Luxury assets, including wine, art, classic cars and fancy colored diamonds, have outperformed stocks and bonds this year. Wall Street suffered another down week, as continued uncertainty surrounding economic growth, trade, politics, and the path of interest rates kept many buyers on the sidelines.
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The carat Lesotho Legend, which Gem Diamonds recovered in January, claims the top spot this year. Dominion Diamond Mines unearthed a carat yellow diamond at the Diavik mine, its joint venture with Rio Tinto, in December.
The company claims the chicken-egg-sized stone is the largest known gem-quality diamond found in North America. In April, Lucara Diamond Corp. Later that month, Lucara also mined a carat, white gem-quality stone from Karowe, its eighth over carats this year. A carat find by Gem Diamonds rounds out the list. The top-selling piece at auction this year was the Pink Legacy, a rectangular-cut, Finally, the Ai diamond, named after the Chinese word for love, captures the fifth spot.
We revisit the jewels that dominated the auctions this year. The rectangular-cut diamond which, at the time of the auction was set into a ring is the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever to come up for sale.
In addition, the Pink Legacy classifies as a Type IIa diamond, which contain little if any nitrogen and account for less than two percent of all gem diamonds.
The gem is said to have once belonged to the Oppenheimer diamond family. This total represents a No reason was given by either auction house for the year-over-year decline in their statements. It is believed that the Hope Diamond was initially embedded in the head of a statue of a Hindu goddess. Ever since, many of its rich owners have fallen foul of its alleged curse.
Ever since the Hope Diamond, one of the largest and most famous colored diamonds in the world, appeared on the market in the s, it has become notorious for allegedly spreading a deadly curse to those who dare to possess it.
Set the scrambled colors and the program find the solution for you. Factory gauges in Italy and and Poland also sank. Gold surged in the final quarter of as investors positioned themselves for a global slowdown, with fewer rate hikes expected from the U. Worldwide holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded funds have jumped. Major parts of the U. Spot gold climbed as much as 0. In December, bullion capped the biggest quarterly increase since March The same growth concerns that are boosting demand for gold as a haven are eroding support for industrial metals.
Copper for three-month delivery at the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 2. Lead, tin and zinc also declined, while aluminum and nickel were little changed. The Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex that tracks copper, aluminum, zinc and nickel slid as much as 1.
See all Vivid Yellow Diamonds. See all Intense Pink Diamonds. See all Blue Diamonds. Investing in rare colored diamonds is a long-term investment. The economic cycles of the past 15 years have seen colored diamonds reach new heights in value as price records were broken. Watch Harold's latest interview: The GIA report for this diamond is not posted on the website at this time however it is available. Please fill out a form to inquire or call us directly at for more information.
We are visiting Central Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat, the mosque with the largest member base in Norway, to talk to its spiritual leader. The mosque was founded in and currently has more than 5, members.
The Imam begins by explaining that all three heavenly religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are sacred to them. Many people are unaware of this fact, says Sarwar.
Both of them believe that the school visits confirms their views that Norwegians in general have an inaccurate impression of Islam and Muslims. People are ignorant because they get their information from the media, and the media only write negatively about Islam. Only a handful of people were behind the movie about Mohammed in the U.
So who was financing them, who was backing them? A big tip of the Bodissey pickelhaube to our commenter Jolie Rouge, who has provided us with a brand new acronym.
Note the aggressor is not named other than by geographical location e. North Africa, Afghanistan and surprisingly the inclusion of Turkey. I think JIM could have great utility for our enterprise: Who will be the first major Western politician not counting Geert Wilders to break the greatest cultural taboo of our time, and mess around with JIM?
Yesterday a group of Al Qaeda terrorists assaulted a natural gas plant in Algeria and killed two foreigners while taking 41 other hostage. Today Algerian special forces staged a helicopter raid on the plant, killing a number of the hostages — between six and 34, depending on whose figures you believe — in the process of taking out the terrorists. Among the foreign hostages were American, British, French, and Japanese nationals.
