What goes up must come down… this was a very rough week, leaving only long term treasury bonds in the black, as the TLT bond ETF rose 1.0%, while all other assets declined. The largest losses mirrored the prior week's largest gains: crude oil fell 11% and European stocks fell 8.8%. UK stocks (not in table) did even worse than their European cousins; the FTSE dropped 9.9%.

The Chinese Yuan outperformed other national currencies, falling just 0.5%. The Yen also did well, giving up just 0.7%. Hardest hit were the Canadian Dollar, which fell 4.3%, and the Euro, which dropped 3.5%. The US Dollar declined 2.9%. US short term treasuries did slightly better, falling 2.8%. Long term bonds were the only rising asset this week; TLT gained 1.0%.

Bitcoin prices were fairly stable until dropping on Thursday to a low of 188.8 grams, then recovered to close the week at 170 grams, off 4.7%. Ethereum followed a similar course, with a low of 4.15 grams and a decline of 4.4%.

Gold stocks declined 2.6%, the best performance among the equities. The European STOXX index fell the most, giving up 8.8%. US stocks were not far behind, as the Dow Industrials dropped 8.3%. Although not in the table, the UK FTSE actually under-performed even the STOXX, sliding 9.9%.

The week's biggest decline was in crude oil, down 11.0%. Copper outperformed other commodities, closing down 1.2%. Precious metals did relatively well, as silver declined 2.6% and palladium slid 2.6%.

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I have recently received some calls and emails asking me to update my long term stock price charts… because they don't show "Great Depression" price levels. Well, I can assure all who are wondering about it that they are indeed up to date. Let's take a look at some low points in past stock index prices, with a focus on the S&P Composite as compiled by Robert Shiller. This data is based on monthly averages, converted from US Dollars to grams of gold.

Click on the chart to download a pdf.

The lowest low in his series occurs in June of 1877 when the S&P hit 3.7 grams. The next lowest point is in January of 1980, at 4.1 grams. The third lowest in August of 1896 at 5.7 grams. And the fourth and fifth lowest points early and late in the Great Depression, June of 1933 and April of 1942, 7.2 grams and 7.0 grams, respectively.

Honorable mention goes to the low of the recession of 1973-1974, 11.2 grams (basically the start of a bull trap embedded in the 1970's bear market) and to the post financial crisis low of 2011 at 20.3 grams.

So where are we today? The most recent daily low close was on 23-Mar-2020 at 45.6 grams. The latest close, 12-Jun-2020, was at 54.6 grams. Unlike the S&P's dollar price, which is near its all-time high, its price in gold is far below its all-time high of 173.1 grams (68% below!)

Obviously, we are a long way from Great Depression price levels, and even farther from making new all-time lows. But that doesn't mean that they may not be in the cards eventually. As you can see, prices below 10 grams come along fairly frequently, and occasionally those levels last for years. I would not rule out a 60% to 80% or even a 90% drop in prices from current levels as this recession plays out… especially if the run from 2011 to 2019 turns out to be a massive bull trap echoing the rally of 1975 and 1976 (where dollar prices also returned to near all-time highs).

Keep in mind that dollar prices for stocks could continue to rise to new highs, but if the value of those dollars collapses, we could still see new lows for stocks when priced in gold.

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Another generally higher week; the only losses were in long term bonds, which fell 1.9%, and gold mining stocks, which dropped 1.8%. Euro stocks and crude oil led the rally, gaining 14.5% and 14.4% respectively. Ethereum was also a strong performer, rising 12.2%.

National currencies were all in the black, with the Canadian Dollar and Euro leading the way. The CAD closed up 5.8%, and the EUR gained 4.4%. The Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen under-performed, adding 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. US Dollar cash rose 2.7%; its short term notes gained 2.6%, and its long term bonds fell 1.9%.

