Compiled 12/19/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,593.00 +$3.50 LME Copper Stocks 373,950 tons -7,300 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Unlike gold, silver wasn't able to carve out a higher high in the overnight action. In fact, March silver initially forged a range down extension which took out the two prior lows. Silver was at least partially undermined in the wake of recent European downgrade threats, but one might have expected some minor support for silver from signs of cooperation between the EU and the IMF. However, silver doesn't initially seem to be willing to give the EU/IMF interaction the benefit of the doubt. Given the weaker track to start in silver today, US scheduled data might be seen as an additional negative, especially if the US housing index readings come in unchanged to slightly lower later on this morning. Silver and other physical commodities probably see ongoing gridlock in Washington over government spending and payroll tax cut extension issues as a negative to prices. Comex Silver Stocks were 111.979 million ounces up 829,576 ounces. Comex Silver Stocks are now at the highest levels in a year. Comex Silver Stocks are at the highest levels since 10/21/2010. Stocks have increased 12 of the last 20 days. Comex Silver stocks are at their highest levels in the past 10. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of December 13th for Silver showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 17,802 contracts, an increase of 777 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 25,167 contracts, a decrease of 2,366 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 7,365 contracts, a decrease of 3,142 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 25,167 contracts. This represents a decrease of 2,365 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Equity markets in Asia were mixed today, with the North Korea news undermining some markets. Stocks in Europe showed some minor strength to start the Monday trade. Early indications are that the US markets will open with modest gains later on today. The US Dollar was slightly weaker against most of the major currencies to start this morning, but it was initially stronger in the wake of the death of the North Korean leader. In the overnight action, the markets saw signs a Euro zone current account deficit reading and suggestions from the Bundesbank, that the US wasn't likely to increase its stake in the IMF. US economic data to be released this morning is limited to a National Association of Home Builders housing market index, which is expected to show a minimal decline or an unchanged reading. The market will also see commentary later today from the Fed's Lacker, who is the Richmond Fed President.