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In our previous Blog we posted on March 31st 2016, Bulls To Bears: Dredging the Bottom for Precious Metal Stocks, we tried to warn everyone that there would be a breakout in Precious Metals Stocks.
Since that time, Silver, Copper, Gold, Platinum and others have moved to the up side to their highest levels in over a year, and their set for its greatest month since 2013, in the midst of the dollar slumping.
As Gold surpassed a one-year high most precious metals stocks trended higher as the dollar touched a 11-month low after reports of weaker-than-anticipated U.S. financial developments. The huge victor in the sum of it all has been gold, silver and metal stocks, which are getting a major lift as it turns out to be crystal clear the Federal Reserve's choice to bring rates up in December was another slip-up.
Silver's has 16% surge this month as well as silver imports climbed 39% in March, bouncing back from the lowest levels since 2014. Gold has a very pleasant tailwind up right now with the dollar frail and markets wavering and somewhat drawing back. The Bank of Japan on Thursday sent shock-waves through financial markets after it unexpectedly kept monetary policy tight. Many investors had expected the central bank to announce more easing measures in an attempt to help inflation. That has not happened.
So, it would make sense that these precious metals sector has been and will remain among the top performing sectors right now. Mostly because its seen as a of place of refuge. The principle question for metals speculators now is whether this rally still has legs, or not? and/or more room to run?. For now some Traders continue bidding up metals and related mining stocks!
Bulls To Bears investors have enjoyed the ride up so far and believe me another BIG move in a different sector is right around the corner. What will be next big move be? and will you be ready in time? So if you are waiting for the perfect time to seize an opportunity, the time is now! Visit BullsToBears.com and stay ahead of the curve!
Contact BullsToBears.com today! I urge you to start our 14 day FREE trial…so your adventures can begin with our very next stock pick.
In other metals, platinum for July PLN6, +2.65% climbed $27.60, or 2.6% to $1,078.30 an ounce, trading about 10% higher for the month. Palladium for June PAM6, +1.07% rose $7.95, or 1.3%, to $632.30 and ounce, up about 12% for the month. Copper for July HGN6, +2.31% added 5.6 cents, or 2.5%, to $2.289 a pound, trading more than 4% higher for the month.
The long haul silver to gold proportion is indicating a decent pointer of recent bottoms in metal socks. That proportion was as of late astoundingly low and gives off an impression of a trend beginning. In short: Expect higher silver costs.
In the past, whether you look back in 1913, 1971, or the year 2000, silver costs, all things considered, are tied into the US national debt obligation. As of late silver costs were dreadfully low contrasted with that obligation. We know the national obligation is exponentially expanding and hence we ought to anticipate that silver costs will significantly increment from here to "make up for lost time" with this looming and drastically expanding debt obligation.
Silver stocks – even now – are low, oversold, and moving higher. They have as of late broken an essential downtrend resistance line. What Happens Next? What Does BullsToBears.com think is happening right now? There can be little uncertainty that The Banks are getting ready to increase the paper costs of gold and silver.
We as a whole realize that transient costs for paper silver are effortlessly pushed by speculators and major players. The recent (past 6 months) bear showcase (and We're calling it one) has added to an instance of interior disintegration. Now, Precious Metal Stocks are breaking apart one by one as we witnessed big moves higher as of late. Bear markets are slippery monsters and they get a kick out of the chance to do their harm as subtly and as unpretentiously as could be expected under the circumstances. I would rather not say it, however some place ahead the bears are going to get together and the pure little stream is going to transform into a waterfall sending the market lower yet the metals sector higher.
How can you benefit from this anticipate move in Metals? Ensure yourself with a BullsToBears.com membership and by staying in unadulterated riches, like gold, silver, copper, steel and others. For a large number of years, silver and gold have dealt investors with unadulterated riches. It's time to buy again. One stock tip on our radar today is ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) trading at just $4.61.
There is always the possibility of war, although we are not yet really participating in one yet. Everyday we are reminded by that and what we are witnessing by terror groups causing worldwide chaos. It is only a matter of time that something will array or a crisis will strike that will propel gold and silver much higher - as fears spread demand grows.
