What an Exciting Rally it… WAS

Welcome to this week's flagship Gold Trading Alert.

Predicated on last week’s price moves, our most recently featured medium-term outlook remains the same as the price moves align with our expectations. On that account, there are parts of the previous analysis that didn’t change at all in the earlier days and are written in italics.

The key thing that happened between now and the previous flagship Gold Trading Alert (that I posted last Friday), is that we had opened and then took profits from a long position (we were long for less than three market sessions in total, but the JNUG rallied by about 12% during that time) – and we’re now back on the short side of the market to profit from the likely ENORMOUS decline.

Also, I’ll keep the previous “Technical Look at the Fundamentals” section intact because it remains to have the key background impact on the entire landscape for all markets, including the precious metals market. After all, one of the two primary fundamental drivers of gold prices (the other being the USD Index) is real interest rates. In fact, that’s what I’m going to start with. (This section is just as it was previously, so if you have already read it, please feel free to scroll down to the next section.)

Technical Look at Fundamentals

Let me start by quoting one of the things that we already wrote above:

However, we’ve warned on numerous occasions that the Fed has always pushed the U.S. federal funds rate (FFR) above the peak year-over-year (YoY) percentage change in the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), and that nine of the last 10 bouts of rising inflation have ended with recessions.

The latter – likelihood of a recession – means that the stock market (along with silver, mining stocks, and – in particular – junior mining stocks) is likely to fall. Given how far it rose on the various stimulus-based programs, it can also fall substantially. This is not to be taken lightly.

The former implies that either higher or lower interest rates, or both, are possible. Or at least a faster increase in rates than in inflation (or a slower decline in rates than in inflation).

In fact, let’s see the long-term chart once again.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 1

And here’s what gold did in the long run.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 2

The above chart features gold price in nominal terms and the below chart shows the price of gold in real terms (adjusted for inflation based on the official inflation statistics).

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 3

Source: Macrotrends.net

The thing that I want to emphasize here is gold’s performance in the 70s and 80s. There were two major declines in gold – one started in mid-70s and one in 1980. Let’s zoom in a bit on the former, as it might not be clear based on the above charts.

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Source: chartsrus.com

What happened on the rates vs. CPI chart at those times? There were some major shifts in their relative values.

To make it easier to see what was going on, let’s take a look at yet another chart – the one featuring both nominal and real Treasury yields. Of course, the yields are closely linked to the interest rates, so it’s pretty much the same chart.

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The real yield is what is of the greatest importance here.

Why? Because that is what one effectively gets by postponing consumption, saving the capital, and investing (technically, lending) it at very low risk.

If the real yield moves below 0%, it means that one is effectively losing money while just earning interest on Treasuries. That is when gold becomes extremely valuable.. Gold pays no interest, but it’s been currency throughout history, so it’s viewed as something safe and stable in the long run. Therefore, it seems better to just hold gold, which at least won’t (theoretically) lose value, while fiat money does. In other words, gold is then used as an inflation hedge.

When the real yields rally, however, the situation turns upside down.

Since gold doesn’t provide interest, and rising real yields mean that it makes more and more sense to have capital in the form of money that pays this increasing interest (like Treasuries), the appeal for gold ownership declines.

That’s why real yields and real interest rates are one of the two key fundamental drivers of gold prices. The other is the USD Index.

Indeed, the lows in real yields (mid-70s and the 1980) corresponded to tops in the gold price.

So, again, to clarify:

  1. Rising real interest rates / yields are extremely likely to trigger declines in the gold price.
  2. Declining real interest rates / yields are extremely likely to trigger rallies in the gold price.

The above might not work in the short term, but it’s likely to work over the medium- and long term. After all, the markets can be particularly emotional in the short run and move on just about anything, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

All right, to clarify even more, what exactly are those real interest rates? How to calculate them?

Here’s the definition from Google / Wikipedia.

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Nominal interest rate minus the (expected) inflation rate. This approximation will suffice.

Where are the nominal interest rates going now? Higher. They may be rising at a slower rate than previously, but they are rising, and, as history has shown, they will continue to rise until the federal funds rate rises above the year-over-year CPI reading.

The latest year-over-year CPI reading in the U.S. (from Jan. 12, 2023) was 6.5%.

The FFR is about 2% below that.

The above and the historical tendencies imply that either the CPI has to move lower by at least 2% or the FFR has to move higher by 2% while the CPI is unchanged – or some combination of the above (which is most likely).

Either way, this means that the real interest rate is likely to rally by at least 2% from current levels.

Let me quote what I already stated above:

Rising real interest rates / yields are extremely likely to trigger declines in the gold price.

This means that we are extremely likely to see big declines in the gold price.

What are the real rates doing now?

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Well, they are soaring, of course. However, as I wrote earlier, the link between real rates and the gold price doesn’t have to work in the short term, as the markets can focus on all sorts of things due to technical/emotional reasons.