Bitcoin spiked higher on Monday, reaching 182.7 grams, then gave up all those gains on Tuesday before working gradually higher through the rest of the week to close at 178.6 grams, up 5.2%. Ethereum peaked on Thursday at 4.47 grams, then settled back to end the week at 4.46 grams, up 12.2%.

Gold stocks fell 1.8%, but all other major indexes rose. The Euro STOXX50 led by a wide margin, gaining 14.5%. The Dow Industrials, in second place, gained 9.7%. The Nikkei under-performed other major indexes, adding 5.3%.

The whole commodity complex moved higher, led by crude oil, which closed up 14.4%. Cotton was also strong, adding 10.2%. Platinum and silver were the weakest commodities, gaining 2.4% and 2.6% respectively.

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Another mixed, but generally higher week. The largest gains were in the Euro STOXX50 and the Japanese Nikkei, which each rose 7.3%. In second place was crude oil, which added 7.0%. The worst losses were in coffee, which fell 6.8%, and gold mining stocks, which dropped 3.9%.

China's Yuan declined 0.2%, and Japan's Yen closed unchanged, but all other national currencies moved higher. The largest gains were in the Euro, which rose 2.4%. The Canadian Dollar also had a good week, rising 1.8%. The US Dollar added 0.3%, as did its short term notes. Long term bonds fell 0.9%.

Cryptocurrencies had a good week, as Ethereum rose 6.8% and Bitcoin gained 3.1%. Both fell early in the week, then recovered to close higher. I am writing a more detailed post on Bitcoin and its future, post halving. You can see some of this work in my updated Bitcoin long term chart.

In the equity space, only gold stocks closed lower, falling 3.9%. Japanese and European indexes rose strongly, gaining 7.3% each. In the US, the S&P 500 added 3.3% while the Dow Industrials rose 4.0%.

Most commodities moved higher this week, led by crude oil, which closed up 7.0%. The only losers were coffee, which fell 6.8% for the largest loss of any asset this week, and platinum, which pulled back 0.9%. Silver was the second-strongest performer in the commodity group, rising 3.8% to close at 316 mg/oz.

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Every asset category was mixed, but mostly higher this week. The largest gains were in crude oil, which rose 12.8%, and platinum, which gained 8.8%. The worst losses were in gold mining stocks, as the HUI index fell 3.9%.

Last week, many national currencies, including the Euro, Swiss Franc, Chinese Yuan, British Pound and Canadian Dollar closed at new all-time lows. This week, the Swiss Franc and Chinese Yen fell further to make new lows, then recovered along with the others. The Euro lead the way higher, finishing up 0.8%, followed by the British Pound (not in table) which gained 0.6%. The Chinese Yuan was the weakest currency, falling 0.8%. USD cash and short term notes rose 0.1%; long term bonds were off 0.6%.

Bitcoin rose to a high of 174.4 grams on Monday, then pulled back, finishing the week at 164.8, down 1.5%. Ethereum advanced to a high of 3.85 grams on Monday, but settled back to close at 3.72 grams, up 6.0%.

Gold stocks fell 3.9%, but all other major markets moved higher, led by the Euro STOXX 50, which closed up 5.8%. The UK FTSE 100 index (not in table) rose 4.0%, while the S&P 500 rose 3.3%, and the Japanese Nikkei gained 1.7%.

Crude oil continues to recover, rising 12.8% this week, but at 597 mg, it is still below its 2016 low of 660 mg. Platinum also performed well, gaining 8.8%. The largest commodity losses were in Coffee, which declined 2.9%.

I have had requests to update the long term chart of the S&P Composite based on Shiller's data from his book, Irrational Exuberance. I have done so, as a logarithmic chart that more clearly portrays price changes, especially for the earlier decades. You can view the chart here. On this log chart, each major division of the price axis represents a doubling (when rising) or a halving (when falling). This allows direct comparison of price movements in percentage terms, even at very different price levels.

