Compiled 02/14/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,721.00 -$6.00 LME Copper Stocks 313,800 tons +300 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) The silver market has shown some minor downside action overnight and that action seemed to be the result of the latest credit ratings downgrade news from Moody's. However, the pressure on silver was moderately slightly by somewhat favorable German ZEW readings overnight. It is possible that the hope for something positive from US retail sales is providing some cushion for silver and other physical commodity prices this morning. However, fears that some European central banks might be forced to sell gold in the face of the ongoing debt crisis is probably trickling over into the silver market this morning, as that issue is usually seen as a hot button issue. Like gold, the silver market will probably take a lot of direction from the US retail sales report and the action in the US equity markets might also be important to the silver trade today. The bear camp is suggesting they have the benefit of a negative chart setup and that type of thinking could make last Friday's low an important level. Comex Silver Stocks were 129.071 million ounces down 46,522 ounces. Gold stocks have increased in 11 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were mixed overnight but the Nikkei managed to forge a surprise recovery in the wake of additional Japanese government support. European equity markets were also mixed, but the markets initially saw pressure off the credit ratings news flow from Moody's. Early US stock market action was initially weaker, but the markets seemed to claw back into positive ground in the wake of positive results from an Italian debt auction. The markets also saw some positive results from a German ZEW survey and that news was given added importance by suggestions from the ZEW, that recent slowing in the German economy was probably temporary. In the US trade today, the markets will be presented with a US retail sales report, with expectations calling for a modest expansion. The US will also release a private small business index survey, Manufacturing Inventories as well as Import & Export prices. There will also be two Fed speeches and US Treasury Secretary testimony to a Senate committee on the recently released 2013 US Budget.