BullsToBears.com's trading strategy is demonstrating a buy signal in silver and gold, copper and steel, showing that a huge long haul base is either as of now setting up or will be concluded throughout the following few months over the sector. Regardless of whether we see an increase to the degree of a couple of dollars for every ounce, the rising up trend will spark a rally and speak to a long haul players that a sign of an increase in precious metals is clear! Just like the one that happened in November 2008, which saw silver ascent more than 400% inside 3 years.
Don't continue to trade the wrong side of the market. Don't wait for social proof from the media you will be to late to the party -once again! Contact a Bulls to Bears trade advisors now for more info on which precious metal/metal stocks you should be buying today!
Being a top stock market advisory service, Bulls to Bears works with many small to mid size investors. These investors trade their own accounts via low cost brokerages like E*Trade, Scottrade or similar. Some are investors that were tired of being “churned” to death by stockbrokers who knew nothing more than they did when it comes to picking stocks. These investors had a good plan to go at it alone, but they never expected to experience a market like they did in 2008. All ships ride high tides and the average retail investor took quite a hit on the ride down. This experience made investors very leery of the stock market. The problem is that this fear is now keeping most online investors locked in to the mentality that it is almost impossible to make money trading the stock market. This is called the “herd mentality” and those who fall into this psychological misfortune tend to keep get hurt over and over because they’re sitting on the sidelines at the wrong time. They sell when they need to be buying and buy when they need to be selling.
There is tangible evidence that this is exactly what’s occurring right now. The fact is that while the market has climbed from 6,626 to 13,000 in three years; most retail investors have continued to sit on the sidelines. We are calling this the silent bull market, it is plain as day but, the retail investor is just not seeing it. This paper explores the phenomena and simply explains how to get you on the correct side of trading today's stock market.
Where We Are
During the week of March 2, 2009 the Dow Jones industrial average hit 6,626 and marked the end of a precipitous drop that some say was even worse that the 1929 market crash. As we write this paper the Dow is now flirting with 13,000 and even crossed it last week. According to a firm by the name of Strategic Insight, the US Stock and Bond Mutual Fund net inflows will reach $80B in 2011. This is an estimated drop of 67% over 2010.
Mutual fund investments are a good indicator of what the average investor is doing. Their participation via 401k’s and other retirement vehicles gives us a good indicator of what the small money is doing now. So based on this report, the small money is moving out of equities when the big money is gobbling up all they can. When that same money that had left starts to flow back in, the big money players will be selling stocks at huge gains and the small money will be buying at the top again. The cycle continues!
The Herd Mentality
Financial professionals refer to what we are talking about here as the herd mentality. This term comes from a small rodent “the lemming” that will blindly unknowingly follow his fellow herd members right off a cliff to their death. There is an uncanny psychological phenomenon that explains this and it is called social proof. Most people do not make decisions in a vacuum. Prior to making a decision, they always reach out in some way to see if other people support the decision they are about to make. In the stock market this means that the individual investor is going to reach out to his constituency base to see if they are back in the market. When they see all their friends are afraid and are not trading, they won’t either. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy and they will never make significant amounts of money trading stocks. They just will never get it. However, the successful investor conditions himself to think just the opposite. Like what Warren Buffet tries to explain over and over, ”Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” He wants to buy low and sell high. The problem is when it’s low it looks dangerous. This is when professional traders stick to their training and buy & earn profits. The average retail investor absolutely must find a way to change his or her view.
The Solution: Bulls to Bears
If the average retail investor had a broker that they could truly trust; one that they absolutely knew had their best interest at heart, they would drop their discount broker in a heart-beat. Why? Because as we mentioned, people need social proof when making decisions. They would reach out to their broker, but only if they know they can trust them. For the most part many can’t tell if their broker is recommending a stock in their best interest or because he is looking to earn a commission. Many of the retailer investors are sitting on the sideline because they have no financial professional to hold their hand and give them the confidence needed to be in the market during these turbulent times.
BullsToBears.com has solved this problem for every retail investor. We are a completely neutral third party advisory service. We don’t get paid every time you make a trade. We get paid for brining you winning trades. The better our track record the more customers we get. That is how we make money. We provide the social proof that smaller investors need to have confidence to trade any market.
