Briefly: in our opinion, full (300% of the regular position size) speculative short positions in mining stocks are justified from the risk/reward point of view at the moment of publishing this Alert.
The precious metals market moved lower yesterday as the USD Index moved up, but none of these moves were groundbreaking. At least not yet. Given gold's long-term turning point and because of USD's mid-year turning point, it's likely that we're going to see more decisive moves shortly.
Based on the way gold performed after the previous tops, we might expect gold to slide most profoundly next week.
So far, gold has been moving more or less in tune with the way it was behaving after the previous tops. The early part of the decline is usually characterized by some back-and-forth action as many investors don't realize that it's a top yet.
The dashed lines represent the recent declines and they make the comparison of the declines' pace easier. When will gold's decline turn more decisive? When it breaks below the rising support lines and the April low. This means that once gold slides below $1,780, the pace at which it declines, is likely to accelerate.
Based on the declines that were similarly big as the move that would take gold to about $1,700, we can expect gold to reach this level sometime next week. That's when we might exit the current short positions in order to re-open them after the rebound.
Silver declined quite decisively yesterday, moving back below the previous 2020 highs, but it moved once again shortly thereafter. Right now, it's consolidating, just like it's been consolidating after the February and June tops. Once the white metal declines below the rising support line, and the $18 level, the pace of decline is likely to accelerate.
And what about the mining stocks?
Miners moved to new intraday high, but closed the day lower. They have not yet declined profoundly, as gold hasn't either.
On Monday, we described the above chart in the following way:
Remember when we wrote that the situation right now is similar to what happened in March, but this time it takes longer for everything to develop due to the change in market's perception of risk? To make a long story short, the March coronavirus panic was because the entire world was dealing with the unknown, which exacerbated the fear. Right now, the situation is worse, and it goes worse almost on a daily basis, but people are not as afraid. The economic implications don't appear so dire either. And it's definitely nothing unknown - we more or less know what to expect.
This means that we're likely to see a repeat of what we saw in March, we're likely to see it in "slow motion", at least for some time. Please note that even slow-motion mode of the mid-March plunge would still be very volatile.
The areas that we marked with red rectangles are similar in terms of shape, but the current one is about 4x longer. The previous pattern was characterized by a decline and a correction that took more or less the same time to complete. If we're about to see something similar also this time, then we can expect the top to be formed this week.
As of yesterday, the June - July upswing took as much time as the May - June decline did. This time, the second high was higher, but the timing between the highs and the low is analogous to what we saw in February and March.
Given the RSI that just touched the 70 level, the sell signal from the Stochastic indicator, the Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index that just hit the extreme 100 mark, and the above-mentioned symmetry, it seems that the top in the mining stocks is finally in.
The next strong support is provided by the June lows, but if gold is to move to $1,700 next week, we doubt that this level would hold.
Once the decline really starts and gold is on its way to $1,700, we will update the target prices for the mining stocks - it will be much easier to assess the likely short-term bottom price once we see how miners react to gold's move.
Finally, there's a sign coming from the crude oil market that the repeat (slower, but still) of what happened in March, has already started. Back then crude oil was the weakest market that started the moves, and we finally saw a short-term breakdown in black gold's price.
This does not bode well for crude oil, stock market, or the precious metals market in the near term, and it serves as a confirmation of what we wrote previously today.
Summing up, the extreme overbought reading from the Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index is a perfectly bearish confirmation for points that we made previously about gold and the USD Index.
Naturally, everyone's trading is their responsibility, but in our opinion, if there ever was a time to either enter a short position in the miners or to increase its size if it wasn't already sizable, it's now. We made money on the March decline and on the March rebound, and it seems that another massive slide is about to start. When everyone is on one side of the boat, it's a good idea to be on the other side, and the Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index literally indicates that this is the case with mining stocks.
After the sell-off (that takes gold below $1,400), we expect the precious metals to rally significantly. The final decline might take as little as 1-6 weeks, so it's important to stay alert to any changes.
Most importantly - stay healthy and safe. We made a lot of money on the March decline and the subsequent rebound (its initial part) price moves (and we'll likely make much more in the following weeks and months), but you have to be healthy to really enjoy the results.
As always, we'll keep you - our subscribers - informed.
