20 January 2009

A Day for the History Books

No, not what you think.

For the first time in recent memory, the S&P 500 composite closed lower ($805) than the spot price for one ounce of gold ($856).

Interesting times.


Joe said...

There are approximately 6,205,094,048 troy ounces of gold in the world (according to USGS). I wonder how many shares underlie the SP500 value?

TYF said...

The S&P 500 index is a value weighted average of 500 of the largest-cap publically traded companies; not sure how that translates into shares, but it's a commonly-used indicator of overall stock market health.

As far as I've been able to tell, February 14, 1991 was the last time gold closed higher ($368.15) than the S&P 500 ($364.22).

Not trying to read any deep meaning into this, and I don't have the financial background to do an extended analysis.

I point it out as an interesting indicator we haven't seen in quite some time, and one which may be saying something about the level of anxiety out there these days.