In other news, Germany has begun repatriating its foreign gold reserves, which are stored in vaults in Paris, London, and the United States. The following article tells a brief tale about immigrant-on-immigrant violence in Cologne, with Muslims of immigrant background dealing it out and Russian immigrants as victims. It shows the attempts by a Turk to protect a Russian family and being killed for his trouble. The translated article from Quotenqueen:.
Two criminal foreigners, free to terrorize their neighbors despite drug-related and violent crimes, killed a Turkish husband and father who tried to get them to behave. It happened in a sector of the city called Bickendorf — a district notorious for years for immigrant violence and bordering on the thoroughly Islamized Ehrenfeld.
But no one was killed. The Spanish government recently revoked his status as a political refugee in Spain, and he is due to be deported to Pakistan, where he will face the death penalty for blasphemy. There is currently a push to persuade the Canadian government to grant him and his family political asylum. Firasat was interviewed recently on Alerta Digital TV. The video below shows the third part of the interview, and includes segments in English of a statement by Terry Jones.
Part 1 , Part 2. Many thanks to our Spanish correspondent Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:. That means I am watching big, fat flakes accumulating on everything — though the driveway is still clear. Prior to that, we awoke this morning to heavy rains. It is our good fortune that there was never any period of transitional ice. Why am I talking about the weather, you ask?
Because this heavy wet snow may well eventuate in a power outage. Should that happen we would have no way to tell you why when, once again, no one seems to be home. And thanks to the generosity of our donors several years ago, we installed a gas cook stove so we can cook and have — thank heavens, again — hot coffee during the outage. Yes, we are careful regarding the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if we were to use the stove for heat.
Yesterday we reported on a group of young Muslim men who accost pedestrians in certain parts of east London. The original post included an embedded video taken by the group and posted on their YouTube account. As you all know by now, our blog was suddenly removed last night between 8 and 9pm EST for no apparent reason. Blogger never provided any explanation before, during, or after the outage. I assume it was an internal technical problem at Google. Below is a portion of a mass email I sent out earlier today to dozens of people who had written to us to ask what happened:.
One second it was there; the next it was gone. If we had violated their terms of service, we should have received an email, according to their own established procedure.
But we received no email. And, as you can see, I still have the gmail account. Late last night I began the process that one always goes through with Blogger: We actually received a response, which is unusual with Google. The slope of the yield curve was little changed today, but it steepened during the week. The 2s10s spread ended the week six basis points wider at 22 bps while the 2s30s spread widened by 12 bps to 52 bps.
The spread on the 2s5s is 5bps. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3. Finished gasoline remained the same, but blending components inventories increased last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased last week by 2.
This represents a net decrease of 48 Bcf from the previous week. January has 21 trading days and two public holidays. January is the first month of Quarter 1 that sees the start of Earnings Season for Q4 Results beginning on the second week of the month. January usually starts out mildly bullish but becomes very bullish mid-month and ends rather flat and sometimes bearish.
According to our 5, 10 and 15 year seasonal models Tuesday 01 January is a Holiday ;. Week 01 Key Economic Dates. For now, this is just another correction. However, it seem very highly unlikely that the DOW can recover 1, points 6.
The index that really matters to me, the Transports, need to recover 9. The Bulls are hanging on the hope that a Santa Claus Rally could bring the market out of this funk. I have to say, it is looking hopeful at this rate. Now that the Yield Curve seems to be steepening again after that brief false alarm, the market should be good for more upside until the curve says otherwise.
The spread between the 10yr bond yield and the Fed Funds Rate is 24bps wide and converging quite a bit. If the Fed hikes the benchmark rate up to 2. If the spread remains, then we can still look forward to more upside … or at worst, not see more downside. Gold should make higher highs. Check back with this in May Remember, there is no way to value BTC fundamentally.