Don’t continue to trade the wrong way or on the wrong side of this market. Trade like the professional traders do and move forward now. If you wait until you get your social proof from the media or your friends, you will be way too late to the party. Contact Bulls to Bears today and get your investment plans back on track.
Wall Street is stuck in a highly volatile range as investors hoping for a rally into the end of the year are browbeaten by Europe's unfolding crisis. For months, investors have been enthusing about valuations, earnings and, more recently, signs of an improving economy. Those may be good reasons why stocks should rally, but even the most ardent are starting to sound a bit glum. The political intrigue in southern Europe has flummoxed investors stateside. Papademos has replaced Papandreou. Berlusconi is, well, gone -- leaving the presidential palace on Saturday secretly through a side door after his resignation as prime minister while crowds shouted "clown, clown" among other insults and threw coins at his limousine. When word of his departure spread, people danced in the streets and drank Champagne. The headlines and the subsequent volatility seem relentless. Early last week, there were worries about a potential Italian default, and now we've seen government and regime change in two of the periphery nations. Italy's Senate approved a new budget law, clearing the way for approval of the package in the lower house on Saturday and the formation of an emergency government to replace that of Silvio Berlusconi. Papademos was sworn in as Greek prime minister, replacing predecessor Papandreou after days of political wrangling. He is tasked with meeting the terms of a bailout plan to avert bankruptcy. But with worries that the crisis could spread to other countries, investors are looking for either the European Central Bank or EU governments to commit more capital in order to backstop sovereign bond markets. For the markets to continue to rally, we would need to see market confidence that Italian, Spanish and French bonds are money good, There is likely to be more volatility around the sovereign debt crisis until we get more capital committed to the solution.
It seems like just yesterday gold burst through $1,000 an ounce. It actually wasn’t quite yesterday, but it was only a year and a half ago. As you likely know the price now has shot through $1,800 an ounce. An 80% increase in roughly 18 months. Not bad. But that doesn’t tell half the story. Ten years ago a person could have bought that same ounce of gold for under $300. A decade later such an investor would have made 6 times their money by holding gold. That is almost a 20% compounded rate of return. The power of compounding never fails to amaze. I got nothing out of this huge gold price increase and I’m not likely interested in buying gold directly today either. Why ? I simply don’t like it as an investment. The price of gold is determined too much simply by the emotions of investors and not enough by its usefulness or earnings power. I simply can’t value it. I understand the desire to own a hard asset, but I’d much rather own oil or farmland where the world’s growing population and limited supply also are making for a fundamental reason for price increases. I guess I share the view on gold that Warren Buffett does. Consider this exchange from an interview with Ben Stein (Stein):
Stein:“My first question, as I sit there on the couch in his office, is: "What about gold? Is this a classic bubble or what?"
Buffett: "Look," he says, with his usual confident laugh. "You could take all the gold that's ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what that's worth at current gold prices, you could buy all -- not some -- all of the farmland in the United States. Plus, you could buy 10 Exxon Mobils (XOM), plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?"
It is all well and good that I share Buffett’s lack of interest in gold. The unfortunate truth for Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) shareholders and yours truly is that not being invested in gold has cost the whole group of us a LOT of money over the past decade.
I have no excuses for missing the run in gold. I followed David Einhorn as he repeatedly spoke on the time being right to invest in gold. His New York Times article from over a year ago nailed the current mess that is boosting gold prices (Times):
“The question we need to ask is this: If we don’t change direction, how long can we travel down this path without having a crisis? The answer lies in two critical issues. First, how long will the capital markets continue to finance government borrowings that may be refinanced but never repaid on reasonable terms? And second, to what extent can obligations that are not financed through traditional fiscal means be satisfied through central bank monetization of debts — that is, by the printing of money?”
But I can only invest based on what I believe to be true. I need conviction or I can be shaken out should an investment temporarily move against me. I’m certainly open to changing my opinion when facts merit a change, but when it comes to gold I don’t think the facts have changed. It still has very little functional value and little earnings power and I’m not going to invest in something whose value is derived only from how worried investors are about certain macro items. At some point prospects are going to improve and then what for gold prices ?
