There are days and there are days. On some days the gold bugs index (^HUI) just can’t catch a break, and the mining ETFs (NYSEARCA:GDX) look for every excuse to break down. We’ve seen that twice this week.
But on other days, the miners act like a spring being pushed back, looking for any excuse to jump and resisting down ticks in gold. Yesterday was that kind of day. This kind of double-edged mood swing behavior almost makes it seem as if these stocks have a consciousness all their own. You never know what kind of mood they’ll be in on any given day.
And despite the mood swings, gold stocks are still handily outperforming gold itself (NYSEARCA:GLD) nearly 7:1. Let’s put that number in perspective. The rally in gold stocks from 2008 to 2011 was the largest and most aggressive since 1978-1980. Still, gold equities only outpaced gold 1.7:1. The night is young as they say and the rally is only a month old, but so far it still looks like a solid beginning.
It was the action in oil stocks yesterday that make another leg up in the next week or two more likely, for both oil and gold. Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) was up only 0.5% on the day, and yet Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) was up 3.3%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), typically a more leveraged play than Exxon, was up 2.5%. For the first time since bottoming on August 24th, oil stocks are outpacing oil, another sign that gold and oil may have bottomed together.
The next leg up may already be starting as spot gold is up $8 this morning on the Comex. Unless we see one of those typical and suspicious multi-thousand futures contract dumps in the premarket, gold stocks should be up strongly at the open.
Technically things are looking good as well. If and when the new leg up begins, gold will have broken through its 50 week moving average (WMA). There have been false breakouts before that quickly fell right back through it though. If this breakout is to be real, we’ll have to see some consolidation just above that line as gold hugs the top of the 50 before attempting a run at the 200 WMA.
The strongest sign today that the new baby bull is intact though, is that despite an enormous day for the US dollar which rocketed up 1.5% (NYSEARCA:UUP), gold and oil stood firm. Normally, in a bear market, the bears would take that opportunity to sell hard into the dollar breakout. Yesterday, there was no sign of that at all.
Prepare for the next leg up.
Disclosure: The author was long gold and XOM at time of writing.