell more than any other asset-class, giving up 4.2%.

The US Dollar led the drop in currencies, falling 1.1%. The Japanese Yen fell least, losing 0.7%. Bonds were lower; the short term SHY was down 1.1%, while the long term TLT was off 1.5%.

Major US stock indexes were higher, but the Nikkei 225 was 1.5% lower and the European STOXX was little changed, off 0.1%. In the US, the Dow gained 0.6% and the S&P 500 added 0.4%. Gold stocks had the largest losses in the equity category, falling 3.0%.

Commodities were mixed, with coffee and silver up 1.5% and 1.1% respectively, while cotton and copper fell 4.2% and 3.1%.

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Currencies were all lower this week, but bonds, stocks, and commodities were mixed. Copper was the best performing asset, rising 4.7%. The largest losses were in Bitcoin, which fell 3.5%, giving back almost half of the prior week's gains.

The Euro led the drop in government-issued currencies, falling 2.1%. The US Dollar fell least, losing 1.1%. Bonds were mixed; the short term SHY was down 1.0%, while the long term TLT was 0.4% higher. Both outperformed USD cash.

Major stock indexes were mostly lower, with only the Nikkei 225 rising. After the prior week's 3.5% drop, the Nikkei managed a 0.8% gain this week. Stocks in Europe were the weakest, with the Euro STOXX falling 2.3%. In the US, the Dow fell 0.1% and the S&P 500 lost 0.3%. Gold stocks continued their rise, with the HUI gaining 2.1% to close at 5.54 grams.

Commodities were mixed, with copper and palladium up 4.7% and 3.4% respectively, while cotton and coffee fell 1.5% and 1.4%.

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This week saw government-issued currencies, bonds, and major stock indexes all lower. Commodities were mixed, with precious metals higher, while food and energy were lower. The week's biggest winner was once again Bitcoin, which gained 8.1%. Gold stocks also rose, with the HUI gaining 2.0%. The largest losses were in coffee and copper, down 6.4% and 5.0% respectively.

All national currencies fell, led by the US Dollar, which dropped 2.5%. The Japanese Yen fell least, losing 0.7%. Bonds were also lower; the short term SHY was down 2.6%, and the long term TLT was 3.0% lower. Both were outperformed by USD cash.

Major stock indexes were all down, giving up most or all of the prior week's gains. The decline was led by the Nikkei 225, which fell 3.5%. In the US, the Dow fell 2.6% and the S&P 500 lost 2.4%. Gold stocks bucked the trend and continued their rise, with the HUI gaining 2.0% to close at 5.43 grams.

Commodities were mixed, with only precious metals making gains. Silver and palladium rose 0.9% each, while platinum gained 0.2% to close at 25.4 grams. The largest losses were in coffee, down 6.4%, and copper, which dropped 5.0%. Crude oil finished the week down 1.3%.

Bitcoin, while volatile as ever, has been having a good year so far. In the first few days of the year it closed at new all-time high of 30.2 grams, just 3% below parity with an ounce of gold. A week later, it had fallen to 20.5 grams on concern over a Chinese central bank investigation. Since then, Bitcoin has been gradually working its way higher, and ended this week at 26.1 grams, about 16% below gold parity.

With governments all over the world declaring a war on cash so that they can "fight deflation" (that is, accelerate inflation) by the use of negative interest rates and other voodoo economics, Bitcoin continues to attract more and more users – and this is pushing its price higher. While holding physical gold is an excellent way to preserve purchasing power and keep savings outside the world's corrupted and failing fiat money banking systems, physical metal is expensive to store and transport, and is subject to seizure, especially at borders.

Although it is more volatile than gold, Bitcoin offers an excellent alternative that addresses many of gold's concerns, and may be the better choice for those interested in the mobility of their assets: Bitcoins can be sent anywhere in the world, for almost no cost, with a few mouse clicks, or carried across borders in a "brain wallet" that cannot be seized or stolen. And while volatility is a negative for some, it can also be a positive for traders looking to grow their gold.

2017 may be the year we finally see one BTC buying more than one ounce of gold on a persistent basis.

