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A Top in Gold? Here's Why

Much of the world's stock markets are closed Monday, including the UK, France, Australia, and Hong Kong. But the U.S. dollar keeps quietly sinking against most of the world's currencies, which has been a big help to precious metals and oil. This is likely to be a major topic during Mr. Bernanke's press conference on Wednesday.

Elsewhere:

Despite inline sales, Kimberly-Clark 1) More inflation pains. missed earnings estimates by a wide margin ($1.08 vs. $1.18 consensus) due to tremendous commodity costs pressures. At the same time, the company had difficulty raising prices to offset those higher costs, with many of its products in North America seeing prices DECLINE in the quarter.

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But that will change going ahead as the consumer goods firm hopes to successfully raise prices this year.

Despite that hope and its plan to implement cost cuts, it cuts its low end of it guidance to $4.80-$5.05, below $5.35 consensus. Full-year inflation cost estimates have now MORE THAN DOUBLED to $450 million-$550 million (up from $200 million-$250 million).

CEO Thomas Falk noted that a number of their businesses are raising prices, "including most of our North American consumer products business."

2) Oil rig operator Transocean Transocean Ltd down 2 percent pre-open, after a Coast Guard report on the Deepwater Horizon accident concluded that the company "had serious safety management system failures," including in the maintenance of its electrical equipment and gas detection system. Transocean has disputed the findings.

3) Barrick Gold A top in gold? made a competing offer for Australian miner Equinox. Barrick's $8.15/share (Canadian) bid comes in higher than China's Minmetals Resources' offer of $7/share (Canadian). A deal is generating lots of interest because of Equinox's copper assets in Africa and Saudi Arabia. BlackRock is the largest shareholder of Equinox. I say a top in gold because we have a gold company going after a copper company.

4) NYSE Chief Duncan Niederauer told the FT that he believed he could find as much as 400 million euros ($580 million) in cost savings with a NYSE Euronext-Deutsche Boerse merger, 100 million euros more than originally stated. That is still shy of the $740 million that Nasdaq/ICE claimed they could get from a merger, but it's getting closer. The NYSE reaffirmed its support for the Deutsche Boerse deal on Friday.

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