What I have noticed, though, in relation to gold that has my attention, is how significantly gold producers have underperformed the commodity that they sell. As a group, it seems that the stock market is not pricing their assets or production using anything near the current commodity price. If gold prices stay where they are, these companies are going to produce too much cash flow to continue to be priced the way they are.
I think one of three things likely have to happen.
Gold equities will rise so that their assets and production are valued using current gold prices
Gold drops and these equities don’t drop as much because they were never priced as though current gold prices were sustainable
Gold keeps rising and the gold equities rise even faster because they don’t even reflect current prices and because of the leverage their earnings have to the commodity price (fixed elements to their costs).
Given that line of thinking I think it might make sense to go short gold and long the gold stocks. If gold keeps going up, the equities should eventually go up faster because they have some catching up to do just to reflect current prices. If gold stays where it is, the equities should increase as the market begins to believe that their earnings power will be based on current gold prices. And if gold drops, the equities should not drop as much because they are not priced for current gold prices.
I’m just feeling my way through this idea and some of the equities with large gold exposure that I’m looking at are:
Barrick Gold (ABX)
Kinross Gold (KGC)
Yamana Gold (AUY)
I think this idea definitely has some merit as I’ve read enough to be pretty much convinced that gold stocks are significantly undervalued if you believe in current gold prices. A short gold, long gold equities trade might be the best way to both take advantage of the potential for sustained high or rising gold prices and protect you (or even profit) should gold prices reverse.
The key thing to remember is that the valuation gap between gold and the gold equities can widen even more from here, so a lot of patience could be required as you wait for this gap to close.
In Europe, there was more progress toward strengthening a financial rescue fund aimed at shoring up the region's banks. Slovakia's parliament approved a measure that would release large amounts of money to European banks and governments before a full-blown crisis sets in. Slovakia had blocked the bill Tuesday, becoming the only one of the 17 countries that use the euro to do so. Wall Street has been fearful for months that one of Europe's shakier economies could collapse. If countries like Greece, Spain and Italy can't repay their debts, global banks that own those countries' debt would be at risk. That could make banks even more leery of lending to each other and to businesses. If that escalates enough, it could cause another international financial crisis similar to what happened in late 2008. Markets rallied over the last week as officials in Europe seemed like they were making progress toward shoring up European banks. In addition to the stronger bailout package, European Commission leaders had said they would require banks to hold more capital to protect them against losses. But without specifics on how those reforms will be accomplished, traders are getting concerned that the plans will deteriorate.
Jobs, who touched the daily lives of countless millions of people through the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad, died on Wednesday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He stepped down as Apple chief executive in August. Steve Jobs innovative idea of a personal computer led him into revolutionizing the computer hardware and software industry. When Jobs was twenty one, he and a friend, Steve Wozniak, built a personal computer called the Apple. The Apple changed people's idea of a computer from a gigantic and inscrutable mass of vacuum tubes only used by big business and the government to a small box used by ordinary people. No company has done more to democratize the computer and make it user-friendly than Apple Computer Inc. Jobs software development for the Macintosh re-introduced windows interface and mouse technology which set a standard for all applications interface in software.
Steve Jobs, was an unlikely candidate to have become the prototype of America's computer industry entrepreneur. While still in high school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard electronics firm in Palo Alto, California. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Stephen Wozniak a recent dropout from the University of California at Berkeley. An engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electronic gadgets. In 1972 Jobs graduated from high school and register at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After dropping out of Reed after one semester, he hung around campus for a year, taking classes in philosophy and immersing himself in the counterculture. Early in 1974 Jobs took a job as a video game designer at Atari, Inc., a pioneer in electronic arcade recreation. Jobs was not interested in creating electronics and was nowhere near as good an engineer as Wozniak. He had his eye on marketability of electronic products and persuaded Wozniak to work with him toward building a personal computer. Jobs sold his Volkswagen micro-bus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator, which raised $1,300 to start their new company. With that capital base and credit begged from local electronics suppliers, they set up their first production line. Jobs encouraged Wozniak to quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and become the vice president in charge of research and development of the new enterprise. Jobs came up with the name of their new company Apple in memory of a happy summer he had spent as an orchard worker in Oregon. The accomplishments Steve Jobs had on the computer industry while at Apple was introducing the personal computer. Jobs was bona fide visionary, who created the personal computer, Apple, in his garage. The Apple changed people's view on operations a computer could perform. From computers performing bean counter operations and federal taxes to executing individual's personal business operations. Jobs lead a hardware revolution by reducing the size of computers to small boxes. His development of the Macintosh re-introduced Xerox's innovative idea of user-friendly interface using a mouse. The Macintosh used a windows type interface which contained picture-like icons representing a function or a program to be executed. The user would use a mouse to move a cursor onto the icon and press a mouse button to execute the function or program. Companies witness the success of the Macintosh's user-friendly interface and copied its style to develop their software.