I won’t say that the current rally in real rates is unprecedented, but we haven’t seen this kind of upswing in a long time. The last time we saw something of at least similar magnitude was right before the year 2000. What happened to the gold price back then?

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Gold was after the “Brown Bottom”, but it declined, nonetheless.

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In the case of the HUI Index – a proxy for gold stocks – it was right before the final part of the slide.

Yes, this is as extremely bearish as it looks.

These are some of the reasons why this short-term rally is a counter-trend rally. The things that I’m covering in my day-to-day analyses are important too, but they are not as important as the above indications. I’m simply not commenting on the things that don’t change that often, and the day-to-day price swings do change often, but I’m commenting on them because they often make people concerned about the outlook.

Speaking of a more short-term situation, let’s take a look at what happened and what changed (and what didn’t change) more recently.

Technically Speaking

Let’s start today’s technical discussion with a quick check of copper prices.

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Copper rallied recently, but it stopped at its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level and then moved back down. Consequently, the recent move – while impressive from the day-to-day point of view – remains to be a short-term correction only.

Consequently, what I wrote about it previously remains up-to-date:

Copper recently CLEARLY invalidated another attempt to move above its 2011 high. This is a very strong technical sign that copper (one of the most popular commodities) is heading lower in the medium term.

No market moves up or down in a straight line (well, the 2008 slide appears to have been an exception), and a short-term correction doesn’t necessarily invalidate the bigger trend. For the last couple of months, copper has been trading sideways, but it didn’t change much regarding the outlook.

In fact, it made my previous target area even more likely. You see, the consolidation patterns are often followed by a move that’s similar to the move that preceded them. In this case, the previous 2022 decline was quite significant, and if it is repeated, one can expect copper to decline well below 3.

Actually, copper could decline profoundly and bottom in the $2.0-2.7 area. That’s where we have rising, long-term support lines and also the previous – 2016 and 2020 – lows.

Flag patterns (which we just saw in copper) tend to be followed by price moves that are similar to ones that preceded them. I marked this on the above chart with red, dashed lines. This method supports a copper price’s move to around $2.7.

Given the size of the previous decline (and its pace), it seems quite likely that it could take another 2-7 months for copper to move to about $2.4. May seems to be the most likely time target given the current data.

Interest rates are going up, just like they did before the 2008 slide. What did copper do before the 2008 slide? It failed to break above the previous (2006) high, and it was the failure of the second attempt to break higher that triggered the powerful decline. What happened then? Gold declined, but silver and mining stocks truly plunged.

Again, copper is after invalidation of a major breakout, a decline, and a correction. Copper prices currently SCREAM that it’s a variation of 2008 all over again. This is extremely bearish for mining stocks (especially juniors) and silver.

Having said that, let’s check junior miners’ really big picture.

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In short, we saw a tiny correction in the TSX Venture index, and this should be a major red flag for anyone thinking that the recent rally was a game- or trend-changer. This is a blip on the radar screen, similar to what we saw in the second half of 2021, before another big move lower.

Consequently, my previous comments on the above chart remain up-to-date:

The Toronto Stock Exchange Venture Index includes multiple junior mining stocks. It also includes other companies, but juniors are a large part of it, and they truly plunged in 2008.

In fact, they plunged in a major way after breaking below their medium-term support lines and after an initial corrective upswing. Guess what – this index is after a major medium-term breakdown and a short-term corrective upswing. It’s likely ready to fall – and to fall hard.

So, what’s likely to happen? We’re about to see a huge slide, even if we don’t see it within the next few days.

Just like it was the case in 2008, the move higher that we saw before the final (biggest) slide in gold, silver, and gold stocks (lower part of the chart), we didn’t see a visible rally in the TSX Venture Index. Just as the index paused back then, it paused right now.

Currently, it’s trading at about 600, and back then, it consolidated at about 2500. The price levels are different, but the overall shape of the price moves (lack thereof) is similar. This serves as a signal, that the recent upswing in the PMs was not to be trusted.

The above is one of the weakest (from the technical point of view) charts that is see across the board right now. There is a strong long-term downtrend visible in the TSX Venture Index, and if stocks slide similarly as they did in 2008, the TSXV could truly plunge – perhaps even to the 300 level or lower.

The important short-term detail is that the TSXV just broke to new yearly lows. This is a major (yet barely noticed by most) indication that the next big move lower is about to start.

Having said that, let’s turn to gold.

Let’s start with context:

Between 2020 and now, quite a lot happened, quite a lot of money was printed, and we saw a war breaking out in Europe. Yet gold failed to rally to new highs.

In fact, gold is once again trading well below its 2011 high, which tells you a lot about the strength of this market. It’s almost absent.

