Gold and silver owners are a bit richer today than they were yesterday, and a lot richer than a year ago.
In the wake of the U.S. Labor Department's dismal job analysis and reports that the federal government was about to launch multi-billion-dollar lawsuits against the nation's largest banks, investors were driven back to gold and silver on Friday, shooting prices up to near-record highs.
Near-term gold futures in New York closed with a gain of $47.70 to $1,873.70 an ounce. Silver also rocketed, rising $1.54 to $43.02 an ounce.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 253.51 points Friday, and Europe fared worse with average blue-chip stocks tumbling 3.7 percent.