The STI looks set to finish another disappointing year for the 8th year running since Interest rates keep rising in spite of the lower Inflation Rate while Manufacturing and Retail Sales keep falling. The Government Budget is practically non-existent, Government Spending has decreased and Consumer Spending increased only because of higher transportation costs, utility costs and fuel costs.
But I never saw that year-end sell-off coming. That was a bonus! Are we there yet? For now, I reckon will see some upside by the end of the year but not without some major rocking and rolling before we get there. All in all, I am still bullish in the long term, albeit very cautiously bullish while holding a short-term bearish attitude until this correction is done and dusted. The first two re-tests invited some late buying interest that enabled stocks to close off their worst levels in their respective sessions.
In terms of the Fed decision, the target range for the fed funds rate was increased by 25 basis points to 2. Some other nettlesome elements that weighed on investor sentiment this week included 1 the possibility of a partial government shutdown due to disagreements over a funding request for a border wall 2 a bothersome sense that the U.
Uncertainty, and the inability to sustain any rebound effort from short-term oversold conditions, ultimately held back buying interest and led to a flight to safety in U.
The Fed-sensitive 2-yr yield and benchmark yr yield dropped 10 basis points each to 2. Total starts increased 3. Total permits increased 5. The key takeaway from the report is that it substantiates the weakening levels of homebuilder confidence and is a reflection of the impact rising interest rates are having on single-family construction activity.
Existing home sales increased 1. Total sales were 7. The key takeaway from the report is that while sales have now increased for two consecutive months, the trajectory remains challenged by higher mortgage rates and limited affordability.
Initial claims running low, bolstering December nonfarm payroll expectations. Initial claims for the week ending December 15 increased by 8, to , consensus , Continuing claims for the week ending December 8 increased by 27, to 1. The key takeaway from the report is that it covers the period in which the survey for the December employment report is conducted. Accordingly, the low level of initial claims should translate into an expectation for solid nonfarm payroll growth in December.
The key takeaway from the report is that the Conference Board expects the pace of economic growth to continue moderating in the second half of Durable goods orders increased 0. Excluding transportation, orders declined 0. The key takeaway from the report is that business investment was weak, evidenced by the 0. The third estimate for Q3 GDP showed a downward revision to 3. The key takeaway from the report was the same as before, which is that real final sales grew at their slowest rate since the fourth quarter of Personal income increased 0.
Personal spending rose 0. That left the average at Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low.
Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. On a month basis, b oth overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance. Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.
The Committee judges that risks to the economic outlook are roughly balanced, but will continue to monitor global economic and financial developments and assess their implications for the economic outlook. In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective.
This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Powell, Chairman; John C. Williams, Vice Chairman; Thomas I. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Mester; and Randal K. That recovery effort, however, was yet again met with selling resistance that drove the market further into negative territory.
Disappointment in the inability to sustain a rebound effort from short-term oversold conditions effectively led to a buyers strike that weighed heavily on the indices. Some discouraging headlines that compounded risk-reduction efforts included 1 the threat of a partial government shutdown due to disagreement over funding for a border wall, and 2 a late-day report that Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro told Nikkei that an agreement with China in 90 days will be difficult to attain.
Treasuries remained resistant to selling pressure amid the equity sell-off. The 2-yr yield dropped four basis points to 2. There are no companies we cover scheduled to report earnings next week. The market will be open until S government looks set for a partial shutdown at midnight tonight due to a political fight over funding for a border wall.
The spread that really matters most to me, is the one between the Fed Fund Rate and the 10year yield which has narrowed considerably in the last week. With the Fed raising the benchmark rate 25bps to 2. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.
Finished gasoline and blending components inventories both increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 4. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased last week by This represents a net decrease of Bcf from the previous week. According to our 5, 10 and 15 year seasonal models;. Week 52 Key Economic Dates. The coming week will be light on data given the holiday season. On the contrary, the market seems to be scaring Santa away this Christmas.
