"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Friday, March 21, 2014

Carnage in Biotech Sector Provides Support for Gold

The big news of today in my view is the barrage of selling that engulfed the Biotech sector. It was indiscriminate, hitting the entire sector. The selling in that sector put an end to the feel good stuff that marked yesterday's equity trading.

From what I could tell, what got the ball rolling downhill was some Democrats in Congress who started making noises about Gilead Sciences Hepatitis C drug known as Sovaldi.

That was enough to send investors ( read - hot money ) fleeing in droves out of the entire sector. Biogen Idec, Celgene and others got absolutely mauled as a result.

Take a look at the Ishares Nasdaq Biotech ETF ( IBB). It fell a whopping 4.74% in one day ( sounds like a mining share ). Volume was enormous.

It fell through the 50 day moving average although based on this chart, such moves in the past have tended to be buying opportunities.

The Dollar was a bit weaker today and that helped gold move higher but the big development was back in the Volatility Index or VIX. It leaped sharply higher as the panic selling in the biotech sector triggered a wave of unease across the broader equity markets as the session wore on.

Keep in mind that comparison chart I put up the other day showing the VIX and comparing it to the price of gold.

As the VIX moved higher, so too did gold. Interest rates also moved down a tad today as some safe haven buying was seen in the Treasuries as a result of this biotech event ( the Yen was up once again). What we thus saw today was gold getting a bid as a result of a safe haven play once again.

Whether or not this holds is an unanswered question at this point. From a technical perspective, gold managed to hold above chart support near $1320. At the current moment, gold is stuck in a range between $1340 on the top and $1320 on the bottom. Those two levels hold the key to its IMMEDIATE future. If it powers through $1340 and does not lose that level, it should try again for $1360-$1365 where it should meet up with eager sellers.

If it loses support at $1320, it will be down to $1305 - $1300 for a test.

Copper bounced a bit today as the hammer formation from Wednesday so far has been holding it. Today's COT report shows that the only category of traders that are net long the copper market are the index funds; everywhere else is short, including the Commercials. That is going to be a big level moving forward. If copper falls below that level, I honestly do not see anything on the chart in the way of support for at least another $.10 - $.12 cents. It's chart still looks heavy to me but for now the bulls have managed to hold it together after the metal has plunged nearly $.40 over the last month!

I will get something up later about the Gold COT report. A quick comment I can make at this point before I get the chart together is that this week new buying finally managed to exceed short covering in gold among the hedge fund category. That is encouraging if you are a bull but the problem is that the data DOES NOT COVER what happened in this market beginning on Wednesday, when the Fed came out with its hawkish comments. Gold lost some $40 since then before it managed this biotech-induced bounce today. It would not surprise me to discover that a goodly number of those brand new long positions, many put on above, $1380 are now history as they are deeply underwater at this stage.

A close look at the chart and you can see that gold is currently corralled between the "Initial Support" Zone and the "Secondly Support" Zone. It do not see an opportunity here unless one wants to just roll the dice. Those who are inclined to be bullish, will see the success at holding above $1320 as an opportunity to get long. Those who are inclined to be bearish, will see the inability to clear $1340 as a reason to get short. As for me, I see better opportunities elsewhere until gold can tip its hand. There is nothing wrong with sitting on the sidelines at times and letting others roll the dice because that is what you are essentially doing with gold at this juncture.

It is difficult for me to envision the Dollar breaking down hard as we move foward considering what the FOMC just gave us this week. Barring any further escalations in geopolitical events, that means the driver for gold is going to have to be economic data releases. If interest rates are set to rise as the Fed has stated ( spring 2015) then positive real rates will tend to make for stiff headwinds against gold breaking above $1400. If, on the other hand, the economic data does not improve any with the return of the warmer, more seasonable weather, then the Fed, which is highly data dependent at this point when it comes to make decisions regarding monetary policy, is going to have do modify its hawkish comments from this Wednesday. That should give some support to gold.

