US economic fundamentals continue to stumble as evidenced by the raft of data that missed expectations last week. Most concerning following the weak retail sales numbers was the slide in sentiment. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment index tumbled from 95.9 to 88.6 in the latest period, further proof of consumer headwinds preventing more robust growth. The dollar sank on the announcement, seeing further gains in gold prices. According to the latest Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data released last Friday, net speculative positioning in gold saw speculators add to long positions after the prior week saw a major dip. Long positions rose from 72,400 contracts to 77,400 contracts in the latest week as gold prices held above $1200, crossing key technical levels to the upside and breaking higher to 3-month highs.