Back in April 2020, in my post, I had surmised "Gold Could Fly Over A Helicopter Throwing Money" as the fourth round of Quantitative Easing (QE4) had started a month earlier in March 2020 with an initial pledge to inject $700 billion via asset purchases to support U.S. liquidity. The price of gold was $1,681 at that time.
We all knew that the printing press should push gold prices higher. I tried to calculate the possible target area for the gold price using comparative analysis of the past period, and then I set the range of three goals: $2,000-$2,200-$2,540. Your reaction had come as follows.
The ultra-bullish $2,540 target dominated the ballot. However, the second bet with a more realistic $2,000 target was the closest yet as we saw the all-time high at $2,075 in August 2020. I guess I found the reason for this outcome in the monthly chart below. Continue reading "Gold Has Stalled At Equilibrium"→
A review of the situation in gold stocks. It is, in essence, a year ago that Warren Buffett ill-timed his entry into the gold stock sector, unwittingly calling a top to the post-crash rally and signaling the start of the 2020 inflation trades, which did not include gold stocks (for logical reasons, as belabored in NFTRH and at NFTRH.com over the years). Increasing the view that ole’ Warren was playing contrary indicator last summer were the usual gold perma-bull suspects coming out immediately after with bullhorns a blaring as we noted in real-time on August 17, 2020: Buffett Buys a Gold Stock!
In the scope of the entire correction, as the bids rotated out of the precious metals and to a lesser degree growth/tech stocks into value stocks and cyclicals (including commodities) the inflation-instigated reflation trades hit stride, and gold stocks were sent on a long decline. Again, if you tune out the perma-touts and think rationally, the miners were only doing what they should do (see below).
There were two false breakdowns, the second of which sparked a strong rally. We also caught Mr. Buffett for a contrary signal to that rally on February 17, 2021: Buffett Pukes a Gold Stock!
The rally terminated at a key resistance level (as plotted well ahead of time as a caution zone in NFTRH) and here we are with HUI below its down-turning SMA 50 and SMA 200 (which needed to hold as support in order to maintain a constructive view), back in the downtrend channel (actually the Handle to a still bullish big picture, which is beyond the scope of this post) and the near-term bounce that I had been expecting has finally arrived after the rude interruption of an unexpected lower low.
Gold miners require a unique macroeconomic backdrop.
When gold-stock bulls complain about a “smackdown,” a “hit,” or a “smash” against the poor gold-stock sector, what they should be thinking about is what a relatively small market the gold stock universe is compared to the multitude of galaxies populated by cyclical and risk on stocks and commodities and the massive bond market. The gold stock sector’s noise to trading volume ratio must be far and away the biggest bull market on the planet (I know because I am part of it :-)).
And once in a while, the sector actually warrants all that noise. Like in 2001 when markets were beginning a bear phase, and economies were faltering, like in Q4, 2008 when gold stocks were crashing to unwind previous inflationary excesses, leading stocks and commodities into a terrible crash and rebounding first. Like in March of 2020, when the miners crashed and ‘V’ bottomed to lead what is to this day an ongoing economic recovery born of inflation, gold and gold stocks first sniffed out.
And that is the rub. Personally, I have been favoring the prospect of a strong bull market (target: 500) after initially projecting an A-B-C upside correction target of 375 in 2019, which we put in the books at 373.85 last August. But in order to continue favoring an ongoing bull market scenario, the macro fundamentals must play ball, and play ball they have not since last summer. Hence, the A-B-C upward correction and ongoing bear market scenario gains strength with each passing month of positive economic activity, regardless of the inflation it was created with.
Enter once again the Macrocosm because it is time for a reminder to myself, if not you, that the macro must rotate negative in order for the gold-stock sector to be anything special. Speaking of rotation, it has been rotating alright, but with yields and inflation signals fading that rotation is not into a deflationary situation that would produce a big gold-stock buying opportunity but is instead something of an interim Goldilocks scenario (easing inflation expectations, firming USD, Tech and Growth bid up, etc. while the economy remains okay). Continue reading "Update: Gold Mining Fundamental Macrocosm"→
There are times when gold is an okay inflation hedge while under-performing the likes of industrial metals, oil/energy, materials, etc. During those times, if you’re doggedly precious metals focused you should consider silver, which, as a hybrid precious metal/industrial commodity, has more pro-cyclical inflation utility than gold.
But as I have argued for much of the last year, if the inflated situation is working toward cyclical progress (as it is currently) then there is a world full of trades and investments out there to choose from, many of which are trouncing gold (which, as I have belabored for the better part of 2 decades now, is not about price but instead, value) in the inflated price casino.
The latest ISM Report on Business shows one negative among the important areas as employment declined. Now, before we get too excited about that gold-positive reading let’s also realize that manufacturing employment is still growing, new orders are briskly increasing, backlogs are up and customer inventories are down. In short, manufacturing continues to boom.
But being inflation-fueled, the economic recovery also has a ‘prices’ problem… and a materials/supplies problem (unless you’re one of the 2 or 3 people out there with a deep desire to own Acetone. There are potential Stagflationary elements to this situation, which would come forward if the economy starts to struggle due to inflation and the economic pressures it is building. Continue reading "Gold's Inflation Utility"→
The Gold Miner correction was well earned, but it was not a bubble.
Even today there is some pablum out there talking about how if inflation is good for gold it is especially good for gold miners. I will simply repeat once again that if gold usually does not benefit fundamentally by cyclical inflation (i.e. inflation promoted for and currently working toward economic goals) the gold miners never do, unless they rise against their preferred fundamentals as they did during two separate phases in the last bull market, which were justly resolved with crashes.
Here are a couple charts we used in NFTRH 648 in a segment written to set the record straight. We have also used these charts – especially the first one – since the caution flags went up last summer, visually by the first chart and anecdotally by the usual suspects aggressively pumping the unwitting masses. Buffett buys a gold stock!… okay, well so much for that. Sentiment became off the charts over-bullish and now, as we prepare for the final act of the correction, it’s the opposite. That’s perfect.
HUI had far exceeded the Gold/SPX ratio and so it was very vulnerable from a macro fundamental perspective. Why on earth would players want to focus on miners digging a rock out of the ground that was starting to fail in a price ratio to the stock market? They wouldn’t, and since last summer they didn’t.
But from a sector fundamental perspective the Gold/Oil ratio (Oil/Energy is a primary driver of mining costs) and HUI show that the 2020 rally was nothing like the two bubbles of yesteryear, when not only did HUI hit danger signals (!) noted above by a macro fundamental indicator, it also made two separate bubbles vs. this sector fundamental. This time? Nope, no bubble here. Continue reading "Gold: What A Long And Not So Strange Trip"→