I still believe the key to gold is the US Dollar and the key to the US Dollar is interest rate levels here in the US. Higher rates will keep a lid on gold, UNLESS, the market becomes convinced that inflation is moving higher faster than interest rates are moving higher. That seems very unlikely given the benign inflationary environment that the market is convinced now exists. Please bear in mind that I am not giving my own view of inflation - I am giving you the view of the FED and the majority of big players in the financial realm.

What I can tell you is that those of you who love eating red meat ( Bar-B-Q ing is my heritage and pastime) had better get ready for some stunning sticker shock at the meat counter. That is one area where you are going to witness some mind-boggling price increases this spring and summer.

Hopefully we will get a good planting season and a good growing season here in the northern hemisphere next month and produce some very good and large crops. That would go a long way to easing some price pressures at the grocery store but the impact from such an event is still some ways off.

At least the price of electronic goods is staying nice and low. It is going to be interesting to see what happens to crude oil as we move into the warmer weather. Natural gas, after spiking to kingdom come this winter when the now famous Polar Vortex enveloped nearly half the US, has come back down to earth in a rather rude fashion. Anytime we see lower energy costs, it benefits the consumer and business.

I am going to be most interested in seeing if that sell off in the Biotech sector has run its course come next Monday. That will drive money flows next week.


  1. MNKD is the ONLY biotech anyone needs to know about... Studied them for 6 years. Lots of ups and downs and a LOT of FDA corruption... more so than GOLD.

    1. Alright, another MNKD follower. Long and strong. Big dates coming - advisory committee mtg on Apr 1 and the FDA approval on Apr 15. Stock should at least double quickly. Al Mann will ultimately be victor. This will be biotechnology's story of the year! Heavy short interest should make this baby fly if the longs get their way. Al Mann has about 900m of his own money invested in Afrezza. This drug will be a household name soon so get used to seeing it. The diabetes epidemic is exploding worldwide. Good luck to all!

    2. I literally have my life invested in it...I certainly hope more than double. looking at the $20-$30 range... and fast

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  3. Dan,

    Just looking at the COT briefly, it seems some of the later coming hedge funds were tripping over themselves buying gold at the exact top to close last week thinking the world was going to end with the RUS/UKR situation, and then the rug got pulled under them as soon as the new week started. Now they are trying to stampede out the same door all at once with not many shorts available keep the price from free falling.


    1. JL;

      Yes, a lot of that buying was up near the recent highs. Hedge funds love to buy high and keep buying; the problem for their computers occurs when the market stops going higher and then they all are forced to sell at once.

      Geopolitical events are notorious for trapping people on the wrong side of a market move.

  4. Another interesting report. Thanks Dan

  5. Thanks Dan, appreciate the analysis.

    I see Andrew Macguire is over at KWN weaseling out of ANOTHER blown LMBA default prediction.
    What is it with these people constantly trying to predict market bottoms and tops, defaults, collapses etc.? It's nothing more then attention seeking behavior.
    The constant "crying wolf" by talkingheads like Macguire and others is getting old and it borders on obsessive or feigned outrage that's designed to suck goldbug newbies in. It seems like it could be both.

    I hope someone out there is making a list of all the dire 2014 predictions about gold and the dollar and derivatives etc that most of these shills basically staked their reputations on that 2014 is THE year it all falls apart and gold/silver skyrockets blah, blah, blah.

    I think some of the hucksters make it up as they go along. It sure seems that way.

    1. Dan the Man;

      Remember - this is the same guy who kept pushing that stupid backwardation claptrap as gold fell all the way to $1180. He should have no credibility but then as P. T. Barnum once said: " A sucker is born every minute". Apparently there are plenty of suckers who are willing to fork over their hard-earned money to keep him going.

      I do not know what it is about people but once they get involved in a cult ( which is what the gold is always manipulated all the time crowd really has become) they are incapable of clear and rational thinking. Anyone who is objective can see this guy for what he is; a flim flam man; however, to those within the cult, he is a hero.

