Tag Archives: mining stocks

What’s Going On With Silver?

Chris Marcus wanted my opinion about whether or not a silver “smash” was coming:  “I would never want to be as dogmatic as saying ‘never’ because anything can happen with a banking [and financial markets] system as corrupt as the one in the U.S.”

But silver is historically cheap as an asset in relation to the universe of dollar-based financial assets and relative to the dollar-value of gold.  Until the global monetary system is reset, gold and silver are going much higher price in ALL fiat currencies. As silver moves higher, there will be even more aggressive attempts to control its rise and this will entail higher volatility – both up and down but mostly up.

Chris (Arcadia Economics) and I examine this topic in our latest podcast and I draw from 20 years of experience in the precious metals sector including a 4-year span in the early 2000’s when I traded silver futures almost around the clock:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

Note:  I do not receive any promotion or sponsor payments in any form from the mining stock companies I present in my newsletter. Furthermore, I invest in many of the ideas personally or in my fund.

Gold / Silver: Brief Pullback Then Higher

The market will always from time-to-time remind us that nothing goes straight up in the stock market. The mining stocks, especially the riskiest juniors, have had huge run since mid-March. The HGNSI (Hulbert Gold Newsletter Sentiment Index) has been a remarkably reliable contrarian signal for mining stocks over the years. Sell/take profits when it moves above 60 and buy with both hands when it goes below 20.

The HGNSI has pushed up to 86% last week (86% of gold newsletters have buy recommendations). Mark Hulbert commented that “the HGNSI jumped today in concert with gold, and now stands at the 99.8th percentile of the distribution since 2000; the HGNSI’s current level represents extreme bullishness.” The latest reading (July 15th) is 76 – still too high to be aggressive with positioning.

A red flag for me is when a bullion bank like Goldman Sachs sticks a $2,000 price target on gold. Why $2,000? Why not $2,500? For me, the HGNSI and bullish price targets for gold from Wall Street banks after a big move has occurred already is a signal to take some profits or hedge my mining stock portfolio.

With the massive scale of fiat currency devaluation – aka money printing or “QE” – there’s an “invisible hand” of economics that seems to have, for now anyway, put a floor under the gold price. Add to that the enormous appetite for physical gold imports from India, which was the equivalent of waking up a starving elephant when quarantine restrictions were lifted, and any pullback for which I’m looking could be shallow and short-lived.

Chris Marcus (Arcadia Economics) and I discuss the gold market technicals. And I’ll go one up on Goldman and call for $2,000 gold before Labor Day:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

Note:  I do not receive any promotion or sponsor payments in any form from the mining stock companies I present in my newsletter. Furthermore, I invest in many of the ideas personally or in my fund.

Comex Data Shows The Potential For A Run On Gold And Silver

The last few delivery periods for gold and silver on the Comex have experienced a record number of longs standing for delivery. For gold, April’s record was topped by June’s record. Sandwiched in between these to “front month” contracts was a record amount of gold “delivered” in May (May is a non-front month contract). July silver appears right now to be headed for a record number of “deliveries.”

I put “deliveries” in quotes because a large majority of the entities which stand for “delivery” never remove their bars from the Comex vaults. For all we know the banks are using unallocated bars, or even bars that don’t exist, to satisfy the terms of the “deliveries.” That said, if the stoppers (the entities that take “delivery”) begin in large numbers to remove their bars from Comex vault custody and move the bars to alternative safekeeping, the potential exists to cause a run and eventual default on the Comex.

Chris Marcus and I discuss this topic in our latest weekly podcast:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

Note:  I do not receive any promotion or sponsor payments in any form from the mining stock companies I present in my newsletter. Furthermore, I invest in many of the ideas personally or in my fund.

Gold And Mining Stocks vs Stocks – Many Will Be Surprised

The precious metals sector – gold, silver and mining stocks – is in the early stages of a rabid bull market.  The mainstream media has been dead silent on the performance of the precious metals, which is not a surprise to those of us who have been involved in the sector since 2001, when gold bottomed at $250, silver was around $4 and the HUI index was at 45.

Since September 2018, gold has significantly outperformed the stock market. In fact, per this chart below, measured in terms of real money the Dow is in a bear market  – down 36.3% since September 2018:

This chart shows the performance of the SPX vs GDX for the last 52 weeks:

Measured against the GDX mining stock ETF, the S&P 500 is down 42.1% since mid-March. In other words, the S&P 500 is in a bear market when expressed in terms of a mining stock index. Again, the silence from the mainstream financial media and the big Wall Street banks is deafening.

