Doldrums and Summer lows? Pining sez No!

Mon, Jun 19, 2017 - 1:13am

With analysts at most public PM websites now turning decidedly bearish, with the summer doldrums staring us in the face, with the new rate hike raising interest rates (on paper making gold less desirable as it provides no yield), and with the gold seasonals suggesting that “sell in May and go away” was the play, there is a definite bearish tilt to the sector right now. That’s why (among other things) we have a great risk-reward setup staring us in the face.

Pining thinks it’s a great place to go long (with stops)! Let me give you a few reasons why, then I'll outline the trade:


A quick review of 7 popular and publicly available precious metals analytics/trading sites, and a glance through the comments on those sites, made clear to me that there is (at least roughly) a general consensus in the metals complex right now: after failing to break through 1300, and first pushing through then falling back below the long-term downtrend line in gold, the summer doldrums are upon us and consensus sentiment has turned bearish. The two most likely scenarios I saw discussed were either (1) we languish and churn lower for the next few months following typical gold seasonals pattern into a July or August low, or we cascade from here into an earlier low, perhaps late June or early July.

I like this widespread bearishness very much. This is precisely the type of setup the metals love; wrong-foot the investing public, going against well-known patterns (because it’s never that easy in the metals) and making sure the majority of retail is not on the train and has to chase price. That’s also why the so-so COT doesn’t bother me much, that pattern has been a bit TOO clear recently and has been becoming a little too easy to trade, so I think it’s due for a wrong-foot. In fact it is this “juking the crowd” and subsequent chasing of price on the way up that provides the fuel for the best runs in the metals. This is an excellent setup from a sentiment standpoint. Just ask yourself, when was the last time the majority of retail sentiment was dead-on correct and on the right side of the trade in the metals? Thought so.

GDJX rebalancing is behind us

Regardless of where you stood on the whole GDXJ/JNUG issue, the fact remains that it is now largely in the rearview-mirror. This means a genuine, significant source of instability in the sector is now largely behind us, removing some of the unpredictability which had been a drag on both price and sentiment. Additionally, it is likely that money managers who may have previously been hesitant to allocate funds until this nonsense was sorted may now be prepared to put that money back to work, thus bringing an unexpected tailwind that could help things to the upside. If instability was a negative, then stability should be a positive. Bullish!

Crossing over of the 50,100, and 200 DMA on the Gold Daily chart:

Don’t look now, but for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, gold is about to see the 50 DMA above the 100 DMA above the 200 DMA. This golden cross setup is seemingly timed to catch people off-guard given the poor sentiment we see now, yet will trigger buy signals for technical traders and algos. With about 60% of stock “market” volume now quants, this is not immaterial. With a massive turnover in shares last week, especially the huge volume on Fed day last Wednesday (see black arrow on chart, look at that volume level) and follow-up churning, there has been a significant rinse in the complex. Lots of longs have been spooked out of their positions, and some shorts have covered profitably. This actually looks good to me, with Quad witching just passed on Friday, and particularly the Thursday and Friday follow-on action- no waterfalls, just tons of repositioning.

The tinfoil hat wildcard, but worth a mention: Is the Fed schizophrenic or working a plan?

Traditional analysis says that when the Fed raises rates, gold craters. Yet during this recent cycle, when the Fed raised rates Gold took off. And guess what? The Fed just raised rates. Short version- Bullish!

Long version: I actually think there is a reason for this counter-intuitive recent action in gold when the Fed has raised. Traditionally, why did the Fed raise rates, and when did they do it? They raised when the economy was getting hot and genuine fears of inflation were taking hold, and they did so to cool-off inflation and that hot economy by sucking liquidity into bonds through higher yield. So with better options (yield) available, gold (which produces no yield and is an inflation hedge) went down. But recently, the Fed has raised with (1) no real signs of inflation, and (2) and a genuinely poor economic picture. So gold didn’t do what it usually does, and in fact one could argue that gold was simply performing another of its traditional roles- that of the Safe Haven in times of uncertainty- since raising rates into a poor economy is quite possibly a recipe for a stock market crash (given that the market is in a highly overvalued position historically). In this context, gold rising (insurance) when the Fed (stupidly) raised rates actually makes perfect sense.

Tinfoil Hat version: Has the Fed decided to become as part of “le Resistance” like so much of the Washington establishment has, and is this the sign? Before you dismiss me as a nutter, answer this simple question: After 8 years of keeping what was initially billed as “extraordinary measures that are historically unprecedented and temporary” in place for nearly a decade now, why has the supposedly ‘data-dependent’ Federal Reserve suddenly just hiked rates AGAIN at a time when economic data just missed so badly? Again? And yes, the previous sentence showed how what the Fed once described as temporary is now permanent, what was once extraordinary is now standard, and how "data dependent" means ignoring the data no matter how bad it is. This is sheer Schizophrenia. Or, you know, Central Banking.

