Things looking up for SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD)?

A mid-day pop in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) could have been pointing to a good day today.

After the close of the New York NYMEX last night, the price of spot gold started a slow climb that might have been hinted at in yesterday’s mid-day pop in gold prices. The pop is evident in this five-day SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) chart:

The jump in pricing occurred around the time the June retail sales numbers came in. The news was bad, of course, with a 0.5% decline. Negative sentiment in Asia seemed to be pushing gold prices higher.

“I’m bullish for gold, with the metal seen attempting to rise as far as $1,240 in the coming week,” Hong Kong’s director of Asia commodities Wallace Ng told Bloomberg Business Week. “Still, a major breakout to another record may be difficult for the present.”

Around 11:30 p.m. last night, the metal was trading at $1,211 up from an intraday NYMEX low below $1,205. A bevy of bad economic news may put further upward pressure on gold prices. The central tendency growth forecast was lowered to a range of 3 percent to 3.5 percent, U.S. industrial production will post a drop and China’s GDP is showing signs of slowing as the government there tries to rein in growth.

All that paints a gloomy picture for stocks and a rosy one for gold. If the stimulus isn’t working, after all, we’ll likely see a bit of deflation before governments are forced to inflate currencies in a malingering economic environment.

Time to buy Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)?

If Apple (AAPL) addresses its iPhone 4 problems, it might be a good time to buy the company’s stocks before their earnings report next week.

One of my favorite trading techniques is to buy a volatile stock a few days before the company’s earnings report, then sell it before that company actually reports. Traders generally like to speculate that a specific stock will beat analysts estimates, and that can push prices higher. Still, no one – not even professional analysts – know exactly how a company is going to perform in a given quarter.

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is due to report their earnings after the stock market close on Tuesday July 20, 2010, and they’re one of the exceptions to the “I-don’t-know-if-they’re-going-to-beat-estimates” rule. Apple always seems to beat estimates. In fact, they’ve done it for the past 29 quarters in a row since April of 2003! The release of the iPhone 4 and ongoing iPad sales will definitely help bolster their earnings, too. All’s rosy, right?

Not really, Apple’s stock is down 6 percent over the past month. There’s a dark cloud hanging over the company’s head with the release of a Consumer Reports blog post that cites an antennae “design flaw” in the phone. The magazine recommends consumers avoid the new iPhone due to reception problems when users cover the devices lower left corner with their hand.

Now, there are grumblings of a recall that could cost the company $1.5 billion. I’m not so sure it would cost Apple that much; particularly since a cover for the phone eliminates the reception problem, but it’s clear that the markets have been punishing the company.

In effect, I believe they’re pricing in the cost of a recall. That means that when the news hits, the stock probably won’t drop as far as a casual investor might believe. In fact, I argue that the stock will shoot up when Apple finally decides to answer for themselves — particularly if they offer a low-cost solution to the problem BEFORE they release their earnings report next week. If past performance is any indication of future results (haha), Apple WILL beat analyst earnings this quarter especially since their phone came out on June 24 and some sales should be reflected in the upcoming report. That’ll be good news for investors who buy this dip.


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Big Day for American Apparel (APP)

American Apparel — the cotton-happy clothing company — has had more than its fair share of troubles. Today’s earnings report could shed some light on the company future.

American Apparel Inc. (AMEX:APP): The cotton-happy clothing company with factories in the great U-S-of-A has had more than its fair share of troubles. They bleed cash like an ATM, and they’ve been hit hard by the Great Recession. Hipsters, after all, can’t afford high-quality cotton when they’re not getting tipped at Starbucks. The company’s had to tighten the drawstrings on their sweatpants and beg for cash (and loan extensions) over and over again. Its gotten so bad, that the stock’s right around its all-time lows. Read: people think they might go bankrupt. Analysts are predicting a loss of .22 cents per share. That’s more than $15 million. Expect lots of volatility either way. The stock was up 8 percent on Friday. If the stock beats expectations, expect a temporary pop. Sell now, and buy back in a week. No one sees a profit in their future anytime soon — and that likely means prices will remain depressed for some time to come.