This bull move has a long way to go. The momentum junkies, macro hedge funds and generalist equity funds have yet to discover the precious metals sector. The retail stock jockeys chasing bankrupt stocks to the moon can’t spell “gold” yet. Eventually when reality invades the stock market, an epic crash in will be followed by a move in the precious metals sector that will shock most and even surprise many precious metals bugs….Got gold?

Jay Powell’s Printing Press And The Idiot Stocks

I’d like to thank Jay Powell and his marvelous printing press.  The equity side of my investment fund, which I manage, is 100% mining stocks – mostly juniors – and as of today it’s up 100% QTD.  Thank you Jay.  Almost every stock we hold is from the ideas I present in my Mining Stock Journal.

But I’m here to discuss the “idiot stocks.” I’ve decided to label stocks like SHOP, W, TSLA, BYND, CVNA, etc as “idiot stocks.” Yes, ignorant speculators have managed to get lucky trading these stocks during a period of time when the Fed has printed the greatest amount of money in its history. But only an idiot would consider them to be long term, fundamentals-based investments. Not one of those stocks has ever produced a valid GAAP profit and never will. They are largely cash-burning furnaces that have benefited from a stock market that, for now, will tolerate any negative event short of nuclear war.

The latest idiot stock with which I’ve started toying is Fastly (FSLY, $86). FSLY is an “edge” cloud-based technology services business focused on real-time content delivery network services. FSLY’s market is $8.14 billion which is 38.6x trailing revenues. For 2019 the Company generated $200 million in revenues. It looks like, based on its growth rate and Q1 revenues of $63 million, that it will generate maybe $270-280 million in revenues in 2020. The point of this is that it’s a small company with significant inherent business risks, not the least of which is obsolescence and competition.

Like most of the idiot stocks, FSLY operates at a loss every quarter and its operations burn cash every quarter, even adding back the non-cash expense of stock-based compensation. Of course, stock-based comp imposes silent shareholder dilution. And insiders are ensuring this dilution happens quickly, as almost everyday insiders exercise zero-cost stock options and then turnaround and dump the shares in the market. At the end of Q1/19, there were 25 million shares outstanding. Now the share-count is 95 million.

The stock chart, RSI and MACD pretty much speak for themselves. This is one of the more overvalued stocks I’ve analyzed, ergo an idiot stock. I’ve been playing around with near-money puts for the last 7 trading days. Despite the chart appearance, I’ve managed to eek out a modest profit.

The implied vol is very high, especially for the call options. This means shorting OTM calls is a better proposition than buying puts. The July 17th $120 calls were $2.20 bid on Friday. Shorting these would be the equivalent of picking up nickels in front of a steam-roller. If you feel like stepping up the risk for higher profits, the August $120 calls can be shorted around $7, plus or minus 20 cents. The short interest is not very high (6%) so you won’t have to worry about a short-squeeze. If you short the calls, use a 20% stop-loss.

Because the implied vol is so high (on average it’s 100%), the puts are expensive – even deep OTM puts. This is why I’m sticking with weekly near-money puts for now. But this stock was trading at $45 on June 11th. On this basis it might be worth taking a shot with August $60’s. Another interesting idea is the January 2021 $20’s. The last trade in this put was this past Wednesday at $2.81. If you short the stock, use a 20% stop-loss. You want to give yourself room to weather the high volatility and avoid getting stopped out on a brief 10% intra-day spike.

The commentary above is from my Short Seller’s Journal.  FSLY dropped as much as $10 on Monday. I scored a double on the puts I bought on Friday. Several of my subscribers bought puts in early trading Monday and booked profits that made it worthwhile getting out of bed today. You can learn more about this newsletter here:  Short Seller’s Journal information.

The Money Printing Road To Perdition – Got Gold?

Where’s the “V?” – Obviously the Fed has injected monetary cocaine into the stock market to make it appear as if stocks are “discounting a “V” economic recovery.  But a “V” on Main Street is nowhere to be found (graphic is from Crescat Capital -the comment bubble is my edit):

The chart above plots the NY Fed’s weekly index of economic activity (red line) vs. the Bloomberg U.S. financial conditions index, which attempts to measure the relative strength of the bond, equity and money markets (white line). With the amount of money the Fed has injected into the financial system, it’s no surprise that the financial conditions index is soaring. However, as I’ve suggested in recent issues, this money is having little, if any, effect on real economic activity.