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Stocks and commodities were mixed, but all other assets moved lower. The largest gains were in crude oil, which rose 17.2%, and silver, which gained 6.5%. The worst losses were in the cryptos, as Ethereum fell 9.8%, and Bitcoin declined 6.9%.

All national currencies fell, led by the Canadian Dollar, down 2.9%, and the Japanese Yen, off 2.6%. The Chinese Yuan dropped the least, giving up 1.3%. The US Dollar slid 1.8%, as did its short term notes. Long term bonds did better, falling just 0.2%.

Cryptocurrencies got hammered. Bitcoin plunged to a low of 157.1 grams on Monday, then worked higher to close the week at 167.2 grams, off 6.9%. Ethereum followed a similar pattern, hitting a low of 3.40 grams on Monday, and finishing the week at 3.51 grams, down 9.8%.

Gold stocks rallied 2.2%, but all other equity indexes fell. The European STOXX dropped the most, closing down 6.0%. The Nikkei outperformed other major markets, giving up 3.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 4.4%.

Crude oil continued to rebound, rising 17.2%. Silver also made large gains, adding 6.5%. Coffee and copper were the worst performing commodities, falling 6.0% and 4.9% respectively.

Looking back over the last year, gold stocks are the clear winner, gaining 46.4%. Palladium is up 5.1%, and long bonds are up just 1.0%. All other assets are lower by double digits, led by crude oil, which in spite of its gains over the last few weeks, is still down 64.4%. European stocks are the runner-up, trading 40.8% below their prices of one year ago.

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National currencies and bonds were mostly lower, stocks moved higher, and cryptocurrencies and commodities were mixed. The largest gains were in crude oil, which rose 24.3%, and Bitcoin, which gained 9.9%. The worst losses were in palladium, which fell 7.4%, and the TLT 20+ year bond fund, which declined 3.3%.

The Canadian Dollar outperformed other national currencies by closing the week unchanged. The Euro was the worst performer, falling 2.3%. The US Dollar finished in the middle of the pack, off 1.0%. Short term US treasuries did slightly better, falling 0.9%, while long term bonds got hammered, dropping 3.3%.

Bitcoin was the week's second best performer, rising to a high of 181.6 grams on Thursday before settling back to close at 179.7 grams, up 9.9%. Ethereum had a tougher time, falling early in the week to 3.75 grams on Wednesday, then rallying to close at 3.89 grams, down 1.6%.

Stocks had a good week, led higher by the S&P 500 which gained 2.4%. The Euro STOXX under-performed, adding just 0.4%. Gold stocks rose 2.2%.

Commodities were a mixed bag. Crude oil continued to be volatile, this time to the upside, soaring 24.3% to close at 451 mg per barrel. Precious metals fell, as palladium declined 7.4%, platinum lost 2.0% and silver gave up 0.1%.

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Most assets were higher; only the commodities showed significant losses. Palladium and silver fell the most, dropping 1.8% and 1.4% respectively. Bitcoin rose 19.5%, and crude oil rebounded strongly, gaining 18.3%. Ethereum also showed strength, adding 15.2%.

The Euro was the strongest national currency, gaining 3.6%; the Chinese Yuan was the least strong, rising 1.3%. The US and Canadian Dollars rose 1.8% each. Bonds under-performed cash; long term treasuries were unchanged, and short term bonds gained 1.7%.

Cryptocurrencies had a great week. Bitcoin ended the prior week at 136.9 grams and worked its way steadily higher, ending this week at 163.5 grams, up 19.5%. Ethereum followed a similar path, ending up 15.2%. The smaller cryptos generally didn't do as well; DASH for instance (not in table) finished up 3.4%.

The Japanese Nikkei led the way higher for equities, rising 4.2%. Gold stocks under-performed, adding 1.3%. US stocks (the Dow Industrials and S&P 500) rose 1.5% each.