The most recent miss inspiring our data-driven Fedsters to hike more was so big it was the worst miss in six years! In fact, the last time economic data disappointed by this great a margin the situation was considered dire to such a degree that Bernanke unleashed “operation twist”… back in August of 2011. So how is this rate hike in any way logical for a “data-dependent” Fed, absent the deliberate intent to muck things up?

If the Fed were truly making policy as economic data dictates, they wouldn’t be doing this. So why keep hiking rates into a dumpster-fire of an economy when they know could easily lead to a major stock market correction, crash, and/or recession at some point (maybe soon)? Occam’s razor suggests: because they’ve decided that’s what they want! If you do A, knowing it will probably cause B, that strongly suggests you desire B as an outcome. Simple. Call me crazy all you want, but that explanation seems quite consistent with the tone and behavior I’ve seen coming from the rest of the DC/government establishment for the last half year, so I don’t see why the Fed would be any different. When the feeding trough is threatened, some folks ‘resist’, some folks leak, some folks hike. Potato, po-tah-to.

And if you think the market won’t be allowed to drop because it’s never allowed to drop, ask yourself WHO has not been allowing it to drop for the last 8 years? The PPT/Fed. And what are these rate hikes suggesting they might want now? Ummm hmmm.

Regardless, don’t totally sleep on the long-shot catalyst folks; the S&P finally heading south as a possible catalyst for gold…

Trendline test, rise above, and rejection:

One of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way in the metals is that trend lines are not what classical trading theory says they are. In classical trading theory, a trend line should act as a psychological level of support or resistance, and when (for example) price rises then bumps up against it then breaks through, it is supposed to trigger a new wave of buying as other market participants (seeing the strength of price in breaking through the barrier) join in the buying, driving price higher (or of course, in some cases rejecting price and sending it back down).

But all that supposes free and fairly traded markets among participants of equal standing before the law. And these are the metals. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! So here, trend lines are places where, when resistance is breached, once price breaks through and attracts new buyers, THEN the market “makers” crush price with an avalanche of paper to harvest all that new money that just came in. Ring the register, bank the bonus.

So the way trend lines work in the metals is that price bumps against resistance or trend lines, and if it goes through bringing in new longs, THEN it gets smashed back down below, and only when everyone who just got run has either been cleared out or turns bearish will price finally be allowed the possibility to rise back up through that line at some point.

In other words, in the metals, trend lines are only valid indicators after the gang-rape has occurred there. We’ve now had that in gold (twice, actually), so in my book, we are finally clear for a rise up through 1300. Strange? Yeah, but that’s how it works around here.

The Bottom Line: Risk vs. Reward

In the end, all of the above is just food for thought, or fun speculation. As the wizened sage of the trading pits atlee once said, “That’s a nice story. Ms. Market doesn’t care about your story, she will go where she wants.”

This is a basic range-trade with well-defined risk vs. reward. You take the known trading range, buy-in near the recent low of that trading range, and use that as your stop- it’s a simple play, regardless of whether any of the above winds up being a catalyst or not. Right now, GDX is just above the recent lows of May, so we have a very clear and recently defined low. We need to make a higher low above this level if we are going to continue moving up, so there is your well-defined stop-loss level. GDX is around 22, and 20.75 would be my stop-loss for this trade… we go below that, the trade is busted, so get out (FYI, I find that gold and silver are gamed so much day to day that setting stops, entries and exits via GDX is much more reliable and predictable, even if the vehicles I am trading are gold and silver). A tight, well-defined 5-6% stop-loss if you’re wrong is acceptably low risk IMO.

But the reward… if this takes off like I think it could, we would at least revisit the highs of GDX 31.5 of last summer. The safe play would be to take 50% profits near that point, then wait for market action to decide further, but I suspect it’s possible that the momentum generated by a rise from 22 to 31 would mean that bull might very well keep running until we hit the 36, and possibly on the outside the 40-42 range. But let’s stay conservative (recent range-bound) in our calculations and stick with the 31.5 figure- that would be an unleveraged gain of 43%. Put another way, that’s a risk/return ratio of 7.7 to 1 on this trade. (Best Borat voice) Verra Niiiiiiiice!!!! And if it keeps rolling to 36 or even 40? Ka-ching!

. . .

So you can have your summer doldrums, your new lows, and your gold seasonals. This parrot, with disciplined stops, is going long.


About the Author


Jun 19, 2017 - 10:41am
Dr. P. Metals
Jun 19, 2017 - 10:40am
Jun 19, 2017 - 10:33am

Even Though....

The PM's haven't made any major progress for me in the last almost 4 years I sleep well at night knowing that the angel of death could show up at anytime and reek havoc on the global social and economic scene.

Sure I could of made out pretty well if I invested in equities if only I had known the Government was going to backstop the market like it's done but I am more about the Insurance that PM's give me than the risk in the stock market, being in my 60's I know how fast this card house can collapse.


Keep Stacking, we will come out on top when this shit show collapses.

Back to my pot of Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup on the stove...