Compounding the insanity of the current market valuations is the fact that no one has any idea just how bad the economic damage has been from the shutdown of the economy and the virus crisis. We won’t know for several months the degree to which unemployment and overall economic activity will recover. Certainly this idea that there will be a full recovery by the end of the summer (per several White House officials) is completely foolish.

The economic numbers that appear positive are merely a “statistical” bounce attributable to the “re-opening” during May from the highly depressed state of the economy during the lock-down period. But household debt delinquencies – credit card, auto and mortgage – continue to rise, while there’s little evidence that the majority of those who lost their jobs will be re-employed any time soon, if ever.  What will be the effect on the economy when unemployment benefits expire for a large portion of those receiving them now and who can not find a job?

The Fed asserts that its money printing is necessary to restore economic health.  But this is poorly disguised Orwellian propaganda.  Most of the Fed’s money printing has been used to keep the Too Big To Fail banks from choking to death on subprime and non-performing “assets,” such as leveraged loans to the retail and oil sectors, CLO liabilities and counter-party exposure from OTC derivatives (credit default swaps, primarily).  The resumption of money printing in September 2019 is evidence of that assertion. The rest of the printed money is funding the enormous load of new Treasury issuance.

Gold hit a new eight-year high today. This comes interestingly on the heels of escalating tensions with China. Trump likely does not understand this, but China holds several aces up its sleeve which can be used to undermine the U.S. dollar and detonate the ticking time bombs embedded in the U.S. financial system.  The most notable wild card held by China is its increasing control over the global physical gold market.

In the context of these comments from a Vice Chairman at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (i.e. a CCP member), it’s quite possible that China is starting to flex its muscle slowly to reset the price of gold to more closely align the vast spread between the paper derivative gold price determined in London and NYC and a true “price discovered” price of gold that reflects the underlying supply/demand reality:

Fang Xinghai, a vice-chairman at the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said that as China mainly relies on the US dollar payment system in international deals, it makes it vulnerable to possible US sanctions.

“Such things have already happened to many Russian businesses and financial institutions. We have to make preparations early – real preparations, not just psychological preparations,” Fang said at a forum organised by Chinese media outlet Caixin.

Fang’s comment came at a time when Washington is pondering how far it should go to use the US dollar’s key role in international payment to punish Chinese individuals, companies and financial institutions for alleged involvement in issues such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong.  (Caixin Gloal, via Zerohedge)

I’m just speculating here,  but China may be starting to flex its muscle in the gold market. It’s a widely accepted proposition that China’s Central Bank holds many multiples of the amount of gold officially reported.

China is the world’s largest producer of gold and now its setting its sights on acquiring robust western hemisphere gold mines.  Two State-controlled Chinese mining companies have made three notable western gold mining company acquisitions this year: one with a mine in Canada (TMAC); one with a soon-producing gold mine in Columbia (Continental Gold); and one in Guyana (Toronto-based Guyana Goldfields).  All three mine properties host very high-grade gold resources.  China would not spend hundreds of millions to acquire high margin gold mines to sell the gold produced at a manipulated,  artificially low price of gold.

Beyond China’s “invisible hand,”  I don’t know how else to explain the strength in the gold price during a period of time – late 2019 through present – when China and India have largely been absent from the gold market based on import data, while at the same time the Comex paper gold open interest has declined over 40% since January.

Gold has been surprisingly strong this morning, hitting an eight-year high at $1785 (August gold basis). If August gold can jump over the $1788-1790 area, which has been defended vigorously by the paper gold slinging western bullion banks, the $1800 level may fall like Gaul…

Gold Manipulation Is Carefully Orchestrated – And China Knows It

The bullion banks – at least on the Comex – have reduced their risk exposure to gold and silver derivatives over the last several months, which means reducing their short exposure. This is likely in response to the rising risk that they will be unable to meet increasing long-side counterparty delivery demands.

