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Dow Slides, Gold Rallies as Vanishing Yields Threaten Dollar Hegemony

Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:24 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:24 PM
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw modest gains Tuesday morning before nosediving.
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new all-time highs before reversing gains.
  • Investors are exiting the U.S. dollar at a faster pace as demand for haven plays pushed the price of gold above $2,000/oz.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded lower on Tuesday, as a mass exodus from the dollar drove new gains in the price of gold.

Dow Drops; S&P 500, Nasdaq Give Up Record Highs

All of Wall Street’s major indexes relinquished gains Tuesday morning. After rising by as much as 42 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 155 points or 0.6%.

Dow Jones, DJIA
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is nursing triple-digit losses Tuesday. | Chart: Yahoo Finance 

Dow blue-chip Home Depot (NYSE:HD) declined 1% despite posting solid quarterly earnings . The retailer topped analysts’ forecasts for earnings and revenue as quarterly sales jumped 23%.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) declined by almost 2% as oil prices slumped. Visa (NYSE:V) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) are also among the biggest decliners.

After recording fresh highs, the S&P 500  and Nasdaq turned lower Tuesday. The large-cap S&P 500 Index fell 0.3% and the Nasdaq  slid 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index , commonly known as the VIX, edged slightly higher to 21.67 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historical average. Higher volatility readings are usually associated with bearish bets on stocks.

Gold Rallies; Dollar Hits New Multi-Year Low

Video: Mining executive sees extended gold rally.

Demand for haven assets remains elevated Tuesday, with gold hitting one-week highs amid a sharp drop in the U.S. dollar.

Gold for December settlement, the most actively-traded futures contract, rose 1.2% to $2,023.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bullion corrected sharply lower last week but is still up over 32% year-to-date. The December futures contract peaked at $2,089.20 an ounce in early August, according to Bloomberg data .

The U.S. dollar fell to more than two-year lows against a basket of competitor currencies, setting the stage for a prolonged precious metals rally. (Dollar-denominated gold and the U.S. currency often trade inversely with one another.)

The dollar index fell 0.8% to 92.13.

us dollar index
Since peaking in March amid the liquidity crisis, the U.S. dollar index has declined sharply. | Chart: Bloomberg 

Investors are dumping dollars amid declining growth opportunities in U.S. markets. Vanishing yields, record central-bank easing, and a bleak economic outlook have all pressured the greenback .

vanishing real yields
Vanishing real yields are a principal driver of U.S. dollar weakness. | Chart: Bloomberg 

Hedge funds are now shorting the dollar for the first time in over two years. Net futures and options positions held by leveraged funds have turned bearish , while bullish bets on the euro have soared.

Analysts expect further declines for the greenback  as the euro strengthens and Asian regional currencies recover.