There’s a war in Europe, and billions of dollars were printed, and gold is below its 2011 highs – in nominal terms! Adjusted for inflation, it’s much lower. And silver and gold stocks’ performance compared to their 2011 highs? Come on…

Truth be told, what we see in gold is quite in tune with what we saw after the 2011 top, and in particular, shortly after the 2012 top. We can also spot similarities between now and 2008. The long-term gold price chart below provides details.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 12

Gold moved up this week, and we did manage to profit on it, however, it doesn’t change anything from the long-term point of view. The trend remains down.

The MACD indicator (lower part of the chart) just started to turn lower. Exactly the same thing happened in early 2022 as a confirmation that the major top is in and that a few-hundred-dollar decline in gold was already underway. Obviously, it has bearish implications also this time.

It was just a few weeks ago when gold permabulls thought that gold above $2,000 was a sure bet. And instead, gold is moving toward $1,800 once again. It took just a little strength in the USD Index to trigger this significant decline in gold. When you consider the situation in real interest rates, it's not surprising that gold has a lot of catching up to do with its decline to “normalize” its link with real rates.

Technically speaking, the key thing is that gold once again tried to move above its 2011 highs, and it once again failed to do so. It invalidated this breakout in one of the most bearish ways imaginable – with a weekly reversal.

This is an extremely important sell signal. The combination of fundamental and technical factors alone is a reason to prevent one from having a long position in gold right now (except for the insurance capital that is).

That’s one thing. Another thing is that given the major fundamental event that I already mentioned above (war outbreak), it’s possible for the technical patterns to be prolonged, and perhaps actually repeated, before the key consequence materialized. Similarly to the head-and-shoulders pattern that can have more than one right head, before the breakdown and slide happen.

In gold’s case, this could mean that due to the post-invasion top, the entire 2011-2013-like pattern got two major highs instead of one. And thus, the initial decline and the subsequent correction is pretty much a repeat of what we saw in 2020 and early 2021, as well as what we saw 2011 and 2012. 

The particularly interesting fact (!) about the correction that we saw after the 2011-2012 decline (the one that was followed by the huge 2012-2013 decline) is that during it, gold corrected slightly more than 61.8% of the preceding medium-term decline. Consequently, the current situation is just like what happened back then. 

And if all the above wasn’t bearish enough, please take a look at the reading of the RSI indicator based on the weekly price changes. It’s now just below 70, and guess where it was at the final top before the 2012-2013 slide? Yes, it was exactly there, too. 

That’s also approximately, where the RSI was at last year’s top.

The orange rectangles on the above chart represent the corrective upswings from approximately the previous local lows. There are two of them, and back in 2013, there was just one corrective upswing, before gold truly plunged.

However, please remember that history doesn’t repeat itself to the letter – it rhymes. This means that two corrections instead of one are still within the scope of the similarity, especially that the first correction wasn’t as big as the 2008 one.

The current situation is truly special, as the rate hikes are something that we haven’t seen in a long time. The same goes for the level of concern about the inflation that’s “out there”. The latter implies that when faced with a decision whether to fight inflation or help the economy, the Fed is likely to lean toward the former. And that’s bearish for assets like gold.

Gold’s medium-term outlook is one thing, and it is likely linked to real rates. However, is there anything bullish about gold’s short-term picture?

Looking at gold from the short-term point of view, we see that it corrected recently, and while the RSI didn’t move to the middle of its trading range, it could be the case that the top is already in.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 13

Why? You’ll see the intraday picture for the GLD ETF a bit later today (along with GDXJ and SLV), but the above chart already shows that gold close to its mid-Feb highs before giving away some of yesterday’s rally.

The intraday high for gold futures was $1,852.50, so it was not that far from the lowest of the resistance levels that I mentioned previously – the mid-June 2022 high.

Will gold move even higher before continuing its medium-term downtrend? It’s a tough call. On one hand, it could, because the strong resistance levels were not really reached. On the other hand, based on other indications, sizes of smaller corrections during the April-May 2022 decline, and the overall situation in real interest rates, it wouldn’t be that odd for gold to slide right away.

Even if gold does move higher from here, I don’t think it would move above $1,780 or so. This might seem far, but:

  1. Only from the short-term point of view.
  2. Even IF gold moves higher here, let’s keep in mind that mining stocks tend to underperform gold close to the tops, so it’s not that likely that they would rally substantially as well (maybe a little, but not much).

Having said that, let’s take a closer look at the silver market.

For some time, silver’s chart was very boring. It did nothing for weeks. Precisely, it kept trying to break above its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level and then it invalidated that breakout.

And then it happened.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 14

Silver plunged below its 38.2% Fibonacci retracement and also its Nov. 2022 high! The white metal even moved a bit below the 50% retracement, before correcting.

The correction turned out to be a verification of the breakdown. To be precise, the jury is still out on this case, because silver closed more or less at the 50% retracement. Still, given what happened in mining stocks and given the situation in the stock market (you’ll read more about it in the following part of the analysis), it’s quite likely that silver declines from here. In fact, silver is trading lower in today’s pre-market trading.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 15

Needless to say, it’s not only a “down year” for silver; it’s a waterfall year for silver.