On September 12, 1985 Steve rose in the board meeting and said in a flay, unemotional voice, "I've been thinking a lot and it's time for me to get on with my life. It's obvious that I've got to do something. I'm thirty years old." Resigning as chairman, Steve said he intended to leave the company to start a new venture to address the higher education market. After leaving Apple, Jobs' new revolutionary ideas were not in hardware but in software of the computer industry. In 1989 Jobs tried to do it all over again with a new company called NextStep. He planned to build the next generation of personal computers that would put Apple to shame. It did not happen. After eight long years of struggle and after running through some $250 million, NextStep closed down its hardware division in 1993. Jobs realized that he was not going to revolutionize the hardware. He turned his attention to the software side of the computer industry. Jobs envisioned that NextStep software will revolutionize the computer industry by its operating system software which incorporates a hot technology. It's called object-oriented programming (OOP), and OOP lets programmers write complex software programs in a fraction of the usual time. NeXT Software was sold to Apple Computer in February 1997. Steve Jobs was Chairman and CEO of Pixar, the Academy-Award-winning computer animation studios which he co-founded in 1986. Pixar's first feature film, Toy Story, was released by Walt Disney Pictures in November 1995 and became the highest domestic grossing film released that year and the third highest grossing animated film of all time. Steve lived with his wife and three children near where he grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley.
U.S. markets tanked this week even though the Federal Reserve offered a bigger dose of economic stimulus than investors had expected: The Fed plans to reshuffle $400 billion of its investments in hopes of pushing down interest rates on mortgages and other long-term loans. Lower rates are supposed to coax consumers and businesses into borrowing and spending. The Fed also plans to invest proceeds from maturing U.S. Treasury debt into mortgage bonds in an effort to support the housing market. But economists say the Fed's effort -- dubbed Operation Twist after a similar Fed program conducted during the Chubby Checker dance craze of the early 1960s -- probably won't make much difference.
Rates on mortgages and other loans are already the lowest in decades. Frightened Americans would rather cut their debts than borrow, and businesses aren't seeing enough sales to justify hiring and expanding despite rock-bottom borrowing costs. The Fed's announcement underscored the fear that the American central bank had run out of tools to stimulate the economy. That leaves fiscal policy -- government spending programs and tax cuts -- as the only other way to juice growth. But political bickering is preventing Washington from doing much of anything. Congressional Republicans are focused on cutting government deficits, not widening them in the name of helping the economy. They are resisting President Barack Obama's $447 billion plan to generate jobs with payroll-tax cuts and more spending for roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure projects. Economist Eswar Prasad of Cornell University says the U.S. government should tolerate higher deficits now to spur economic growth -- as long as it delivers a credible plan to bring its budget under control in the future.
The plan the Fed is considered most likely to unveil Wednesday has been dubbed "Operation Twist" and dates to the early 1960s. The Fed used a similar program then to "twist" long-term rates lower relative to short-term rates. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to advocate the move despite criticism from within the Fed and from Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates. The Federal Reserve is running out of options to try to boost a slumping economy and lower unemployment. So policymakers are expected to reach 50 years back into their playbook for their next move. Bernanke has also faced criticism from congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates. Some have argued that the Fed's $600 billion bond-buying program, which ended in June, weakened the value of the dollar against other currencies and contributed to a spike in oil and commodity prices. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, went so far as to say Bernanke would be "almost treasonous" to launch more bond buying. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to advocate the move despite criticism from within the Fed and from Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates.