5 lbs Chicken (I use whole Leg and Thighs) , 2 med White Onions Chopped, 6 cloves Fresh Grated Garlic, 1 tsb Red Chili Pepper, 4 cans Diced Spiced Stewed Tomatoes, 2 cans Green Giant Vac Pack Mexicorn, Salt, Pepper, Louisiana Hot Sauce. Crush and add On The Border Corn Chips when served and maybe a little grated cheese if you like. I don't use a strict recipe when I cook so a lot of tasting as I make it.

Cook the chicken in a separate pot for 1 hr 45 min low boil, remove chicken from the pot and remove chicken from the bones cutting up the big pieces, then add back in the pot with chicken broth. Make sure you remove all floating grease as you cook.

Cook stewed tomatoes, Mexicorn with scoop 1/4 cup or so of sugar in a separate pot also low boil for the same amount of time.

Combine all in one pot with one small diced white onion and simmer 30 min Adding garlic salt to taste.


Jun 19, 2017 - 10:31am

Texas, Pining and Info

Thanks to all 3 of you who are very important to the value of this site. I remain ready for a move upward in this world of make believe and fraud. Nothing would make me happier than at some point in the near future that TPTB are embarrassed in front of their friends and have to run home crying to their least once.

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:26am

I want the stock market to go higher...much higher...

Double or triple from here.... to make it comical... and for everybody to see black and white (Bartimoro and Liesman included)... how Fed and other Central Banks completely destroyed financial markets.


Thanks Pining.

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:24am

Please folks, keep crypto talk off this thread

Use the old thread.

Thanks Pining for the well written article.

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:17am

Thank you, Pining

Many thanks for great original thoughts and your unique counter-intuitive presentations. I have a feeling your description, in particular, of the current mindset and actions of the Fed will be picked up and quoted on other sites.

Forgive me if I don't get it, but isn't there a contradiction between saying that, on the one hand, we are about to see the 50 DMA above the 100 DMA and 200 DMA -- which is good, because this golden cross will trigger buy signals -- and, on the other that once price breaks through and should establishe a new trend line of support, it won't work in the usual ways because the market makers will use the opportunity to swamp buyers with naked shorts and crush price...

Hope Matt stays. Hope Infometron returns. Hope your theory proves to be correct -- and what a pleasant change to see TFMR actually discussing PMs!

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:08am

Pining: You make a good case

There are just too many people on the bearish side of the PMs at this point in time.

Your observation re the golden cross with the 50 DMA above the 100 DMA, above the 200 DMA, is IMO not something to be lightly ignored, and gives one hope that this interim bottom is largely in.

I know that Maguire gets bad press from some Turdites, but I find his commentaries are usually lucid, and his insights are based upon his access to up to date data, based upon his dealings in the wholesale gold market, which is something denied to the average PM investor. His comments as to the gradually increasing stair stepping of competing bids from central banks and sovereign funds must be a constraining factor in bullion banks ability to push the PM prices down as far as they would ideally wish. He also mentioned that as at the 10th June, silver was in its 9th consecutive week of backwardation with a sweet spot of $17.20 for the July options expiry, although that is obviously a moving target.

The uncertainty of the GDXJ rebalancing is behind us is another favourable factor.

The geopolitical situation in the Middle East is a potential flash point that is supportive of PM demand.

So, like you Pining, I think we are in for an interesting summer and I am going further long, albeit with tight stops.

Jun 19, 2017 - 10:02am


Thank you, sir! Much appreciated. And without doubt, the next 48 hours (or more) could quite easily take us to the bottom of that range near GDX 21. I'm not good at 'bottom-ticking' and have been burned both ways of course! For some reason, it hurts more to have the trade but be left chasing because I was waiting for a great, not just decent, entry so that's how I set things up knowing myself and that I then tend to make poor decisions chasing afterwards. That's just me.

Setting stops that don't get harvested but still do the trick IS an art form, one I stumble at. The people who can see where all the stops are placed, and know exactly how far to drop price to harvest them before allowing a rise, make it a rather challenging game of chicken! 20.75 is mine, but it's a manual stop and a closing price only, not intra-day... that's my one feeble way to try and get around those bastards.

Jun 19, 2017 - 9:51am

Craigo and Texas

Craigo- You are smart, IMO, to watch for buying opportunities around Silver Op Ex, and it is precisely games like that (and others) that cause me to use the GDX and not gold or silver chart when I'm setting stop losses, etc. It's just more stable.

I should also point out that this is a multi-week/month swing trade idea, so I'm not trying to perfectly bottom-tick it today. We could easily see more weakness, churn, etc. But that stop at 20.75 takes me out of it. Maybe hunting for lows every few days between now and the end of June would be a good way to build a position? If you are looking to build one, of course.

Texas- You know I think very highly of your technical analysis, and of course you are right. That's actually a factor in this, for me- I think a big portion of the metals complex is seeing just what you are, which makes it a good place to wrong-foot...

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