That happened just days after it tried to move to new yearly highs, which is… Not surprising at all. At least to those, who have been following my analyses for some time and know very well how tricky silver market can get.

The thing is that silver is known (at least to those with expertise in this market) for its fake breakouts and fake strength relative to gold. In fact, this is so common that looking at silver to gold ratio for exceptional short-term strength is one of the most useful sell signals in the precious metals sector!

With silver now trading not only below the above-mentioned retracements, but also its mid-November high, the outlook is clearly very bearish.

Let’s take a look at the situation from a broader point of view.

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When looking at silver from a long-term point of view, it’s still obvious that the recent move higher was most likely just a corrective upswing.

What happens after corrections are over (as indicated by, i.e., silver’s outperformance)? The previous trend resumes. The previous trend was down, so that’s where silver is likely headed next.

Besides, the long-term turning point for silver is due in several months, and if silver repeats its previous 2022 decline, then it will bottom close to the turning point and also close to the $15 level– in the first half of 2023.

It’s likely to repeat its previous 2022, because that’s what tends to happen after flag patterns, and what you see on silver’s short-term chart between September and yesterday appears to be a flag pattern.

However, will silver only repeat its previous 2022 performance and not decline more than it already has?

Based on the analogies to 2008 and 2013, the latter is more likely. The 2013 slide was bigger than the initial decline that we saw in 2012. And the final 2008 slide was WAY bigger than what we saw before it.

Due to its industrial uses, silver is known to move more than gold, in particular when the stock market is moving in the same way as gold does. Since I think that gold and stocks are both likely to slide, silver is indeed likely to decline in a truly profound manner. Quite likely lower than just $15.

Consequently, my prediction for silver prices remains bearish, as does the outlook for the rest of the precious metals sector.

Let’s not forget that rising interest rates are likely to negatively impact not just commodities, but practically all industries. This will likely cause silver’s price to decline profoundly, as silver’s industrial demand could be negatively impacted by lower economic growth (or a decline in economic activity).

Consequently, it seems that silver will need to decline profoundly before it rallies (to new all-time highs) once again.

Having said that, let’s take a look at what happened in mining stocks.

History tends to repeat itself. Not to the letter, but in general. The reason is that while economic circumstances change and technology advances, the decisions to buy and sell are still mostly based on two key emotions: fear and greed. They don’t change, and once similar things happen, people’s emotions emerge in similar ways, thus making specific historical events repeat themselves to a certain extent.

For example, right now, gold stocks are declining similarly to how they did in 2008 and in 2012-2013.

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Moreover, the Stochastic indicator (lower part of the above chart) is currently performing just like it did at the 2022 top – so, the bearish similarity between those periods is not just in gold.

Please note that back then, there was a slight correction when Stochastic moved to the 20 level, which is about to happen provided that gold stocks decline a bit more.

And, well, we just profited on it. :)

What I would like you to focus on here is that the “double correction” theory that I described below gold’s long-term chart is clearly visible also here. We already saw the 2012 rally being repeated and now we see it all over again. I marked them with red ellipses.

What are the implications? Well, obviously they are bearish, as it was this correction in 2012 that started one of the most powerful declines of the previous decades. The RSI indicator based on the weekly prices is in a similar position to where it was at the late-2012 and 2022 tops. The consequences are clearly bearish for the following months.

My previous comments on the above chart, therefore, remain up-to-date:

The situation being what it is on the gold market (as discussed above) and the stock market (as I’ll discuss below), it seems to be only a matter of time before gold stocks slide.

For many months, I’ve been writing that the situation in the HUI Index is analogous to what we saw in 2008 and in 2013. Those declines were somewhat similar, yet different, and what we see now is indeed somewhere in between of those declines – in terms of the shape of the decline.

At first, the HUI Index declined just like it did in 2013, and the early-2022 rally appears to be similar to the late-2012 rally. However, the correction that we saw recently is also similar to the late-2012 rally.

Since the history doesn’t repeat itself to the letter, but it rhymes, is it that odd that we now saw two corrective upswings instead of one? Not necessarily.

This is especially the case that the 2008 decline had one sizable correction during the big decline. It’s not clearly visible on the above chart due to the pace of the 2008 slide, but it’s definitely there. You can see it more clearly in one of the below charts.

So, no, the recent rally is not an invalidation of the analogies to the previous patterns, it continues to rhyme with them in its own way. And the extremely bearish implications for the following months remain intact.

How low can the HUI Index fall during the next big downswing?

As it’s the case with gold and silver, a move back to the 2020 lows is definitely in the cards. Please note that this level is also strengthened (as support) by other major lows: the 2019, 2014, and 2008 ones.

However, I wouldn’t rule out a move even lower on a temporary basis. If gold were to decline to about $1,450-1,500, it would mean that it would double its current 2022 decline. If the HUI Index does that, it will move below 150.

