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Precious Metal Prices Dip

The DOW didn’t start the week with a bang, but it picked up speed as the day went on. The DOW finished up today 109 points from it’s Friday close. Late in the day it was up over 150 points. The S&P 500 finished up 11 points which means the two indices are up today by nine tenths of a percent. The best of the big indices is the NASDAQ, finishing up 35 point (1.33%). The rally in the markets today was due to Europe’s announcement of optimistic look on Greece’s debt. Even though the gain was welcomed by many on Wall Street, the strength of the markets may only be temporary. Yes the dollar has gained strength, but lost some steam with the dollar index closing at $75.33 today. The Euro gained 0.6% against the dollar. If the Federal Reserve keeps printing money, it will lose even more of what it recently gained.

In the commodity sector, precious metal prices fall. Gold dips below the $1500 level, settling at $1496.40 per oz. and the price of silver also slipped back a bit to close at $33.59. It seems that many countries are lowering their concerns about inflation. The Chinese Premier Wen said the country’s inflation would be below 5%. With views like that, many see the haven of precious metal not being as needed or attractive as it is during poor economic times. At the current levels of gold and silver, they are both at their resistance levels. The 200 day moving average for gold is at $1415, which can signal a more downward slide in the commodity. So this is a good time to watch to see if the support level will hold. Analysts feel that this will all depend on what happens in Greece. Greece needs to prove that they are serious about their debt and how they get it in order. It’s the only way they will be able to receive any more bailouts from the IMF. If the latest measure fails and Greece can not get any more funds, then gold will continue to rise as more Europeans seek out to purchase more of the precious metal. If it goes the other way, where Greece does get the bailout, then stock markets around the globe should see a rise in trading.

Either way you look at it, precious metals, over the long haul will increase in value. I’ve been building a portfolio which holds 35% in precious metals. I do plan to scale out of it, but my opinion is that we’re not done with the economic woes. Politics have a lot to do with the news we’re hearing and I don’t have too much confidence in any government.

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Which Stocks Does Your Mutual Fund Hold?

Mutual fund holdings are vital information to fund investors when evaluating a manager’s performance as reported. Without knowing what a fund’s holdings are, investors can neither fully appreciate why a manager has performed well, nor can they thoroughly come to grasp about any poor results. Even if a fund is doing ok, investors may decide that the fund investments are overlapping with their other portfolios or not in line with their own investing goals and want to relocate the money elsewhere. But without access to a set of complete information on a fund’s portfolio, investors are basically kept in the dark and can’t decide for themselves on any of those personal investment decisions.


What Does the Law Require
By law, mutual funds are required to release complete portfolio holdings only twice a year. For actively managed funds, in the interim of 6 months, their holdings could have been turned over many times and the information at investors’ hands can never be real time, live feeds, considering today’s online technology has made instant exchange of information nothing but possible. In fact, the decades-old securities law enacted such a rule because of the concern that fund companies couldn’t afford to mail out a report every day.


Objection to Frequent Portfolio Disclosure
Chief concern among mutual fund companies is that timely portfolio updates of fund holdings can tip off their intentions to the market. It may cause potential front run on a fund where other traders can buy shares ahead of the fund and drive up prices, while the fund is still taking the time to build up positions in a stock. But supporters of full, on-time publication of portfolio holdings argue that the hidden reason why funds are reluctant to do anything beyond what the law requires is that managers might be concerned about revealing questionable trading practice in any disclosure. Funds do a lot of window-dressing trading close to quarter end to boost performance and increase management compensation.


Other Concerns by Financial Advisers
Some financial advisory don’t think that requiring more disclosures of a fund’s holdings is a good idea. They contend that overwhelming information can lead investors to losing their long-term focus and becoming obsessed with fund trading. The advantage of having accessible information as claimed by some investors may be overblown. They also observe that people who are trading stocks and looking for ideas are more interested in getting a first look at a fund’s holdings.

Amid all the conflicting viewpoints, some mutual fund companies are stepping up to make more frequent disclosures on their portfolio holdings. More quarterly updates are now available, with monthly reports on top holdings. To the delight of some investors, a fund named OpenFund lets investors view active trading on its website, while others post weekly trading commentaries by fund managers. A standard monthly reporting ought to be possible if the idea of leaving out sensible trading information is made to consensus.

What happened to the stock market today?

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