Mario Monti has formed Italy’s new technocratic government, which will be sworn in today at 5 p.m. in Rome. The interim government will be tasked with tackling the crisis that has pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to untenable levels, threatening an economic meltdown that could spread throughout the euro zone. Monti’s new government contains no politicians, as he was reported to have wanted, after disputes among parties complicated Monti’s task of forming a Cabinet. Some analysts believe the lack of politicians in the administration will make it more vulnerable to ambushes in parliament as it tries to push through unpopular austerity measures.
Investor Insights: Oil Breaks $100 and Continues to Outperform Equities.
U.S. homebuilder confidence unexpectedly rose in November to its highest level since May 2010. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence rose to 20 in November, up from a downwardly revised 17 in October, the Washington-based group said today. Though November’s reading shows slight improvement, readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor than thought conditions were favorable.
Although the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) declined on Wednesday, several precious metal (NYSEARCA:DBP) miners moved higher. AngloGold (NYSE:AU) gained .30%, while Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) edged .13% higher in afternoon trading. Shares of NovaGold Resources (AMEX:NG) popped 27% after announcing it would spin off part of the company. NovaGold’s CEO and President, Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, will step down from his current position and become the CEO of a new subsidiary called NovaCopper.
Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both climbed nearly 2% higher before the closing bell. After receiving a favorable court decision, shares of Revett Minerals (RVM) popped more than 25%. Business Press reports: The Court affirmed that “the Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that the mine would entail “no adverse modification” to bull trout critical habitat and would result in “no jeopardy” to grizzly bears was not arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of the Endangered Species Act.” The Company is currently reviewing the decision and its implications and will provide further updates and comments in due course.
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