So, all in all, 80-120 is my current target area for the upcoming slide in the HUI Index.

What about the short run?

In the short run, we saw a move to the lower border of my target area for this rally that was based on the previous intraday highs.

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As I had indicated earlier, the big-volume decline that we saw on the hourly candlestick, was likely to trigger another quick rally. And indeed, we saw another sizable intraday upswing that allowed us to take profits from our quick long positions. 

Why did I take profits there instead of waiting for the junior miners to move to even the first of their classic Fibonacci retracement levels?

Two reasons:

  1. My idea behind the previous long position was to catch the “easy” part of the rally, as given the strength of the medium-term downtrend, the biggest risk is to miss profits from the decline.
  2. The mid-Feb. intraday highs also served as at least somewhat important resistance.

You can see the latter even more clearly on the below chart.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 19

You can additionally see that it was not just the GDXJ ETF that touched the resistance created by the previous intraday highs. We saw the same thing in the GLD ETF (proxy for gold).

The SLV ETF (proxy for silver) wasn’t even that strong. The white metal topped below its mid-Feb… lows.

What’s next? Well, given the critical action from in the S&P 500 that we just saw, it seems quite likely that the next move lower is already underway, or it could start very soon.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 20

The thing is that the S&P 500 moved below its rising support line based on the October and December 2022 lows, and also its declining support line – thus invalidating a breakout above it.

There was some back-and-forth movement after those breakdowns, and they were verified as a result. Thanks to this, we know that those moves lower were not accidental or artificial. To be precise, one and never be 100% certain on anything on the market, but the above seems very likely.

And since stocks and the precious metals market had declined together, and then they rallied together, it seems that they can slide together in the following weeks as well.

How low can the GDXJ move before the next sizable reversal? And how high would it be likely to rally if it hasn’t topped yet?

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The maximum (of the somewhat likely ones) upside that I see for the GDXJ in the short term is at about $37 level. This is based on analogy to the previous big corrective upswing that we saw in mid-2022. Back then we saw a move higher to levels between the 38.2% and 50% retracements. The 50% retracement is slightly below the $37 level.

Still, I don’t think the recent move higher was analogous to the big mid-2022 corrective upswing, but rather similar to the early-May 2022 corrective upswing.

How low is the GDXJ likely to decline before we take profits from the current short trade? Probably to its 2022 lows or slightly below them. Those lows are significant support on their own (being the early lows), but also based on the possible head-and-shoulders pattern which is likely to form soon.

The late-2022 consolidation would be the left shoulder, the late-2022 – early-2023 rally would be the head, and the current corrective upswing would be the right shoulder.

The decline that follows this formation is likely to be at least as big as the head of the pattern. I marked that with green, dashed lines.

Will we go long then? That’s quite possible. We might even go long earlier, depending on how many bullish indications we get in the meantime, however, for the time being and based on the data that we have right now, it seems to be that the $26 level is – approximately – our next downside target for the GDXJ.

Please note that this is not the final downside target for the entire medium-term decline.

When could this target be reached? It’s a tough call. For now, it seems that it would be reached between late-March and late-May. Yes, this target area is quite wide, but a lot depends on what both: gold and stocks do. If stocks slide here, then the decline in the GDXJ could be very sharp (and our profits could soar in a very fast and sharp manner!).

Meanwhile, the relative performance of junior miners compared to senior miners continues to deteriorate in a medium-term trend.

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During this quick upswing, juniors rallied relative to seniors, but this is just a very short-term move that’s within a short-, and medium-term downtrends.

This implies bigger declines in the GDXJ in the future.

Also, let’s not forget about the forest while looking at individual trees. By that, I mean looking at how gold stocks perform relative to gold. That’s one of the major indications that the current situation is just like what we saw at the 2012 top.

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The situation in the gold stock to gold ratio is similar to what we saw in late 2012 and early 2013. The HUI to gold ratio invalidated its first attempt to break lower (marked with red, dashed lines), but after a corrective upswing, it then broke lower more decisively. That’s what I marked using black, dashed lines.

Recently, we saw a quick upswing in the ratio, but that’s not a game-changer – even the biggest declines had corrections in the past. In fact, the correction appears to be over, as the ratio declined sharply. This is yet another indication that the huge, medium-term downswing is already underway.

If history is to rhyme, we’re about to see a profound decline. In fact, we’re likely already past its beginning.

Also, please note that the pattern that we currently see, which started in early 2016, is somewhat similar to what happened between 2003 and 2008.

Back in 2008, the breakdown from the consolidation resulted in sharply lower ratio values and much lower prices of gold stocks.

So, if the situation is analogous to 2012-2013, we’re likely to see a big decline in the following weeks/months, and if it’s analogous to 2008, we’re likely to see an enormous decline in the following weeks/months.

