Gold in Stair-Step Pattern Ahead of Potential Thrust

Spot gold continues to claw its way higher despite an otherwise "risk-off" profile for the session in equities (as seen in our hourly chart comparison with the e-mini S&P 500), along with bonds and foreign exchange.

The stair-step pattern off of last week's low (from Nov 1) at 1681.30 has the right look of a forthcoming vertical acceleration towards 1820 next. Only a sudden downside reversal that breaks key near-term support between 1775 and 1765 will compromise my near-term outlook.

Gold and the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) are attracting capital along with the U.S. bond market and the U.S. dollar. Why? Take your pick: flight to safety, geopolitical risk, Euro-Zone-implosion risk, and expectations that the ECB eventually will have to become the bailout receptacle of last resort, which is inflationary.

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