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February 25, 2011 / Jeb

Clean Energy and Precious Metals Soar On Middle Eastern Chaos

Many of the great declines in the stock market over the past 30 years have been related to oil (United States Oil (USO)). This week we have seen the major indices plummet on geopolitical chaos throughout North Africa, especially the large oil-producing Libya, as investors returned to gold (SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)), silver (iShares Silver Trust(SLV)), and oil. As the market reached record overbought territory, any excuse could begin a significant pullback in equities (SPDR S&P 500 (SPY)).

Investors are monitoring key assets in Egypt (Market Vectors Egypt Index (EGPT)). If either the Suez Canal or Sumed Pipeline come under attack, then we will see a major oil spike, possibly worse than in the late 1970s. Already Iran has taken advantage of the chaos and passed into the Mediterranean, further escalating potential conflicts between Israel (iShares MSCI Israel Cap Invest Mkt Index (EIS)) and the Iranian Allies of Hezbollah and Syria who want to take back control of the Golan Heights. This Middle Eastern instability may have deeper consequences and I don’t believe it will end anytime soon. In fact, it may even eventually spread to Saudi Arabia where the royal family maintains weak control and extremists are gaining popularity. In late January in an article entitled, Will Gold, Oil Prices Soar on Revolts in Tunisia, Egypt? I wrote about the domino effect hypothesis, stating that chaos would not be contained in Tunisia and Egypt. This spread of chaos, causing volatile power vacuums, could have a significant impact on gold and oil, especially now that the domino hypothesis is being confirmed.

Read the full article by clicking here.

 

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