      It really is quite tragic.

    2. Dan...I agree.
      I'm convinced the majority of hardcore 'bugs who weren't doomers or angry/oppositional types when they first started out have slowly become so without themselves realizing it at all.

      Some of the carny's out there have slowly but surely transformed their once good intentions into a manipulative brainwashed cult type of community on the various blogs/cults out there.

      Some folks need to step back and take an unbiased assessment of where their at as far as their emotional sentiment and if it's the same as it was when they first started out vs. the extremely uptight and eccentric schools if thought out there that no one seems to question.

      People should ask themselves one simple question....Am I caught up in a school of eccentric thought OR am I actively following a cultish or kooky type of outlook that might effect my investment decisions and my NEST EGG because of it.

      The bottomline is the bottomline.
      Are some of you subscribing to someone else's bottomline who might not have your best bottomline interests in mind and their's instead?
      Cults of thought DEFINITELY exist online. Has anyone been caught up in one and they possibly DIDN'T REALIZE IT?

  6. I saw screw em, but I will say, I see them as a good life lesson. I got sucked in by these guys about 3 years ago. I used to spew hate at Jon Nadler on my screen even! He is a bit of a twat but he was dead on. Anyway, I just see these guys as a good old fashion life lesson, the world is full of these guys. I dont think they all had bad intentions, it just turned out that way. For the record I still think JS is a good man, he just didnt see what was coming/couldnt admit he got in wrong in a new world of trading.
    I almost talked my dad into going 'all in', I have time to recover, but he doesnt. Thats what i hate about some of these guys, they have no conscience when dooping old people from their money.
    Thank someone my dad had more sense than me..

  7. Nice post Dan. Even keeled and well supported arguments.

  8. YTD returns for Vangaurd 500 index fund (VFINX) is .93%. YTD return for GDXJ is 33.14%. The gold stock pumpers are wrong and the mainstream stock pumpers are right? Depends on your time frame.

    1. Gene;
      It certainly does depend on one's time frame... Are you assuming that those who own gold stocks first sold all of their holdings in early 2013 ( or 2012 for that matter ) when gold fell below support and entered a bear market?

      If so, the HUI was trading near 400. Today it is trading at 236 after losing more than half its value since early 2013.

      The HUI has sadly fallen from its peak over 600 to as low as 188 or so at the end of last year. That is an investing catastrophe no matter how one measures it.

      did those broken stop watches warn any of these poor folks? NO, they did not. They kept up with the same BS and the same wild theories.

      I wrote a while back, eventually all those bottom pickers in gold would be proven to be correct. So what? Anyone can call a bottom if that is all that they do, time after time after time after time. All markets eventually stop going down once they fall low enough in price to stimulate value-based buying.

      Many of the gold miner management finally got the message to get their act together and run their companies in a responsible manner but not until far too many of their shareholders were financially ruined.

      Gold had fallen near the cost of production and some of the miners had made the hard decisions to close unprofitable mines or sell them off and begin getting a handle on their debt loads. The market is rewarding them for so doing but as I said above, but at what great cost to so many shareholders.

      The cult of gold has led too many astray. It is a tragic waste of talent because some involved in this cult are otherwise very intelligent and nice people. However, they have lost their ability to be objective and that comes with a very steep financial price.

      It is fine to have convictions - we all do. What is not fine when it comes to investing is not being able to understand that a market is moving against you and no matter how hard you might argue the point, it does not care about your opinion. It is going to do what it is going to do and you are either moving along with it and making some return on investment or you are losing money.

  9. Agreed on all points Dan. My point was that all the "stay in the system" guys on this blog could look like complete charlatans a year from now. I am tired of adults whining about folks like JS when the choice to buy or sell lies with the individual. I take full responsibility for decisions (good and bad) that I have made regarding investments.

    What concerns me is JoeSixPack buying into the notion that stocks will always rise, this is America man, just throw your savings in a good mutual fund and forget about it mantra. All of this investing stuff is time sensitive. I think at some point all of this market interventionism is going to end badly for those that "stay the course".

