Metals Market Mania

Includes: GLD, SLV
by: Tim Iacono

Who knows what today or tomorrow will bring, but there's been enough excitement in the metals market after just three days this week that you'd think it's time for a little break.

The web server for Kitco is having difficulty keeping up with requests and for a very good reason - there are lots of strange looking numbers being posted these days and everyone wants to have a look.

A good example was yesterday's one dollar rise in the price of silver circled below.

A number that big has been seen on more than one occasion before but, on those occasions, it's color was red, not green.

While yesterday's rebound in silver was impressive, gold wasn't too shabby either as Tuesday's sell-off was more than reversed on Wednesday when "bargain hunters" emerged at the $960 level - now that sounds strange.

Hey, they can use the phrase "bargain hunters" for stocks, why not for precious metals?

There was another snarky comment working its way around in my head relative to the chart above, but when I went to the Kitco website to look up a price, it was busy again - all my browser could come up with was one of those little activity indicators going round and round and then, finally, one of those "Connection has timed out" pages.

Whatever the thought was, it's gone now.

Oh well...

Since gold coins at your local coin shop usually command a premium to the spot prices shown above (and their websites are not nearly as busy), you can see that some dealers are already posting strange looking four digit numbers for gold.

The table below is from California Numismatic Investments in Southern California, a business that has cashed more than a few of my checks, though none recently.

If you're watching that $1,026 number more than you are watching the $1,006 number, then join the crowd (though I'm not in that crowd at the moment).

While there are other more convenient ways to buy gold bullion (e.g., the streetTRACKS Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) which flashed another buy signal by adding another 8 tonnes the other day), it really is hard to beat physical bullion over the long haul.

When you think about it, one ounce gold coins really are a pretty good deal - pay less than two percent up front (the difference between the buy and sell prices above), then stash them away somewhere, and never pay another fee again.

The Kitco site is still busy...

Full Disclosure: Long GLD, gold, and silver bullion at time of writing.