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by 6/14/2000 2:16 PM
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The PHLX Gold and Silver Index (XAU - 61.74) has rallied nearly three percent today. The index has recovered from a 20-month low of 54.24 made on April 13. The XAU made a double-bottom low at 54.26 on May 1 and has since gained nearly 14 percent over the ensuing six weeks. One trader has attributed today's rally to a weaker dollar spurring some covering of short positions by funds. The XAU has some overhead resistance at the 63 level, an area that supported the index in December 1999 and has served as resistance in March, May, and this month. Additionally, the 63-64 area is the site of the index’s downtrending 10-month and 20-month moving averages, trendlines that have capped all monthly closes in 2000.
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by 6/14/2000 1:57 PM
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The chief economist of the Federal National Mortgage Association said today that he believes the evidence of slowing in the economy may cause the Fed to leave rates unchanged at their upcoming meeting on June 27 and 28. In his semi-annual report, David Berson suggested that it is too early to tell whether the slowdown is temporary or lasting, adding that the odds are good that the Fed can engineer a "soft landing" to allow the economy to continue its longest expansion in history. Even with his outlook, Berson believes that the Fed will raise short-term interest rates another 50 basis points before the end of the year.
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by 6/14/2000 1:43 PM
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First Call/Thomson Financial reported today that 28 of the 173 companies (16 percent) in the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1475.13) that have provided previews of their latest quarterly earnings expect to beat analysts' estimates. They also reported that 87 companies, or 50 percent, say they will fall short of expectations, while 58 companies, or 34 percent, anticipate reporting in-line results. In the year-ago quarter, 48 percent of the preannouncements warned of shortfalls, 35 percent projected on-target results, and 18 percent predicted earnings would top analysts' estimates.
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by 6/14/2000 1:24 PM
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According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, the recent interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve have slowed the home-mortgage business somewhat. The purchase index fell 7.6 percent in the week ended June 9 to a seasonally adjusted 309.5 from last week's revised 335.0. The refinance index rose 3.6 percent from last week's seasonally adjusted 318.1 to 329.4. These readings are about the same as four weeks ago but are far lower than year-ago readings of 382.3 and 702.7, respectively. Recent rate increases have pushed the average rate on a 30-year home mortgage to well above eight percent.
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by 6/14/2000 1:22 PM
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According to the Commerce Department, business inventories at the factory, wholesale, and retail levels rose by 0.4 percent in April, up from a 0.3-percent advance in March. April's advance was the 16th straight monthly rise. Sales, however, dipped in April by 0.6 percent, their first decline since last September. A rise in inventories could spur a slowing in the economy, as businesses would need to buy less goods to deliver on sales orders. The stock-to-sales ratio, the measure of the length of time it would take for a business to draw down its inventory, rose to 1.32 from 1.31 last month.
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