  10. Gene:

    Here are the hard, cold facts.

    Anybody who had faith in the Fed, stayed in the system, and enjoyed the ride in consumer, financial, and tech stocks made vast fortunes.

    We have just witnessed a once in a lifetime weath creation event.

    Many people who rode names like Netflix, Chipotle, Priceline, Amazon, etc.have enough money in their 401(k) accounts to which they are now set for life.

    By contrast, all the gold bugs who wasted all their time and money attending Q & A seminars, F12 punching the Kitco screen every day in horror as gold collapsed, and had all their money in anti-dollar plays got their retirement accounts decimated.

    They will never be able to recover because the losses are simply too staggering.

    Imagine the poor schlubs who invested in names like MUX and TRX who saw their net worths vanish.

    While some who invested in CMG rode their way to riches from $36 to $600 and are now set for life.

    And don't even get me started on the stock shorters and stock bears who were destroyed the last 3 years, they lost so much money that their accounts will never recover.

    Just look at Biogen, went from $58 in July 2012 to $150 now even with yesterday's correction. Sure beats riding these mining stocks down 70% from the 2011 highs.

  11. Mark, the cold hard facts are that all that shit depends on when you buy and when you sell. Are you suggesting that buying burritos at these elevated levels is good investment advice? If so then good luck to you. If not you have made my point. If you were advising a young person funding a 401K now would you suggest he load the truck with Netflix, Chipolte, etc and just let it ride? IMHO that would likely be terrible advice. At the same time I would not necessarily recommend mining stocks at this time either. I think it is all fraught with hazard.

    Can any of the technicians shed any light on mainstream stock performance? Would the last 3 or 4 months (basically going nowhere) be considered a consolidation period?

    1. The cold hard fact is that js sold many millions of shares and doesnt take hiw iwn medicine. To state that the widows and orphans that attend jims q and a bs sessions are responsible fir their own investment decisions is correct. Same applies to maddoff investors.

      If there is any gold pumper out there that deserves ti be held accountable its jim that sold his shares to ithers while promising production before the end of 2013 at less then 350 dollar cost.

      Plenty if starry eyed dolts willing to defend him no matter what but he destroys people for money and ego.

  12. The key to the markets is confidence. Eastern UKRAINE IS IMPORTANT and cannot be dismissed. The state of a once great Republic is Teetering. Say what you will, predictions are and will remain temporary. Volatility, statistical and political deception are rampant. The match is lit. When the "eye of the needle"
    squeezes start to crush the very meglomaniacs who believe their own algos will be able to save them, the time will be ripe for a new system. Stay small, liquid, but in an instant, a Kiev, Donesk, and or a Putin can destroy "technicians" in a heartbeat. Thanks for the charts and meat warnings. STAGFLATION is here to stay.

  13. Mark, your comments on this blog are so transparent. We all know plenty of folks whom displayed their arrogance and hubris while riding the internet wave and/or the real estate wave. Those bubbles lasted a short period of time before they burst. Most folks caught in those traps came to the party late, and there was no value after the fact so recovery for far too many never happened.

    What is different about the gold market is that it has had a nice long run for a dozen years. Most of us so called believers have been around for a long time and along the way have taken gains. It has never been a bubble because there are so few advocates of gold, so I do not believe there are masses of folks whom just entered the gold space near the top. Sure the last couple years have been tough. But trading is a tough game, and moving in and out a tough way to manage money, beyong the skills of most, myself included.

    I maintain that gold has value right now, and unlike the debris left behind from the internet and real estate busts, that it will surpass its previous highs, and within years, not decades.Trading is too tough for my blood. I feel quite secure as an investor to keep my positions for the long haul.

    I enjoy this blog. Trader Dan is a wealth of information for those of us that enjoy learning and keeping a pulse on markets. You have made your points. Why don't you start toning it down, and if you can't do that, then take your gains, now that you are set for life, and give some of us a break.