Trading capital (supplementary part of the portfolio; our opinion): Full speculative short positions (300% of the full position) in mining stocks is justified from the risk to reward point of view with the following binding exit profit-take price levels:
Senior mining stocks (price levels for the GDX ETF): binding profit-take exit price: $10.32; stop-loss: none (the volatility is too big to justify a SL order in case of this particular trade); binding profit-take level for the DUST ETF: $231.75; stop-loss for the DUST ETF: none (the volatility is too big to justify a SL order in case of this particular trade)
Junior mining stocks (price levels for the GDXJ ETF): binding profit-take exit price: $9.57; stop-loss: none (the volatility is too big to justify a SL order in case of this particular trade); binding profit-take level for the JDST ETF: $284.25; stop-loss for the JDST ETF: none (the volatility is too big to justify a SL order in case of this particular trade)
For-your-information targets (our opinion; we continue to think that mining stocks are the preferred way of taking advantage of the upcoming price move, but if for whatever reason one wants / has to use silver or gold for this trade, we are providing the details anyway. In our view, silver has greater potential than gold does):
Silver futures downside profit-take exit price: $8.58 (the downside potential for silver is significant, but likely not as big as the one in the mining stocks)
Gold futures downside profit-take exit price: $1,382 (the target for gold is least clear; it might drop to even $1,170 or so; the downside potential for gold is significant, but likely not as big as the one in the mining stocks or silver)
Long-term capital (core part of the portfolio; our opinion): No positions (in other words: cash
Insurance capital (core part of the portfolio; our opinion): Full position
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Please note that the in the trading section we describe the situation for the day that the alert is posted. In other words, it we are writing about a speculative position, it means that it is up-to-date on the day it was posted. We are also featuring the initial target prices, so that you can decide whether keeping a position on a given day is something that is in tune with your approach (some moves are too small for medium-term traders and some might appear too big for day-traders).
Plus, you might want to read why our stop-loss orders are usually relatively far from the current price.
Please note that a full position doesn't mean using all of the capital for a given trade. You will find details on our thoughts on gold portfolio structuring in the Key Insights section on our website.
As a reminder - "initial target price" means exactly that - an "initial" one, it's not a price level at which we suggest closing positions. If this becomes the case (like it did in the previous trade) we will refer to these levels as levels of exit orders (exactly as we've done previously). Stop-loss levels, however, are naturally not "initial", but something that, in our opinion, might be entered as an order.
Since it is impossible to synchronize target prices and stop-loss levels for all the ETFs and ETNs with the main markets that we provide these levels for (gold, silver and mining stocks - the GDX ETF), the stop-loss levels and target prices for other ETNs and ETF (among other: UGLD, DGLD, USLV, DSLV, NUGT, DUST, JNUG, JDST) are provided as supplementary, and not as "final". This means that if a stop-loss or a target level is reached for any of the "additional instruments" (DGLD for instance), but not for the "main instrument" (gold in this case), we will view positions in both gold and DGLD as still open and the stop-loss for DGLD would have to be moved lower. On the other hand, if gold moves to a stop-loss level but DGLD doesn't, then we will view both positions (in gold and DGLD) as closed. In other words, since it's not possible to be 100% certain that each related instrument moves to a given level when the underlying instrument does, we can't provide levels that would be binding. The levels that we do provide are our best estimate of the levels that will correspond to the levels in the underlying assets, but it will be the underlying assets that one will need to focus on regarding the signs pointing to closing a given position or keeping it open. We might adjust the levels in the "additional instruments" without adjusting the levels in the "main instruments", which will simply mean that we have improved our estimation of these levels, not that we changed our outlook on the markets. We are already working on a tool that would update these levels on a daily basis for the most popular ETFs, ETNs and individual mining stocks.
Our preferred ways to invest in and to trade gold along with the reasoning can be found in the how to buy gold section. Additionally, our preferred ETFs and ETNs can be found in our Gold & Silver ETF Ranking.
As a reminder, Gold & Silver Trading Alerts are posted before or on each trading day (we usually post them before the opening bell, but we don't promise doing that each day). If there's anything urgent, we will send you an additional small alert before posting the main one.
Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA
Editor-in-chief, Gold & Silver Fund Manager