Compiled 02/22/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1385.50 +$8.50 LME Copper Stocks 411,750 tons +275 SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) March silver reached new contract highs yesterday and again overnight but has since pulled back to lower on the day on apparent profit-taking. Like gold, silver benefited from the increase in tensions over the weekend, especially in Libya. The situation in Libya looks tenuous. The government's use of deadly force against the protesters has sparked worldwide condemnation and also resignations by Libyan ambassadors, desertion by air force pilots and a call for a no-fly zone over that country. The fact that they are the first government of a major oil producer to be really threatened has sent crude oil to its highest level since 2008 and has sent traders to US Treasuries and precious metals for safe haven support. However, the situation is extremely volatile, and any move toward resolution could quickly turn the market negative. Comex Silver Stocks fell to 102.374 million ounces, down 178,348. This is their lowest level since August 11, 2006. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 15th showed non-commercial traders were net long 44,102 contracts, an increase of 4,873 contracts. Non-commercial and nonreportable traders combined traders held a net long position of 58,773 contracts, an increase of 5,133. Both are well off of their record net long levels and are actually at the middle of the range of the past 15 years. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) While equity markets in Asia and Europe were generally lower during overnight trading, early indications are for the US stock market to open with sizable losses this morning. The Dollar is stronger against most of the major currencies during overnight trading, although posting small losses against the Yen and the Swiss Franc. Libyan leader Qaddafi has appeared on television to refute rumors that he fled the country, although the situation in that nation remains volatile. Iranian warships have entered the Suez canal on their way to the Mediterranean Sea. A credit ratings agency has warned Japan of a debt rating reduction if that nation does not bring public debt levels under control. A private survey of German Business Sentiment during February was at 111.2, higher than expectations and at a record high level. A private survey of German Consumer Confidence during February was at 6.0, in line with forecasts. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include a private survey of US Housing Prices at 8:00 AM and a private survey of US Consumer Confidence at 9:00 AM. In addition, Fed Regional President Kocherlakota will give a speech during the session.