  14. Dan, what do you think about what Jasper says about Sinclair? sparks

    1. If he sold, I may just attend a Q&A.

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  15. No, I would not be buying the high flyers like CMG up here.

    My point is simply this.

    When all the doom and gloomer types were wailing "This Is It! and This Is Now", yada, yada back in early 2009,

    That was a once in a lifetime chance to get rich by loading big on consumer discretionary stocks and riding an unprecedented wave lasting 5 years.

    Not one of the "acclaimed experts" or "40-year veterans" correctly called that period of time as a lifetime event to build wealth for retirement.

    Many missed out on that opportunity by listening to all the naysayers, and instead piled into gold, guns, ammo, and foreign currencies which got them nothing but anguish and frustration.

    I'm sure many are simply sick to their stomachs for missing out on an event that only happens every 50 years: 400% - 600% runs in many top tier growth stocks in only 5 years.

    1. "When all the doom and gloomer types were wailing "This Is It! and This Is Now", yada, yada back in early 2009,

      That was a once in a lifetime chance to get rich by loading big on consumer discretionary stocks and riding an unprecedented wave lasting 5 years."

      Or loading up on miners and making >400 to 600% in two years. So long as you bailed in 2011 you made a fortune. EXK <$2.00 in Jan 2009 topped in 2011 just under $13.00

      As a previous poster said "it's all in the timing" which BTW yours sucks as the big gains in your list have already been made. Further gains eked out of S&P are likely to be akin to picking up pennies in front of a steamroller.

    2. Andyrama, another one that values money over other people over truth. Thinks he got is all figured out. Flipping houses to flipping miners.

      This market hasnt bottomed yet.

      GOTS and take TRX certificates to protect yourself. Sure. But dont forget "to bail" before they crash right back to where they came from. Like Sinclair did by selling over 80% of his shares from 2006-2011.

      Rambus now thinks gold may see 800 dollar. Wonder when Sinclair will post that prediction on nomineyet.com.

      Its a hustlers market, the precious metals market.

    3. I think mark is making an honest point. I made a small fortune in gold and was slow to diversify into the "hipster" portfolio. Trust me I had them on my screen I just was slow.Would have been a hell of a pivot mid 2011 to the secy names I just could not pull it off. Mark is correct it was a thrice in a lifetime event in the past 15 years problem is most people can't pivot 2000,04, 08-09 till now.

    4. OK Mark, I agree with most of this statement. So LOOKING FORWARD where does the smart money go now? Were you posting this same stuff in 2005 when the markets were soaring? The point being I think a lot more people are going to get crushed when this fake stock market economy crashes than ever got hurt when the paper gold market died. Who or what will be the focus of your anger then?

      What really bothers me about your posts is the absolute glee you seem to derive from the unwinding of the KWN fantasy. The other posters here (including our gracious host) seem genuinely distressed that many have been hurt by following the likes of JimS, JTurk, etc but you seem to be giddy about it. Why?

  16. Taper is good for gold. Gold +14% ytd. I don't understand why get so angry because gold is up. most of the people that regularly post here totally missed the rally and some lost a lot of money betting against it. You keep on talking 2013 but we are 4 months into 2014 and gold is the best performing asset. Goldman and everybody hates it... I love it. Two thirds in with MUX... One third in with LSG... I am pretty sure we move higher next couple of weeks. Great wall of worry.

    1. Taper is good for gold? Let's hope so, but I don't think so overall.

      Remember how QE was good for gold? And then it wasn't.
      What happens to gold IF a continued QE taper causes China to a hard landing and some Chinese (not PBOC) start selling to raise capital or to preserve it?

      That gold liquidation/capital recovery can't be discounted as being impossible.

      2/3 in MUX is wayyyy out of balance imho. But it's your nest egg, good luck!

  17. Well anon according to mine set 2000$ gold in 2013 easy. This is it!

    All these mux and trx investors are clueless about relative value these stocks offer. They both need to triple their resource to justify current marketcap relative to other miners out there that have resources and actually produce.

