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Metals set the pace

I always feel one step behind where I should be in the office after a holiday. There are so many things to do and less time to do them in.

Checking the price of gold this morning makes me feel two steps behind. It is showing great verve and market energy. It is knocking on the door of another record price, trading as it is at just under $1,258 a troy ounce.

Silver seems about to touch $20 an ounce, which is a nice round number that brings the basic value of any 90 percent silver U.S. coin to 14.3 times face value.

The $20 price also is important psychologically as we have spent the past two years below that level and many market pundits are putting the metal in the spotlight.

Congress is about to come back and perhaps do something about the 1099 reporting requirement that was buried in the health bill that passed earlier this year.

A successful repeal would certainly give another boost to coin market psychology.

Cheerleading aside, the hobby also faces negatives. Rising unemployment and the economic fear that it engenders might cause more collectors to temporarily close their wallets.

In any market, there are always positives and negatives. Now that we are past Labor Day, the serious work of the fall hobby season begins.

Will the market positives or negatives carry the day?

What do you think?