The minutes of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting released on Wednesday had no major surprises as the Fed expressed some concern about inflation and also mentioned an improved labor market. Most investors see the Fed raising short-term interest rates in mid to late 2015, and the minutes of Wednesday's Fed meeting did not give them any reason to change that view. Markets did not react very much, although gold prices took a small dive and closed the day (Wednesday) near $1178. The Fed sticking to its schedule for a rate hike in the second half of 2015 (i.e. not suggesting any delay in the hike) conveys a hawkish tone which is good for the U.S. Dollar but can depress gold prices (as gold is viewed as a hedge against inflation caused by dovish Fed policies). Today (Thursday) gold prices snapped back so the dip on Wednesday may have been just a short-term nervous reaction. Both gold and the broad stock market are still in ideal positions now to take steep corrections; however, if gold breaks above $1210 and/or the DOW closes above 17,740 we may have to abandon that idea and wait until mid-December for another opportunity to sell these markets short.