    I believe well see another lower low before the bull resumes and sinclair will need more security staff at the 2015 agm then at last years agm. Trx will not produce anything meaningfull.

    People can only take so much abuse.

  18. Jasper, wonder how many fax machines David Duvall has had to purchase this year for jsmineset? I mean really, that fax machine must have gone ablaze at least 100 times the last 2 years from angry CIGA's wonder what the heck is happening to gold and gold stocks.

    My guess is that Duvall has a cache of fire extinguishers now and the parking lot of jsmineset has a permanent charcoal stain on it where poor Dave had to chuck out the burning fax machine and douse it with his fire extinguisher before chucking it into the dumpster and then driving to Staples to buy a new one.

    Surely there have been many "spiritual events" at that office lol....

  19. It's not exactly satisfactory to realize something after it happened, but I should have paid more attention to the quarterly time unit on gold.
    It is heavy, it is long term, and it would have showed me why 1390-1400 was such an important resistance level.


    ma20, ema15 are meeting in this very area.
    ema15 already was an effective resistance two candles ago.
    I'm using ema15 often as a target inside a corrective movement.

    Conclusion : as long as we don't go through this heavy 1390-1420 area,...we are in this bearish pattern given by the quarterly unit, because of this awful marubozu of Q1 2013.

  20. By the way, gold IS manipulated all the time...just as every other market...and by the Algos...for trading...so it's another way to say that gold may not be more "manipulated" than any other market.


    Algos changed the nature of trading.
    Not the Fed nor the bullion banks.
    80% of transaction are made by algos.

    1. (the yellow circles show impulsions reversals on the 5 minutes time scale. EACH of them correspond to the first 5 minutes of a 30 minutes candle. These guys work only during the first 5 minutes of every 30 minutes period. And they calculate very precisely the next steps and targets through the channels you see on the chart. Traders in the Us sipping their coffee claimed that they just watch the algos work. They don't make a trade in direct.
      Everything is "manipulated". Just not the way gold bulls think;

    2. very good points, Hubert; I noticed the 5 min idea years ago, and as far as algos and so forth, well, the mkts have been irrevocably broken for years now, with fundamentals rendered worthless as the momos take over. One could have seen this coming with the 24/7 concept of electronic trading and the sell-out of the CME thanks to Duffy and Co. sparks and that is all

  21. Steve, i still stand by my call that palladium is set for a major move up, along with SWC.

    All the wealthy are going to be profit taking in the high flyer "Hipster" stocks and will be looking for the next group to break out, and palladium related stocks may be one place they are looking.

    1. Mark, u could be real right, but anything goes in thin mkts that the algos muscle up on; witness oats, coffee, and the way they overdid the nat gas; I still say the best bet on the board is to be short YEN; sparks

  22. Another horrific gap down in GLD and GDX today.

    Eric should post a cheesy pic of a hydrogen bomb going off showing the 5-day decimation since gold topped at the peak of the Ukraine hysteria.

    And maybe he should find the CEO of Under Armor or Michael Kors to talk about the booming consumer market.

    1. Mark, it looks like platinum topped 3 wks ago, and it is early, but little brother palladium looks like it is finished also; take care, sparks

  23. Wow, a disorderly price spike.

    Down that is......

    Miners are getting absolutely smoked.

    And Bank of New York is at 52-week highs

  24. Laughter is the best medicine. Over at our favorite yellow blog, Maguirre says Goldman and the media are full of s--t. LOL, what exactly is he full of ? Take away his mutual admiration society donkeys long and wrong, and I bet even his wife and the dog can not stand him anymore; sparks

    1. Steve,

      As they say in Texas . . . some folks are all hat and no cattle.

  25. Ok so my 2/3 in Lsg is in... Not a pretty day, but still uptrend.. We shall see

  26. That's a big news for any Gold Trading Advisory Company. This will surely affect the activities of Gold Trading Advisors.


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