That is an even taller order if you consider that the last week of the trading year always has the lowest trading volumes. With the yield curve flattening, the dollar weakening and crude prices falling, this will crush any remaining confidence in risk for the coming year. Any talk of a Santa Claus Rally seems to have all but faded into oblivion.
The only thing rising quietly is Gold … and those who know what that means are counting the months downs. I am holding to the opinion that this is still only a correction, the one that was long overdue and expected. All the talk of an economic slowdown or recession have been nothing more than speculative projections by Wall Street and some cautious corporations.
Cut through all that noise and you still have a lofty U. There are no obvious signs of economic weakness that would say that a recession is near.
There is, however, the possibility that the market could continue falling to new lows. Should that happen, we then could have the catalyst for the next recession. With more than eight hours of pure education, this mind-blowing workshop is designed with short-term traders, swing traders, scalpers, and long-term investors in mind.
Wall Street suffered another down week, as continued uncertainty surrounding economic growth, trade, politics, and the path of interest rates kept many buyers on the sidelines. Heightened trading volatility also proved effective in keeping buyers sidelined, too, as large intraday swings proved exhausting and off-putting for many participants.
For the month, these groups are down There were some conciliatory headline developments this week on the trade dispute between the U. In particular, high-ranking U. Separately, China confirmed it will temporarily reduce its U. Energy stocks struggled as oil prices pulled back. WTI crude fell 2. Not all was bad, though. Recent demand for Treasuries cooled off, giving yields a slight bump.
The Fed-sensitive 2-yr yield rose three basis points to 2. Dollar Index rose 1. She subsequently attempted to renegotiate the plan in Brussels, yet EU officials said the plan was not open for change.
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0. The monthly reading left the index for final demand up 2. Total CPI was up 2. Import prices declined 1. Export prices declined 0.
Excluding fuel, import prices were down 0. Excluding agricultural products, export prices were down 1. Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 8 dropped by 27, to , consensus , Continuing claims for the week ending December 1 increased by 25, to 1. The key takeaway from the report is that it helped quell for the time being burgeoning concerns about the rising trend in initial jobless claims.
Total retail sales increased 0. An important item to take into account is that there were sizable revisions to the October data for total retail sales to 1. The key takeaway from the Retail Sales report is that core retail sales, which exclude auto, gasoline station, building materials, and food services and drinking places sales, increased 0. Industrial production increased 0.
The capacity utilization rate was The key takeaway from the report is that manufacturing output was flat on the heels of a 0. Total business inventories increased 0. Total business sales increased 0. The key takeaway from the report is that business sales rose at a slower pace than inventories. That distinction, if it persists, will diminish pricing power. Markit Manufacturing PMI Markit Services PMI International Key Economic Data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2. For the month, the respective indices are down 5. The selling started overseas when China, the second-largest economy in the world, reported some weaker-than-expected industrial production and retail sales data.
A solid November Retail Sales report out of the U. Instead, the good news on that front was drowned out by the concern that weakness abroad will eventually lead to a slower pace of growth in the U. Selling picked up after the close of the European markets The negative bias within the health care and tech groups was driven by some corporate news, while energy fell in tandem with oil prices.
Margin weakness, attributed to higher merchandising costs, also weighed on the stock. There was little room to hide in the stock market, though the defensive-oriented real estate Investors sought safety in U. Treasuries, pushing yields lower across the curve. The 2-yr yield lost three basis points to 2. Dollar Index rose 0. Italics indicate week lows. Nearing 52 Week High. Growth Concerns Boost Treasuries. US Treasuries ended the week with gains across the curve.
The Treasury market spent the entire session in positive territory with the long bond settling near its high while shorter tenors finished a bit below their opening levels. Treasuries jumped out of the gate in response to disappointing economic data from China and the eurozone, but the early gains were trimmed after generally positive economic figures from the U.
Treasuries backtracked during the first two hours of trade, but they rallied to fresh highs in midday action while equities struggled. The selling in the stock market continued into the afternoon, contributing to a steady bid in Treasuries. Dollar Index marked a fresh high at Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 2.