The precious-metals markets were bolstered on Monday by the first of several critical economic developments taking place this week in the U.S. and abroad. The early-week rise has been largely attributed to early indications from Italy suggesting that the electorate is leaning toward the candidate not likely to support the continued discipline of austerity. This has the potential to reawaken the European debt crisis, and that means the safety of silver and gold upticked significantly. Where all the major indices were off by the most since November, silver, as represented by the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV ) , was up 0.86%
Looking to the rest of the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will spend two days testifying before Congress, the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee were released, more home data is coming, and it will all culminate on Friday, when the sequestration cuts are due to go into effect. As things currently stand, no deal has been reached and negotiations are not looking promising — it’s the fiscal cliff all over again, but Wall Street seems to be taking the fool me once, been there, done that attitude. Not surprisingly, the White House is demanding an extension to prevent the very real economic consequences that the cuts could have, while congressional Republicans have indicated that without tax reform and spending cuts, no extension will be given.