Gold Miners: Were Upswings Just An Exhausting Sprint?

In addition, the HUI to S&P 500 ratio broke below the neck level (red, dashed line) of a broad head-and-shoulders pattern and it verified this breakdown by moving temporarily back to it. The target for the ratio based on this formation is at about 0.05 (slightly above it). Consequently, if the S&P 500 doesn’t decline, the ratio at 0.05 would imply the HUI Index at about 196. However, if the S&P 500 declined to about 3,200 or so (its late-2020 lows) and the ratio moved to about 0.05, it would imply the HUI Index at about 160 – very close to its 2020 lows.

All in all, the implications of mining stocks’ relative performance to gold and the general stock market are currently bearish.

But if we’re headed for a GDX ETF cliff, how far could we fall?

Well, there are three reasons why the GDX ETF might form an interim bottom at roughly ~$27.50 (assuming no big decline in the general stock market):

  1. The GDX ETF previously bottomed at the 38.2% and 50.0% Fibonacci retracement levels. And with the 61.8% level next in line, the GDX ETF is likely to garner similar support.
  2. The GDX ETFs late-March 2020 high should also elicit buying pressure.
  3. If we copy the magnitude of the late-February/early-March decline and add it to the early-March bottom, it corresponds with the GDX ETF bottoming at roughly $27.50.

Keep in mind though: if the stock market plunges, all bets are off. Why so? Well, because when the S&P 500 plunged in March 2020, the GDX ETF moved from $29.67 to below $17 in less than two weeks. As a result, U.S. equities have the potential to make the miners’ forthcoming swoon all the more painful.

The Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index ($BPGDM)

As another reliable indicator (in addition to the myriads of signals coming not only from mining stocks, but from gold, silver, USD Index, stocks, their ratios, and many fundamental observations) the Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index ($BPGDM) isn’t at levels that trigger a major reversal. The Index is now approaching 47. However, far from a medium-term bottom, the latest reading is still more than 37 points above the 2016 and 2020 lows.

Back in 2016 (after the top), and in March 2020, the buying opportunity didn’t present itself until the $BPGDM was below 10.

Thus, with the sentiment still relatively elevated, it will take more negativity for the index to find the true bottom.

The excessive bullishness was present at the 2016 top as well and it didn’t cause the situation to be any less bearish in reality. All markets periodically get ahead of themselves regardless of how bullish the long-term outlook really is. Then, they correct. If the upswing was significant, the correction is also quite often significant.

Please note that back in 2016, there was an additional quick upswing before the slide and this additional upswing caused the $BPGDM to move up once again for a few days. It then declined once again. We saw something similar also in the middle of 2020. In this case, the move up took the index once again to the 100 level, while in 2016 this wasn’t the case. But still, the similarity remains present.

Back in 2016, when we saw this phenomenon, it was already after the top, and right before the big decline. Based on the decline from above 350 to below 280, we know that a significant decline is definitely taking place.

But has it already run its course?

Well, in 2016 and early 2020, the HUI Index continued to move lower until it declined below the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. The emphasis goes on “below” as this retracement might not trigger the final bottom. Case in point: back in 2020, the HUI Index undershot the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level and gave back nearly all of its prior rally. And using the 2016 and 2020 analogues as anchors, this time around, the HUI Index is likely to decline below 231. In addition, if the current decline is more similar to the 2020 one, the HUI Index could move to 150 or so, especially if it coincides with a significant drawdown of U.S. equities.

The Nasdaq

Circling back to the Nasdaq Composite, the unwinding of excessive speculation could deliver a fierce blow to the gold miners. Case in point: when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the Nasdaq lost nearly 80% of its value, while the gold miners lost more than 50% of their value.

Please see below:

Right now, the two long-term channels above (the solid blue and red dashed lines) show that the Nasdaq is trading well above both historical trends.

View single page >> |

Disclaimer: All essays, research and information found on the Website represent the analyses and opinions of Mr. Radomski and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong ...

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Thomas Callahan 1 month ago Member's comment

You have been on the wrong side of the trade for a while now. At what point do you reassess your charting?

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA 1 month ago Author's comment

I am reassessing my charts each day, and if bigger moves take place, many times per day. And... have I really been on the wrong side of the trade? I mean - do you know when I entered short positions and (profitably closed long ones) and what instrument I used? The positions that I entered (and discussed in my Gold & Silver Trading Alerts) were profitable shortly after entering them, and currently they are not, but they are very close to being so. Based on today's pre-market decline in gold, they will likely be profitable once again very soon, perhaps as soon as during today's session.