E Calm Markets Day

A bit calmer in markets today. Despite seriously disappointing April jobless numbers, markets are gaining all the same. Non-farm payrolls saw 266,600 new hires in April, vs an estimate of 1 mn hires. The unemployment rate went to 6.1% from estimates earlier at 5.8%. Moreover, the March hires number of 916,000 was cut because of new data to only 770,000 new hires.

Despite this, markets are upward mobile today. One reason is that the UK Tories won the Hartlepool by-election handily, giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson another parliamentary vote for his majority. He won despite exceeding the budget for decorating the official apartment he shares with his mistress and baby son.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Another reason for markets to rally was the rollout of objections to President Biden's plan to end patent protection from US-Govt-funded covid-19 vaccines to help emerging markets. This was opposed by the European Union and by Asian countries, calling for the White House or the World Trade Organization to preserve drug patents. In fact, voiding the patents would not result in more vaccination material because emerging markets, except for India, do not have the ability to make the drugs themselves.

But the main reason for the rally is that the US Treasury will not be rolling out higher interest rates soon with unemployment still a threat, ending the Janet Yellen scare.

We have a smaller batch of results today than earlier in the week but we are still having to cover a lot of Q1 data.

Funds

*Spider Gold Trust, GLD, an ETF, sold gold because its investor base fell along with the price of the yellow metal. This led to a net loss of $7,290,450 in Q1, equivalent to minus $18.97 per share. It also suffered lesser cuts from its gold sales to cover sponsor fees. Net assets fell to $56,387,705 at the end of Q1 vs $71,157,721 at the end of Q4 2020. This perverse effect of a closed-end fund structure is a surprise but follows the by-laws of the 2004 set-up of SPDR. This is another argument for owning gold mines rather than gold funds. GLD rose despite this to $171.96 today. Its price is that of 1/10 ounce of gold which hit $171.82. (Our Kirkland Lake KL stock gained 4.4% at the opening today.)

*Lazard Global Total Return & Income Fund, LGI, rose 1.16% at the opening today after reporting that its NAV fell this week by 0.8%/sh, to $21.08. However, it did beat its index YTD with a 10% rise. Its parent LAZ fell 1.12%.

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William K. 1 month ago Member's comment

Bank of England Governor Andrew Baily warns that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value and investors “should be prepared to lose all their money” when they invest in them. I figured that out when I learned that they were mining bitcoins with computers, including hijacked computers. Nothing of value as the basis for a currency. That is a lot like the current bais of USA currency sinca abaondoning thr gold standard. Our currency values are based on the integrity of the Federal Reserve bank. I think we are in DEEP TROUBLE now.