CNN Business/Alexis Benveniste
Robinhood, Vanguard and E-Trade report glitches on huge trading day

Users of Robinhood, Vanguard, E-Trade and other online brokerages were reporting problems Monday morning, a huge day for retail investors hoping to get a piece of Apple or Tesla’s newly split stock.

Robinhood tweeted that it had resolved the issue around midday Monday. “This morning, some customers were experiencing issues with delayed order status updates. We’ve resolved the issue and Robinhood is operational. We apologize and thank you for your patience.”

Some on social media were livid. One Twitter user responded to an earlier Robinhood tweet, saying, “So was my $2000 dollar loss when I couldn’t execute my trade only a display issue also??”

Twitter users also reported glitches with E-Trade, Schwab, Vanguard and TD Ameritrade.

This isn’t the first time Robinhood has had to deal with tech glitches on a big trading day. In March, the app had two outages within 24 hours during one of the stock markets’ wildest swings. The SEC is currently investigating Robinhood’s handling of the platform’s outage in March.

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Marketwatch/Joy Wiltermuth
U.S. corporate debt soars to record $10.5 trillion

U.S. corporations now owe a record $10.5 trillion to creditors, either in the form of bonds or loans, a stunning 30-fold increase from a half-century ago, according to a new BofA Global Research report.

By far, the biggest chunk of debt has been taken out by American companies with high “investment-grade” credit ratings of AAA to BBB, a segment of the market where borrowing has more than doubled in the past decade to roughly $7.2 trillion.

Higher ratings should be a good thing for creditors, particularly if American corporations acts as investors expect, and start paying down their debts once the health threat of COVID-19 can be better managed, the economy recovers and corporate earnings pick back up.

However, half of investment-grade corporate debt, or $3.6 trillion, resides within the borderline BBB credit-ratings category, only a few notches away from speculative-grade, or “junk,” territory.

A longtime worry among investors has been that an economic downturn or a sustained cycle of BBB downgrades by credit-rating firms could swamp the junk-bond market, which BofA pegs as roughly 250% smaller than the BBB segment.

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Kitco/Neils Christensen
Silver’s fundamentals are stronger than gold – Randy Smallwood

The gold/silver ratio continues to hover near its lowest level in a month as silver continues to play catchup within the precious metals markets.

On the sidelines of the Mines and Money Online Connect virtual mining conference, Randy Smallwood, president and CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals, said that now is silver’s time to shine. It is only a matter of time before the metal follows in gold’s footsteps and hit record highs above $50 an ounce, he added.

“There’s just all sorts of benefits to silver,” Smallwood said. “We’ve been saying for a long time, the fundamentals are much stronger, but silver always lags gold when gold starts moving. In the last two months, we’ve really seen silver totally outperform and claw its way back up.  Now, we’re not at record highs yet, but with the fundamentals behind silver… I’m confident that we will see record highs in silver over the near term.”

Smallwood’s comments come as silver prices push to a nearly two-week high. September silver futures last traded at 28.385 an ounce, up more than 2% on the day. Meanwhile, the gold/silver ratio is currently trading at 70, down significantly from March’s all-time high around 125.

Some analysts have said that silver prices have struggled in gold’s shadow because of weak industrial demand due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, Smallwood said that along with being a monetary metal, silver’s industrial demand is what makes it more compelling than gold. He added that silver’s industrial demand is only going to continue to grow. In a world that looks to be more energy-efficient, Smallwood noted that silver is the best conductor in the world, “better than gold, better than copper.”

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Gold rises to two-week high as dollar stumbles

Gold prices rose on Tuesday to their highest level in nearly two weeks, as the dollar slipped to multi-year lows on bets that U.S. interest rates would stay lower for a longer period after the Federal Reserve’s new policy framework.

Spot gold was up 0.7% at $1,983.77 per ounce by 0041 GMT, after hitting its highest since August 19 at $1,984.97 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,990.

“With the greenback expected to remain week, we expect gold to grind higher and revisit the $2,000 an ounce level initially,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.The dollar index dropped to a more than two-year low against its rivals, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

The Fed’s new monetary policy strategy, which could result in inflation moving slightly higher and interest rates staying lower for longer, has triggered a sell-off in the dollar, driving inflows into safe-haven bullion.

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