Gold: Buy, sell or hold?

The precious metal may be building a base for the next rally, although folks who don't already own it may be best served by waiting a little longer.

By Nov 18, 2011 2:18PM

Image: Gold (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)By Tom Aspray,

The $54 decline in the February Comex Gold contract Thursday took the futures to two-week lows, while SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) lost 2.5%. The rather steep decline did not seem to drive headlines like it would have a few months ago.

Most analysts seem to be pointing to the drop in crude oil prices and the firmer U.S. dollar for gold’s decline. Another factor may be the missing $600 million in MF Global customer funds, which has jarred the confidence of futures traders around the world.

This is offset by the recent report that the central banks are still wildly bullish on gold. They purchased 148.4 tons of gold in the third quarter, twice as much as in the second quarter.

The lack of reaction to gold’s drop is what I would expect from a market in a consolidation phase. These are typically marked by sharp rallies and sharp declines. It has been almost three months since gold topped in early September, and many of those that were caught up in gold’s powerful summer rally appear to have lost interest.

Apathy, of course, is what the gold market needs in order to form a base from which to launch its next rally. An increase in bearish sentiment would also help, but we may not get it. The long-term technical outlook does favor higher prices in 2012… but should you be buying, selling, or holding?

Click here to enlarge

Chart Analysis: The weekly chart of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) shows that the drop in September tested the uptrend from the early 2011 lows, line a.

  • The recent rally to point 3 exceeded the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement resistance, but has so far fallen short of the 78.6% retracement resistance at $179.20
  • The weekly on-balance volume (OBV) has turned down and could drop below its WMA this week, depending on Friday’s close
  • A drop back to converging weekly OBV support, lines b and c, would not be surprising before the correction was complete
  • The next good weekly support is at $160, with more important levels at $154 and the late September lows
  • If these lows are broken, then the equality or 100% target is at $143. This is calculated by using the decline from point 1 to point 2 and then measuring down an equal amount from point 3

The daily chart of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) more clearly shows Thursday’s decline with next support in the $164 to $163.60 area, line d.

  • The key support on the daily chart, line e, is now in the $158.40 area
  • Volume was high Thursday, as the OBV dropped below its WMA but it is still well above strong support at line f
  • There is initial resistance now at $170-$172, and then stronger levels at $175

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) gapped lower Thursday, which creates strong resistance now in the $61 to $62.50 area.

  • There is key resistance now at $63.69,which needs to be overcome to reassert the uptrend
  • The daily OBV dropped below its WMA on November 9, and selling was quite heavy Thursday
  • The long-term OBV support is much lower at line c
  • There is next support at $56, with the daily uptrend (line a) now in the $54.80 area
  • Major support now sits at $50.40 to $51.10

The ProShares UltraShort Gold (GLL) is a double-inverse ETF that is tied to London’s gold PM fix price. The daily chart shows a potential bottom formation with Thursday’s gap higher.

  • The next major resistance is at $17.56 with the daily downtrend, line d, at $18.52
  • The daily OBV has been acting much stronger than prices as indicated by the uptrend, line f. It has just moved back above its WMA
  • There is initial support now for GLL at $16-$16.38 with further at $15.46

What it Means: About a month ago, I was looking for a decline in the December gold contract to the $1,500 area, but this now looks less likely. A drop back to and possible slightly below the September lows should be enough to complete the correction.

For those who are holding long-term core positions in gold, or a gold ETF, I would continue to hold. For those who are looking to buy, you should get a better opportunity before the end of the year.

Only short-term traders should look to trade the short side of gold using a an inverse ETF, and tight stops are recommended.

How To Profit: Short-term traders could buy ProShares UltraShort Gold (GLL) at $16.18 or better with a stop at $15.12 (risk of approx. 6.5%). Sell half at $17.48 and raise the stop on the remaining position to $16.09.

Nov 18, 2011 4:39PM
Thumbs up if you think gold is going into a bull market

Thumbs down if you think its going into a bear market

I need to know what people think!
Nov 20, 2011 9:06AM
Guns and Gold for me. Actually I have bought physical silver and gold as "portfolio insurance" to protect against the downside should my stocks and MLPs tank. Over the long run I have made good money on precious metals having started buying at under $300/oz more than a decade ago. The global economy is getting worse and the Euor is garbage and the Fed is creating $trillions of dollars out of thin air as the United States sinks deeper into bankruptcy and owing foreign nations like China and Japan. I decided long ago to be proactive and protect me and mine and the hell with the US and its loose economic policies. As I tell my readers on other sites: Get out of debt and stay out of debt, accumulate silver and gold as "portfolio insurance", stockpile a multi-year supply of nonperishable food and basic necessities. It ain't gonna get better.
Nov 19, 2011 3:55AM
China buys lots of Gold on these dips so what does that tell you...People the dollar has a life and it is coming to an end...the dollar will go to zero by 2016...unless the Fed backs it 40% by gold.
Nov 19, 2011 5:32AM
Gold: Buy, sell or hold?
Yes;no; and yes.
Nov 18, 2011 6:01PM

Tcoll, will add to that thumb-sentiment.  Some folks I talk with almost daily seem to think that Gold may be the revisited 'backstop' to any common (or separate )currencies present or future, if not the outright currency altogether.  Faith in fiat is fading, my friend.


These persons prognosticate 2K by years end.  (Although I am sure they will hedge themselves appropriately).  


As Yoda might say, " Gold, either hold or buy,....there is no sell"

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

125 rated 1
264 rated 2
485 rated 3
679 rated 4
640 rated 5
617 rated 6
632 rated 7
493 rated 8
276 rated 9
153 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.