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Interestingly, the situation in the gold stocks to other stocks ratio (HUI Index vs. S&P 500 Index) provides the same implications but from a different angle.

The corrective upswings that we’ve been seeing since 2015 are getting smaller and smaller. The current one is visibly smaller than what we saw last year.

Just like it was the case with the gold stocks to gold ratio, gold stocks to other stocks ratio declined sharply recently and it serves as a bearish confirmation.

Consequently, it seems that the ratio is ripe for a breakdown below the 0.05 level. The next support is provided by the all-time low at 0.026. And yes, with the ratio at 0.065 right now, this implies a decline by about 60%. If the HUI Index were to decline by 60% right now, it would have to move to about 100. If the stock market declined as well, it would imply the HUI was even lower.

Declining stock prices would only add fuel to the bearish fire (after all, gold stocks are… just stocks) and that’s exactly what’s likely to happen.

Just like what we saw in the case of copper and gold, world stocks corrected about 61.8% of their preceding decline. And that’s extremely bearish given the self-similarity to 2008.

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Please note that the initial decline was now bigger than what we saw in 2008. Back then, stocks corrected about 61.8% of their initial decline before tumbling. And exactly the same thing happened recently!

Also, the RSI just turned south and back in 2008 that was the final confirmation before the waterfall selling.

Just as the 2008 rally wasn’t bullish, the most recent corrective upswing wasn’t bullish at all.

Real interest rates are rising, which is bad news for businesses! People appear to live on “hopium,” expecting the Fed to turn dovish and throw money on the market, but the data doesn’t support this outcome at all.

Given the analogy to 2008, and the fact that the initial slide was bigger this time, the following slide could be even bigger than what we saw in 2008. Naturally, this would be profoundly bearish for junior mining stocks.

This means that nothing really changed, and the situation remains extremely bearish based, i.e., on the analogy to what we saw after previous invalidations of long-term breakouts.

As a reminder, in early 2022, I wrote that the situation was very bearish as invalidations of previous breakouts were usually followed by massive declines – not just in stocks but also in precious metals.

When stocks invalidated their 2006 breakout in 2008, their prices truly crumbled.

We also saw that on a smaller scale in 2014, 2015, and early 2018.

We’re seeing it right now.

To clarify, we’re actually seeing the aftermath of the invalidation. The huge decline is already taking place.

The difference between now and 2008 is that back then the slide was more volatile, and we didn’t really see a visible correction during the plunge. This time, the decline is more measured, and we saw a correction to one of the most classic retracements imaginable – the 38.2% one. This correction doesn’t change the trend, which remains down.

Based on what happened in 2008, it seems that stocks are about to move much lower in the following months.

The lower part of the chart features the XAU Index, a proxy for both gold stocks and silver stocks.

First of all, this comparison of mining stocks and other stocks could appear shocking, and rightfully so.

The XAU Index is well below its… 1995 highs (yes, miners are really so weak), while world stocks are much higher.

The second shocker is how far and how fast miners declined in 2008. Starting with the final corrective upswing, the mining stocks index declined by a breathtaking 69.2%!

Less than a third of the starting value.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 26

It took just a few months for this decline to materialize.

So far this year, the XAU Index has declined by 18.7%, counting from the yearly high to yesterday’s intraday low.

And so far this year, the GDXJ ETF has declined by 19.3%, using the same measurements.

As a result, the performance of both may be roughly comparable, or — more likely — junior miners may decline more due to their closer link to the general stock market. This means that based on the above-mentioned analogy to 2008, we can’t rule out a decline by about 70% (or more!) in the GDXJ starting at the recent short-term high ($41.16).

Shaving off 70% of that value leaves us with $12.35 as the possible downside target for the GDXJ ETF.

Impossible? It has already happened! (In the XAU, as the GDXJ wasn’t trading at that time yet).

So, yes, the outlook for the mining stocks is truly extremely bearish for the following months.

Let’s take a look at the markets from a more short-term point of view and from the U.S. perspective.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 27

I already wrote about the above chart earlier today, but in order to keep stock market analysis in the same place, I’m copying it also here:

“The thing is that the S&P 500 moved below its rising support line based on the October and December 2022 lows, and also its declining support line – thus invalidating a breakout above it.

There was some back-and-forth movement after those breakdowns, and they were verified as a result. Thanks to this, we know that those moves lower were not accidental or artificial. To be precise, one and never be 100% certain on anything on the market, but the above seems very likely.

And since stocks and the precious metals market had declined together, and then they rallied together, it seems that they can slide together in the following weeks as well.”

But… Let’s keep in mind that it’s all just about the short term. The big picture is much, much, much more important right now, and the really big picture is as extremely bearish as it gets.

Please note that mining stocks started their declines without the stock market’s help. So, when they finally DO get this help, they are likely to truly plunge.