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This week saw a trend reversal, with almost every asset class rising in value; the lone exception was palladium, which fell 3.9%. The week's biggest winner was once again Bitcoin, which gained 4.4%. Copper and coffee were also strong, rising 3.8% each.

All government-issued currencies were higher, led by the Canadian Dollar, which rose 3.0%, more than offsetting last week's losses. The Chinese Yuan gained least, adding 0.9%. Bonds were also higher, with USD cash up 1.3%, the short term SHY up 1.4%, and the long term TLT up 1.1%.

Stocks were all higher, led by the Nikkei 225, which rose 3.0%. In the US, the Dow gained 2.7% and the S&P 500 gained 2.4%. Gold stocks continued their rise, with the HUI gaining 1.4% to close at 5.32 grams.

In spite of the hoopla over the Dow price in dollars making new highs and closing above 20,000 this week, it is worth noting that measured in gold, the index is actually down 3.3% from one month ago, and down 63% from its all-time highs.

Commodities were mostly higher; only palladium lost ground, falling 3.9% to close at 19 grams. The largest gains were in copper and coffee, up 3.8% apiece. Platinum rose 1.5% while silver was little changed, up just 0.2% at 0.44 mg.

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The last two weeks have seen a steady downtrend in government-issued currencies, bonds, and major stock indexes, along with violent swings in Bitcoin and mixed gains and losses in commodities. This week's biggest winner was Bitcoin, which gained 7.0%, mostly offsetting the prior week's 8.9% drop. Coffee was also strong, rising 1.7% on top of the prior week's 3.2% gain. The week's largest losses were in copper, which gave up 3.2% against the prior week's 4.3% gain.

All government-issued currencies were lower, led by the Canadian Dollar, which dropped 2.2%. The Japanese Yen fell 0.9%. The CNY fell least, dropping 0.2%, but this follows a dismal performance the prior week, where the CNY fell 1.3%, more than any other national currency. Bonds were lower, with USD cash and the 1-3 year SHY each losing 0.8%, and the long term TLT falling 2.0%.

Major stock market indexes were also all lower, led by the Nikkei 225, off 1.7%. In the US, the Dow fell 1.1% and the S&P 500 fell 1.0%. Gold stocks were the only rising equities, with the HUI gaining 0.8% to close at 5.25 grams, about where it closed two weeks ago.

Commodities were mixed; the largest gains were in coffee and palladium, up 1.7% and 1.1% respectively, while the biggest losses were in copper and platinum, down 3.2% and 1.7% respectively. Silver was little changed at 0.44 mg.

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I have been hearing a lot about the Dow Jones flirting with the 20,000 level this week. In fact, on Friday it hit 19,999.63 during the day, but fell back to close at 19,963.80. I'm pretty confident we will eventually see this benchmark reached and surpassed, as we have seen many others in the past: 1,000 in 1972, 5,000 in 1995, 10,000 in 1999, 15,000 in 2013, and so on. The problem with all these "magic levels", and indeed with all USD prices in general, is that they do not use a consistent unit of measure. $1 in 1972 bought a whole lot more gold, silver, oil, gasoline, bread, eggs, taxi fare, or almost anything than $1 did in 1999 or $1 does today. The "Five and Dime" that I grew up with is now the "Dollar Store".

This blog is about gold as a standard of value. Not because gold is perfect, but because it has stood the test of time, both as cash money and as a measure of value, for thousands of years – while hundreds of other currency systems have come and gone. And until 1971, it still underpinned the US Dollar itself, and through the Bretton Woods agreements, it indirectly underpinned all other government-issued currencies as well. After that point, all currencies were cut loose from gold and floated freely against one another, but more importantly, the last tie between money and real stuff was cut, and governments and central banks were finally free to create as much currency as they wanted – without ever having to worry about how they would redeem it for something real.

Certainly the years leading up to 1972 and the Dow breaking the 1,000 barrier were full of ups and downs, but they were real booms and crashes. From 64 in 1921 to 381 in 1929, and back down again into the depths of the Great Depression, for example. Not until 1954 was the 1929 high seen again. And due to the 40% devaluation of the Dollar in 1933, the Dow would not recover its 1929 gold value peak until 1959.

