The news year’s celebrations have passed. Markets were not so celebrative considering the end of year trading witnessed markets trading higher.

U.S. stock indexes opened strongly higher on New Year’s Eve Monday due to hopes of progress on trade disputes with China. However, stocks were on track to book gloomy returns for the month and year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.42% was up 216 points, or 1%, at 23,293, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.70% gained 21 points, or 0.9%, at 2,508, while the Nasdaq Composite IndexCOMP, +1.26% advanced 1% at 6,648. President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had made “big progress” in a telephone conversation about trade and that a deal was “moving along very well.”

What the market is now looking too for 2019 is basically similar to what the market has been looking at in 2018 and 2017. Interest rates rising will no-doubt top the list, Brexit and the UK leaving the EU, trade wars and peace, populism levels, sanctions and overvalued stocks will be watched with caution.

Precious Metals are now precious again. End of 2018 and the start of 2019 has witnessed precious metals rise higher than usual. Gold, Silver and others all witnessed large inflows of capital. Mining equities also witnessed some of this cream with ACACIA MINING a UK listed gold mining stock doubling its share price in less than 4 months from 95p to 200p. Will these inflows continue and will more of the market seek protection and value in precious metals for 2019? Time will soon tell.

Tread careful and stay focused.

by Mike Cosgrove (Senior Trader)

@mikecosgrove