The move above the declining blue support/resistance line wasn’t invalidated, but given the above, and the fact that the RSI indicator (upper part of the above chart) did what it used to do at the previous major tops (including the mid-2022 top), it’s likely that we’re going to see an invalidation of this breakout shortly.

In fact, given what we saw on the chart featuring world stocks, the above seems very likely.

Why is this important for gold and silver investors and traders? Because the last two big moves took place more or less in line with each other – in stocks and in precious metals (and miners). The slide in stocks could also trigger something similar in the case of commodities like crude oil. The same thing is likely to happen again this time, especially given what’s happening in the USD Index.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 28

Last week, I described the above USDX chart in the following way:

The USD Index has been on the rise this month, after bottoming practically right at its cyclical turning point. As a reminder the USDX tends to reverse close to the turn of the month. This is not only important. It’s also timely.

The end of the month is just a few sessions away, which suggests that the USD Index might want to reverse its direction soon. The most recent move was to the upside, which would indicate that the next reversal will be a top.

Of course, this doesn’t indicate a change in the medium-term trend, which is likely to remain up, but it does point to a good possibility of seeing a pullback shortly.

This is particularly the case, given the similarity to what happened in mid-2021. I marked those areas with orange rectangles.

These were the times (now and then) when the USD Index declined while the RSI based on it moved between 30 and 50, and at the same time gold continued to rally. Then, after USDX’s bottom (and gold’s top), it kept on rallying until the RSI indicator moved to the 70 level. It was then, when we saw a short-term top (and a short-term bottom in gold).

Interestingly, we have a resistance level nearby – the yearly top. It’s at 105.50 (intraday high) and 104.83 (daily close). Since currencies trade around the clock, it seems to me that intraday price extremes are more important than it is the case of other markets, where closing prices matter quite a lot.

This means that it would be quite in line with mid-2021 if the USD Index moved up a bit more and topped close to the end of the month and close to the 105.50 level. This would likely make the RSI move higher (and perhaps touch the 70 level), too.

Moreover, please note that the size of the decline in gold (lower part of the chart, orange line) that we saw in 2021 (to the initial bottom) copied to the current situation points to a move in gold just a little lower before we see the final bottom – perhaps to $1,800 or so. Of course, this is in line with what the gold chart itself is “suggesting”.

Indeed, the USD Index corrected a bit and gold rallied – also by a bit. Was that enough? Based on the analogy to mid-2021, which we started all this with – yes.

Back then, the correction in the USDX was also relatively small, and the move lower in the RSI had been similar to what we saw recently. Back then, all this was followed by another small decline in gold (to new lows) and then a bigger corrective upswing.

This time, however, the long-term charts for gold, mining stocks, and also stocks, favor lower gold prices without this bigger corrective upswing.

In fact, the USD Index is also likely to move higher looking at its long-term chart.

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 29

The really important context is visible from the long-term point of view. Namely, the USD Index moved back above its 2016 and 2020 highs – also in intraday terms.

Despite a small move lower lower, these highs held as support.

This is profound. The move below those levels seemed rather accidental, and the fact that the USDX is back above them means that it showed strength (in one additional way). The very strong support level – ultimately – appears to have held ground.

The implications are very, very bullish for the following weeks.

All in all, the USD Index appears to be bottoming here and the precious metals sector appears to be topping.

Overview of the Upcoming Part of the Decline

  1. It seems to me that the corrective upswing is over.
  2. If we see a situation where miners slide in a meaningful and volatile way while silver doesn’t (it just declines moderately), I plan to – once again – switch from short positions in miners to short positions in silver. At this time, it’s too early to say at what price levels this could take place and if we get this kind of opportunity at all – perhaps with gold prices close to $1,500 - $1,550.
  3. I plan to switch from the short positions in junior mining stocks or silver (whichever I’ll have at that moment) to long positions in junior mining stocks when gold / mining stocks move to their 2020 lows (approximately). While I’m probably not going to write about it at this stage yet, this is when some investors might consider getting back in with their long-term investing capital (or perhaps 1/3 or 1/2 thereof).
  4. I plan to return to short positions in junior mining stocks after a rebound – and the rebound could take gold from about $1,450 to about $1,550, and it could take the GDXJ from about $20 to about $24. In other words, I’m currently planning to go long when GDXJ is close to $20 (which might take place when gold is close to $1,450), and I’m planning to exit this long position and re-enter the short position once we see a corrective rally to $24 in the GDXJ (which might take place when gold is close to $1,550).
  5. I plan to exit all remaining short positions once gold shows substantial strength relative to the USD Index while the latter is still rallying. This may be the case with gold prices close to $1,400 and GDXJ close to $15 . This moment (when gold performs very strongly against the rallying USD and miners are strong relative to gold after its substantial decline) is likely to be the best entry point for long-term investments, in my view. This can also happen with gold close to $1,400, but at the moment it’s too early to say with certainty.
  6. The above is based on the information available today, and it might change in the following days/weeks.