Breaking the 1,000 barrier in November of 1972 was an emotional moment for traders on the floor and investors around the world. It seemed to mark a new era of prosperity, even as, behind the scenes, inflation and recession were preparing to set in. At that time, Dow 1,000 USD meant Dow 482 grams of gold, and through the rest of 1972, the Dow traded between 480 and 500 grams. But early in 1973, things started to come unglued: stock values were falling, but the Dollars used to quote those prices were falling as well (gold prices were rising) eventually pushing the Dow down to an all-time low of 37 grams in 1980. Stocks recovered their value much faster than did the depreciated Dollars. By the time the Dow had regained the 1,000 USD level in 1982, it was still worth only 80 grams of gold.

But stocks, and the economy in general, were on the march… in fact, from those lows in 1980, the largest bull market ever seen was underway. When the Dow hit 5,000 USD in 1995, it was trading for 408 grams – still not recovered to its 1972 value of 482, but more than 10 times its value at the lows of 1980. And by late 1996, it had passed the 500 gram level and was heading for the sky.

And despite a few stumbles, it crossed the 10,000 USD threshold in March of 1999, at 1110 grams of gold, and went on the peak at 11,326 USD, or 1393 grams of gold in August of 1999. As the tech bubble popped, and the plunge protection team pulled out all the monetary stops, stocks once again were falling just as Dollars were also losing value. And all the way down, even when the Dow was rising in USD terms, the value of the USD was falling even faster: the Dow peak of 14,165 in 2007 was worth 600 grams, and at the bottom, in August of 2011, the Dow was worth only 180 grams, and trading for 10,855 USD.

From there, we have been in an amazing bull market, both in stocks, and in the US Dollar. This has pushed the Dow to almost 20,000, and brought its gold value back to about 530 grams – far above the 2011 low, but only 10% above its gold value when it first crossed the 1,000 USD threshold in 1972.

An important question going forward is whether we are now following the trajectory of the early 1980s (on our way to the moon again) or if we are instead channeling the spirit of 1974 to 1977 (a major bear market rally, on our way to a retest of all-time lows). Keep reading these pages to see how this story turns out! But keep in mind that despite today's sky high USD valuation, the gold value of the Dow is roughly the same as it was back in 1972, when it was quoted at 1,000 Dollars for the first time.

The first week of 2017 saw mixed results in every asset category, but currencies were mostly lower, while commodities were mostly higher. The week's biggest winner was palladium, which gained 8.6%. Gold stocks were also strong, rising 6.3%. Bitcoin displayed the most fireworks, shooting up to a new all-time high of 30.2 grams on Wednesday the 4th, then collapsing 21.5% to close the week down 8.1% at 23.7 grams. This drop was blamed by some on a Chinese central bank press release and by others on US speculators, but after almost doubling in the last year, a 22% pullback is hardly out of order, whatever the reason. In fact, Bitcoin could drop to the 18-20 gram level and still be above its rising trend line.

All government-issued currencies except the Canadian Dollar (up 0.3%) were lower, led by the US Dollar, which dropped 1.4%. The Euro fell 1.0%. The CNY fell least, dropping 0.4%. Bonds were mixed, with the 1-3 year SHY losing 1.5%, and the long term TLT closing unchanged for the week.

Major stock market indexes were mixed, with the Euro STOXX dropping 1.1%. while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.8%. In the US, the Dow fell 0.4% and the S&P 500 gained 0.3%. Gold stocks dominated the equities, with the HUI rising 6.3% to close at 5.2 grams.

Commodities were mostly higher; the only exceptions were crude oil, off 0.9%, and silver, down 0.1%. Palladium was the biggest winner, rising 8.6%, followed by platinum, which rose 4.2%. Copper was little changed, up 0.2%.

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The last week of 2016 left most asset classes lower, with two glaring exceptions. The week's biggest winner was gold stocks, which gained 5.4%. Bitcoin also continued to rise, adding another 2.2%, and closing at 25.8 grams. Palladium and silver also rose, but just 0.9% and 0.7% respectively. All other asset classes were lower, led by the S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 indexes, which lost 3.5% apiece.