U.S. stocks took a hammering again today as Greece struggled to convince international creditors that it can meet its debt obligations in return for more bailout cash to avoid running out of funds as soon as next month. Stocks are on track for the first down day in six, weighed by indications Greece was on the brink of default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.81% tumbled 165 points, or 1.4%, to 11,440. The S&P 500 SPX -1.77% lost 17 points, or 1.4%, to 1,199. The Nasdaq Composite COMP -1.07% fell 24 points, or 1.6%, to 2,580. Over the weekend, the cabinet of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met to discuss concerns over the nation's ability to meet fiscal targets as international lenders withheld the next disbursement of aid until Greece comes up with a credible deficit-cutting plan. Treasurys and gold gained. A Greek default looks to be imminent and the markets seem to be bracing for the event.
U.S. stocks are rising today after the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and three other major central banks agreed to make U.S. dollars more readily available in Europe's struggling financial system. Stocks have gained for the third straight day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy calmed jittery investors by insisting that Greece would remain a eurozone member and would achieve its fiscal targets. On another note, fixed mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in six decades for the second straight week. But few Americans can take advantage of the historically low rates. Still, cheap mortgage rates haven't helped home sales. Sales of new homes are on pace for the worst year on records dating back a half-century. The pace of re-sales is shaping up to be the worst in 14 years.
Many Americans are in no position to buy or refinance. High unemployment, scant wage gains and large debt loads have kept them away. Others can't qualify. Banks are insisting on higher credit scores and 20 percent down payments for first-time buyers. Some homeowners have too little equity invested in their homes to meet loan requirements.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner insisted Wednesday that European leaders are ready to do more to support the euro from the debt crisis that is crippling Greece and shaking global markets.Ahead of a teleconference between the leaders of Greece, France and Germany on Wednesday evening, Geithner sought to convince markets that European governments understood the severity of the crisis and that more would need to be done. Geithner, who is to join eurozone finance ministers this weekend in a meeting in Poland, stressed that European governments have to make it clear they "stand behind" the financial system so that it can fund and finance the economic recovery. Traders nevertheless hoped that some form of new support would emerge and pushed Greek shares higher. Some analysts saw it more as an exercise in damage control after the flurry of recent -- and often contradictory -- statements coming from Europe.
Stocks opened mixed this morning after an index of small business activity from the National Federation of Independent Business dropped to a 13-month low in August. The NFIB said companies surveyed had weaker expectations for sales and a bleaker view of the overall economy. European shares gained, led by banks, following news that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is scheduled to hold a conference call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday to focus on developments on Greece's economy. The Dow and S&P 500 have lost more than 4.6 percent this month amid worries that Europe's debt crisis could knock the U.S. into another recession. The U.S. economy is already slowing, and unemployment remains high at 9.1 percent.
Worries over the deepening debt crisis fueled safehaven bidding at Monday's auctions of ultra short-dated U.S. government securities, driving their three-month rate close to zero. Investors essentially gave the United States a near interest-free loan for three months on fears about a Greek default and its repercussions on French banks and the rest of the euro zone banking system. Shares of top French banks tumbled by more than 10 percent on worries about an imminent downgrade by credit ratings agency Moody's, due largely to their exposure to Greek bonds. The stock market is sinking. Bank stocks are getting hammered. People are parking their money in bills.
While the bill's $253 billion in tax cuts could well draw support from Republicans, an additional $194 billion in new spending likely will prove a harder sell. The president asked for the money to fund highway and other construction projects, modernize schools, stabilize blighted neighborhoods and help states hire teachers and first responders. "The president's plan is nothing new," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee. With a nod to deficit hawks -- independent voters among them -- Obama also said he would outline legislation in coming days to offset the bill's $447 billion price tag so it wouldn't add to federal deficits. Politics shadowed every element of Obama's speech. He appealed to people watching on TV to lobby lawmakers to act. He did the same thing before his speech in an email to campaign supporters, bringing howls of hypocrisy from Republicans who wondered why Obama was telling them to put party above country.
Crude supplies dropped by 4 million barrels, or 1.1 percent, to 353.1 million barrels, which is 1.9 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.