You will find my general overview of the outlook for gold on the chart below:

What an Exciting Rally it… WAS - Image 30

Please note that the above timing details are relatively broad and “for general overview only” – so that you know more or less what I think and how volatile I think the moves are likely to be – on an approximate basis. These time targets are not binding nor clear enough for me to think that they should be used for purchasing options, warrants, or similar instruments.

Letters to the Editor

Please post your questions in the comments feed below the articles, if they are about issues raised within the article (or in the recent issues), and if they are about other, more universal matters, I encourage you to use the Ask the Community space (I’m also part of the community, after all), so that more people can contribute to the reply and then enjoy the answer. Of course, let’s keep the target-related discussions in the Gold Trading Alerts space.


To summarize, in my view, the real interest rates are up and about to soar higher, the USD Index most likely bottomed and is likely to soar, while the precious metals topped (or at least the easy part of the rally is over) and are now likely to slide – either shortly or soon enough.

The corrective upswing was rather quick and quite lucrative given that the capital was used for it for just a few trading days. And let’s not forget that we were able to re-enter the short positions at higher levels, so the benefits are actually even bigger than they seem at the first sight. Congratulations once again!

I have a very pleasant surprise for you. We are staring a quick “promotion” that allows you to extend your subscription for up to three (!) years at the current prices… With a 20% discount! And it would apply to all those years, so the savings can be substantial. Given inflation this high, it’s practically certain that we will be raising our prices, and the above would not only protect you from it (at least on our end), but it would also be a perfect way to re-invest some of the profits that you just made.

The savings can be even bigger if you apply it to our All-inclusive Package (Stock- and Oil- Trading Alerts are also included). Actually, in this case, 25% discount (even up to three years!) applies, so the savings are huge!

Now, if you enjoy my analyses, but on one hand you don’t necessarily want to participate in the short-term trades, and on the other hand, you’re looking for most cost-effective solutions, I also have great news – the above “promotion” also applies to my Gold Investment Updates. In short, Gold Investment Updates are those weekly, flagship analyses – like the one you’re reading right now – but without trading details (and without intraday follow-ups regarding positions). Of course, you can still engage in discussions below analyses.

To clarify – the Gold Investment Updates do not have any additional information over the flagship Gold Trading Alerts, so this analysis is included in Gold Trading Alerts (and in All-inclusive Package), and therefore your Gold Trading Alerts subscription covers it. I’m just mentioning it if you’ve been wondering if we have a lower-priced service.

My Gold Investment Updates can be yours with the 20% discount, which will give you greatest savings in case of the yearly plan (feel free to go with monthly, though) and you can apply it for up to three years.

If you’d like to upgrade your plan (e.g. to All-inclusive Package) and take advantage of the discount, please use this link to continue.

If you’d like to extend your subscription (and perhaps also upgrade your plan while doing so), please contact us – our support staff will be happy to help and make sure that your subscription is set up perfectly.

If anything about the above is unclear, but you’d like to proceed – please contact us, anyway :).

As always, we'll keep you  our subscribers  informed.

To summarize:

Trading capital (supplementary part of the portfolio; our opinion): Full speculative short positions (200% of the full position) in junior mining stocks are justified from the risk to reward point of view with the following binding exit profit-take price levels:

Mining stocks (price levels for the GDXJ ETF): binding profit-take exit price: $26.13; stop-loss: none (the volatility is too big to justify a stop-loss order in case of this particular trade)

Alternatively, if one seeks leverage, we’re providing the binding profit-take levels for the JDST (2x leveraged). The binding profit-take level for the JDST: $13.87; stop-loss for the JDST: 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.):

Silver futures downside profit-take exit price: $17.83

SLV profit-take exit price: $16.73

ZSL profit-take exit price: $32.97

Gold futures downside profit-take exit price: $1,743

HGD.TO – alternative (Canadian) 2x inverse leveraged gold stocks ETF – the upside profit-take exit price: $10.97

HZD.TO – alternative (Canadian) 2x inverse leveraged silver ETF – the upside profit-take exit price: $25.47

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

Whether you’ve already subscribed or not, we encourage you to find out how to make the most of our alerts and read our replies to the most common alert-and-gold-trading-related-questions.

Please note that we describe the situation for the day that the alert is posted in the trading section. In other words, if 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 to decide whether keeping a position on a given day is in tune with your approach (some moves are too small for medium-term traders, and some might appear too big for day-traders).

Additionally, 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 (as 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: UGL, GLL, AGQ, ZSL, 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" (GLL for instance), but not for the "main instrument" (gold in this case), we will view positions in both gold and GLL as still open and the stop-loss for GLL would have to be moved lower. On the other hand, if gold moves to a stop-loss level but GLL doesn't, then we will view both positions (in gold and GLL) 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 daily 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. Furthermore, 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.

Thank you.

Przemyslaw K. Radomski, CFA
Founder, Editor-in-chief