Even though the month of June is not over yet, the technical action in gold, as well as some of the gold stocks, have been impressive. So far in June the Spyder Gold Trust (GLD), which reflects the performance of gold bullion, is up 2.5%. In contrast, the Dow Jones US Gold Mining Index ($DSUSPM) is up 8.5% with the VanEck Gold Miners (GDX) up just over 9.6%.
The homebuilding market continues to look healthy. Monday's (6/17) release of the Housing Market Index by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is the latest. Each month NAHB surveys homebuilders using a few, sound questions that address visible conditions as well as homebuilders' sense of what is coming over the next six months.
When investors look for dividend stocks, they must assess the sustainability, or "safety" of the yield they're seeking. I know from my Safest Dividend Yields Model Portfolio that companies with strong free cash flow provide higher quality and safer yields because the firm generates enough cash to support the dividend. A high dividend can disappear in an instant if the company paying it doesn't generate enough cash flow.
Gold has been out of luck for the majority of the year so far. The year to date (YTD) performance of the precious metal sits at -0.46 percent. This is despite the fact that the Federal Reserve has adopted a dovish stance towards their monetary policy and there are serious concerns over the ongoing Trade War between the United States and China. In fact, the mainstream Chinese media has adopted a very aggressive tone against the U.S. with the Chinese media sending a clear warning that the dispute is going to hurt U.S. companies the most because of their exposure in China. According to the "Treaty damage to the U.S. hinterland" a 25% tariff increase on Chinese companies is going to impact 1 million U.S. jobs and will also anchor the financial market turmoil further.
Bond yields are crashing in major markets all around the world as fears of a global economic slowdown have prompted investors to seek shelter in low-risk government debt. Both Germany and Japan's 10-year bond yields are back below zero, marking the first time we've seen German yields turn negative since October 2016. As I shared with you last week, the pool of negative-yielding bonds around the globe now stands at a post-2017 high of $9.32 trillion. Yields in Australia and New Zealand have also fallen to record lows, according to Bloomberg.
Stocks erased their weekly gains and bond yields fell on Friday as investors reacted to a number of economic developments. Chief among them were a Treasury yield curve inversion, the first since before the financial crisis, and continued slowdown in the pace of U.S. manufacturing expansion.