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Gold price rockets past $2,000 per ounce and it could keep going

What’s happening: Gold has rallied past $2,000 per ounce for the first time ever, with spot prices jumping as high as $2,041 per ounce on Wednesday.

The metal’s spectacular rally is the result of a weakening dollar, which makes it cheaper for foreign investors to buy gold, as well as rock-bottom yields on other safe-haven assets like US Treasuries. Some investors also fear that trillions in unprecedented stimulus from central banks could feed long-dormant inflationary pressures, and are turning to gold for protection.

The gold rush has notable consequences. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), an exchange-traded fund that holds physical gold in HSBC’s London vaults, has had to stockpile huge amounts in recent days as investors piled in.
The fund, which is managed by State Street and the World Gold Council, now has 1,258 tons of gold holdings — more than the Bank of England or the Bank of Japan. The news was first reported by the Financial Times.

Watch this space: JPMorgan told clients on Tuesday that older investors are more likely to opt for gold as an “alternative” asset, while younger investors favor Bitcoin.

(The bank also said that while older investors have been selling equity funds and buying bond funds, younger investors have been snapping up individual stocks, particularly in the tech sector. Thanks, Robinhood?)

There’s good reason to believe that gold, which has increased 34.5% this year, can keep climbing.

Goldman Sachs predicts that the US dollar will weaken another 5% during the next 12 months, in part due to a stronger economic comeback from Covid-19 outside the United States. Yields on benchmark government bonds are expected to stay extremely low as central banks maintain support.

And the appetite for safe-haven investments is only poised to ramp up as we enter the next phase of the recovery, which could be rocky.

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“Our outlook for a robust but still-incomplete recovery reflects the judgment that policymakers have successfully navigated the global economy out of the crisis, but will fall short of meeting the challenges that still lie ahead,” JPMorgan economist Bruce Kasman told clients on Friday. “Growth momentum will thus fade.”

The pandemic rattles Disney’s media empire

Brutal quarterly results show the extent to which Covid-19 has hit the world’s top entertainment company.

The details: Disney (DIS) reported a rare net loss of nearly $5 billion between April and June, my CNN Business colleague Frank Pallotta reports. Its parks division was hit especially hard, with revenue down a whopping 85% from the same quarter a year prior.

The pandemic has been tough to weather for a company that relies on packing fans into movie theaters and theme parks, while putting live sports on hold has been damaging for subsidiary ESPN.

Disney is trying to adjust. The company said Tuesday that its “Mulan” remake, whose theatrical release has been delayed multiple times, will be offered on Disney+, the company’s new streaming service, for an additional fee of $29.99.

Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, said the pandemic forced the company to take a “different” approach.

“We thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family friendly film to them in a timely manner,” he told analysts.

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Disney+ has been a rare bright spot for the company as more people hunker down at home.

A report from UK media regulator Ofcom released Wednesday found that time on streaming services has doubled during the pandemic, with 12 million UK adults signing up for a new service. Disney+ made an “immediate impact” after launch and is now the country’s third most popular streaming option.

Investor insight: The global subscriber count for Disney+ has climbed to 57.5 million. That solid growth is sending Disney shares up more than 6% in premarket trading.

Growing losses batter Beyond Meat and Nikola

Losses are rising at Beyond Meat (BYND) and the electric truck startup Nikola, hitting the stocks of two of retail investors’ favorite companies.

The latest: Plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat said Tuesday that while net revenues rose 69% to $113.3 million last quarter compared to the same period last year, its net loss ticked up to $10.2 million. The company had to repackage and reroute products from shuttered restaurants to grocery stores, where demand was booming.

“Adapting to such a dramatic change in mix over a short period of time was no small feat,” CEO Ethan Brown told analysts. Still, shares are down 10% in premarket trading.

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Meanwhile, Nikola announced Tuesday that the company booked an $86.6 million net loss in the second quarter, up from a loss of $16.8 million in the same quarter last year. The company cited supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19 but said its long-term plans are “materially unaffected” by the pandemic.

Shares of Nikola plunged 14% in premarket trading.

Some of those declines may be attributable to high expectations; shares of Beyond Meat are up 88% year-to-date, while Nikola’s stock has skyrocketed 276%, rising nearly 30% on Monday and Tuesday alone.

Up next

CVS (CVS), Moderna (MRNA), New York Times (NYT), Thomson Reuters (TRI) and Wayfair (W) report results before US markets open. Camping World (CWH), Etsy (ETSY), Hostess Brands (TWNK) and Square (SQ) follow after the close.

Also today:

  • The ADP report on US private employment arrives at 8:15 a.m. ET.
  • The latest data on America’s crude oil inventories posts at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Coming tomorrow: The Bank of England announces its latest monetary policy decision and forecasts.

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