Gold, silver and their mining stocks have been meandering sideways for months, but it looks like the early stage of a rally has begun. Confirmation of a sustainable uptrend hasn't taken place yet and that is the point when it's a good idea to be fully invested. There is enough reason to start accumulating a position however.
The technical picture for the monetary metals and their mining ETFs on the daily charts brightened considerably on Monday and Tuesday. While this was true for a number of indicators, investors should pay closest attention to the DMI (Directional Market Indicator). This flashed a buy signal for ETF GDX, which represents the senior gold and silver mining stocks. GDXJ, the junior mining stock ETF, and the silver ETF SLV were all on the verge of doing the same on Tuesday. The ETF GLD was positively positioned for a short-term rally, but will not be able to give this signal until rallying for several more days. In any move up or down in gold and silver, it would make sense for the mining stocks to move first.
While the bullish picture isn't complete just yet on the daily charts, more work needs to be done on the weekly charts. A buy signal on these longer-term charts is the confirmation of a longer-term rally that investors would like to see. This could happen in a week or two and should be followed closely.
There is one other major missing piece for a completely bullish picture and that is the position of the moving averages. GLD, SLV, GDX and GDXJ are all in bearish patterns with the 50-day simple moving average being below the 200-day (or the 10-week is below the 40-week). The prices for all of these ETFs have moved above the 50-day and are heading for the 200-day. That resistance needs to be broken next, and then the 50-day average needs to move above the 200-day. This will take some time for the miners, but possibly very little time for GLD. Probably before this moving average cross takes place, prices will rise above the 65-week (or 325-day) moving averages. Moving and staying above this level should be interpreted as the rally is here to stay and that everything else will fall into place.
The major risk to an ongoing rally in the precious metal sector is the situation in Europe. A major drop in the euro could be bearish because this will cause the U.S. dollar to rise and gold and the dollar usually move in opposite directions. There are times however when they both move together. The risk to the global financial system caused by a euro breakdown could be one of them.
In the very long term, both gold and silver are in secular bull markets that began in 2001. This secular bull is likely to last around 20 years and could be with us for up to 25. The biggest part of the move in secular bulls is usually in the last few years. We are still in the early stages of this rally.
Disclosure: Accumulating long positions in gold, silver and mining ETFs.
Author: "Inflation Investing - A Guide for the 2010s"
Organizer, New York Investing meetup
This posting is editorial opinion. There is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.