Crude oil started the week by falling to 227 mg on Tuesday (about 6.4% above the all-time low set the week before), then rallied sharply to close at 363 mg, up 18.3% for the week. Palladium, silver and copper were the only assets to close lower; palladium finished down 1.8% and Silver closed down 1.4%. Platinum rose 2.0%.

Over the last year, gold stocks have been the outstanding performer, adding 36.8%, and outshining even the cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin is up "just" 24.9%). Crude oil is far and away the worst performer; even after a strong recovery this week, it is still down 76.4% from one year ago.

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Cryptocurrencies advanced, national currencies continued to decline, and stocks, bonds, and commodities were mixed but mostly lower. Coffee fell the most, dropping 9.3%, outpacing even crude oil, which declined a further 8.5%. Gold stocks made the largest gains, rising 12.0%.

The British Pound (not in table) led the national currency declines, falling 2.7%. The worst performers in the table were the Euro, down 2.1%, and the Chinese Yuan, off 1.9%. The Japanese Yen outperformed, giving up 1.3%. US Dollar cash and 1-3 year USD Bonds each declined 1.4%, while long term treasury bonds gained 0.4%.

Bitcoin dropped hard on Monday, to a low of 126.9 grams, then climbed through the rest of the week to finish at 136.9 grams, up 5.0%. Ethereum didn't experience much of a downdraft on Monday, but did rise as the week progressed, finishing up 8.8%.

The only rising equity asset was the HUI gold stock index, which beat all other asset classes this week, gaining 12.0%. The Japanese Nikkei index had the worst losses, falling 4.4%. The US S&P 500 slid 2.7%, the smallest loss among the major markets.

Cotton was the only commodity in the black, rising a respectable 4.0%. Coffee had the largest loss of any asset this week, falling 9.3%. Crude crashed on Monday, with the May futures contract actually going negative. I have chosen to switch to the June contract to get a more realistic view of the price, but even that cratered to a new all-time low of 213 mg per barrel, 37% below the previous week's close of 336 mg. Over the course of the week crude recovered somewhat, ending at 307 mg, down 8.5%.

Lack of demand due to government-mandated lockdowns, a shortage of storage facilities, and price wars between the oil producing nations — all of whom are desperate for revenues — will continue to impact this market for some time; and the impacts will extend into the broader economy as closures, bankruptcies, and defaults grow.

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Cryptocurrencies advanced, while national currencies, stocks, bonds, and commodities were mixed. Crude oil plummeted again, closing down 20.3% to a new all-time low. Gasoline, diesel and natural gas (not in table) also made new all-time lows this week, as did copper. Ethereum made the largest gains, rising 7.6%.

The Japanese Yen advanced 0.2% but all other national currencies closed lower. The biggest drops were in the Canadian Dollar, off 1.3%, and the Euro, down 1.2%. The US Dollar fell 0.7%, as did SHY, the short term treasury bond fund. The TLT long term bond fund rose 0.7%.

Cryptocurrencies fell early in the week, hitting their lows on Wednesday the 15th, then rose to finish the week in the black. Bitcoin fell to 120.2 grams, then recovered to close at 130.4 grams, up 2.6%. Ethereum saw a low of 2.77 grams before rising to end the week at 3.15 grams, up 7.6%.

Stock markets were mostly higher, although the Euro STOXX50 closed down 1.3% and the British FTSE (not in table) fell 1.4%. Gold stocks continued to show the most upside, rising 4.3%. The S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 indexes added 2.3% each.

The big fireworks were once again in the oil patch, as crude dropped 20.3% to close at 336 mg per barrel. This slide continued and intensified over the weekend, and the May futures contract closed today (Monday the 20th) at an astounding MINUS 694 mg per barrel. It looks like the producers are going to be paying refiners to haul away their oil! Obviously, this isn't a tenable situation… but as the old saying goes, the best cure for low prices is low prices. Platinum outperformed, gaining 5.4%. Copper fell to a new all-time low before bouncing back to end the week up 2.4%.

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