All government-issued currencies were lower, led by the US Dollar, off 2.4%. The Euro fell the least, dropping 1.6%. Bonds were also lower, with the largest losses going to USD cash, while the 1-3 year SHY lost 2.3%, and the long term TLT fell the least, down 1.5%.

All equities except gold stocks were lower, led by the S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 indexes, off 3.5% each. Among the major indexes, the Euro STOXX were the least weak, dropping 1.6%.

Most commodities fell again this week. Only palladium, up 0.9%, and silver, up 0.7%, showed gains. Weakest were platinum, down 2.2%, and coffee, which fell 1.8%. Crude oil was down 1.1%.

Look for more posts coming this week covering the 2016 year in review, and taking a closer look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average and its path to the 1,000 level in 1972 and its subsequent rise to near 20,000 today. In the meantime, I wish you the very best for 2017!

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The week before Christmas was quiet for stocks, bonds, and most currencies, with few assets outside the commodities changing more than 1%. Bitcoin outpaced all other assets, gaining a whopping 17.5% for the week and closing at 25.2 grams. Palladium doubled down on the prior week's drop, losing another 4.9%, clinching the "weakest asset class" title. Gold stocks performed better than any of the major stock indexes, gaining 2.3%, still a distant second place behind Bitcoin.

The only currency to fall was the Canadian Dollar, which lost 1.1%. Bonds were higher, with the largest gains going to the long maturities for a change. The 20+ year TLT gained 1.1%, while the 1-3 year SHY gained 0.2%, and USD cash was little changed, up just 0.1%.

All equities were higher, led by the HUI gold stocks, which rose 2.3%. Next strongest showing was by the Euro STOXX, which rose 0.9%. The S&P 500 were the weakest equities this week, rising just 0.3%.

Commodities were hit hard this week. Only crude oil, up 2.2%, and platinum, up 0.2%, showed gains. The weakest commodities were palladium and coffee, which fell 4.9% and 4.4% respectively. Copper and silver were also lower, dropping 3.4% and 1.9%.

While you are relaxing and enjoying this holiday week with family and friends, take a few minutes to download the free Mining for Profits ebook, and pick up some strategies and techniques for improving your profits next year. Happy Holidays from Priced in Gold!

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This was a good week for most asset classes, with both the best and the worst performances among the commodities. The big winner was coffee, which added 5.1%, reversing it's multi-week losing streak. Palladium took the biggest hit, falling 4.9%. The Fed's announcement of a quarter point hike in interest rates (which was widely anticipated) gave new strength to the USD, pushing it up 2.8%, more than any other currency except Bitcoin, which rose 4.2%.

The only currency to fall was the Japanese Yen, which lost 0.2%. Bonds were higher, but buyers again showed their distaste for longer maturities, as the 20+ year TLT gained 2.5%, while the 1-3 year SHY gained 2.6%, and USD cash outperformed both by rising 2.8%.

All major stock indexes were higher, led by the Dow Jones Industrials, which rose 3.3%. The Nikkei 225, the weakest of the large cap indexes, gained 1.9%. The HUI gold stocks were once again the only falling equities, down another 4.0%.

As mentioned earlier, commodities were the movers and shakers this week. In addition to coffee's 5.1% gain, crude oil rose 3.6% and cotton rose 3.2%. On the downside, palladium was joined by silver, which fell 2.6%, and copper, which gave back 0.3%.

Just in time for the holidays, my friends at Inflation Domination have created a new FREE eBook called Mining for Profits that includes a chapter from Priced in Gold titled "Investing outside the Matrix", where I look at how and why to use gold pricing to improve investment returns, strategies for counter-party risk free investing, and more. There are also chapters on alternative energy, evaluating mining stocks, and trading strategies for maximizing profits. My chapter includes a link to a bonus video going into detail on how to use gold pricing to supercharge profits when trading the stock market. It's FREE to all readers of Mining for Profits. Take advantage of this opportunity, and let me know what you think. Happy Holidays from the crew at Priced in Gold!

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