Chris Marcus of Arcadia Economics and I discuss the trends developing in the precious metals market as well as China’s awareness of the western Central Banks’ efforts to manage the gold price:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

Note:  I do not receive any promotion or sponsor payments in any form from the mining stock companies I present in my newsletter. Furthermore, I invest in many of the ideas personally or in my fund.

Is A Run On Comex And London Gold & Silver Occurring?

Indications of stress developing in the physical gold and silver markets of London and NYC were apparent last summer, well before anyone ever heard of the term “coronavirus.” The shortage of gold in NY that led to roll-out of the infamous “4G enhanced gold” contract that fractionalized LBMA gold bars for “delivery” on the Comex is just one of the “footprints” in the snow that lead us to this conclusion.

In addition, the big spread between spot gold and gold futures which persisted for several weeks and now has spread to the silver market reflects a large dislocation between the physical market and the paper derivatives market for silver.

Chris Marcus of Arcadia Economics and I discuss what appears to be a drain on the physical supply of gold and silver on the Comex and LBMA:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

Note:  I do not receive any promotion or sponsor payments in any form from the mining stock companies I present in my newsletter. Furthermore, I invest in many of the ideas personally or in my fund.

As The Fed Goes “Weimar,” Gold, Silver, Miners Will Go Parabolic

The chart above speaks for itself. You could not find a more bullish chart set-up in the stock market. Note that the HUI/Dow ration bottomed out in late 2019 at the same level where it bottomed in late 2000. Most investors in this sector were not around for the beginning of the precious metals bull market in late 2000. But you can see the big move that started in 2008 – for which many of you were around – actually began 8 years early at a much lower level. I believe there’s a good possibility, because of the amount of money that has been printed by Central Banks globally, but especially by the Fed, that the scale of the next bull move in this sector will be larger than the 2000-2011 move.

The precious metals sector continues to be glaringly ignored by the mainstream financial media and most “alternative” forms of media. This is a “loud” indicator that the fattest part of the bull move is yet to come. YTD gold is up 15.4%, GDX is up 25% while the SPX is down 6.5%. If the SPX were up 25% YTD, they’d be doing naked cartwheels on CNBC.

M&A activity kicked up again in the mining stocks over the past two weeks. But the deal that caught my attention was the acquisition of TMAC Resources by China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co. for C$207.4 million. TMAC operates the Doris gold mine in Hope Bay. Shandong is 47% owned by the Chinese Government.

China has been aggressively buying gold mines in Africa and South America. It was just a matter of time before it turned its sights on North American mining companies. I will be interested to see if Chinese mining companies ramp up their M&A activities in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Most of these junior mining companies that have highly prospective projects, transitioning into production or currently produce, especially the smaller ones, are extraordinarily cheap relative to the price of gold/silver and especially relative to where gold/silver are going. It’s also another way for China to convert US dollars into gold.

A new subscriber wanted to know if he should start buying mining stocks now or wait a few weeks for a possible pullback. Here’s my response: “Regarding market timing, it’s impossible to time peaks, valleys, ebbs and flows. The key is to find ideas you like and start building positions. Always always always leave plenty of cash to take advantage of sell-offs, pullbacks, corrections. And it’s usually a good idea to sell part of your position if/when the stock runs up sharply in a short period.

If you are not invested in the sector yet, start wading in with maybe 10%-15% of what you plan to allocate to mining stocks. Yes they’ve had a big run up since mid-March but they could work off the “overbought” technical condition by going sideways for a bit and then head higher again. A lot of cash is starting to flow into the sector and you don’t want to be left standing at the station when the train pulls away. It’s not a good feeling chasing stocks which I had hoped would pullback – been there, done that.

The above commentary is from the latest issue of the Mining Stock Journal.  I focus on lesser followed “venture capital” junior exploration companies but include ideas for my favorite large cap stocks, along with options ideas for those. Several of my junior mining stock picks have doubled or tripled since mid-March.  You can learn more about this mining stock newsletter here:   Mining Stock Journal information

Infinite QE, Bear Market Rallies, Gold, Silver And Mining Stocks

The precious metals sector continues to be glaringly ignored by the mainstream financial media and most “alternative” forms of media. This is a “loud” indicator that the fattest part of the bull move is yet to come. YTD gold is up 11.8%, GDX is up 16.4% while the SPX is down 12.6%. If the SPX were up 16% YTD, they’d be doing naked cartwheels on CNBC.Mining Stock Journal – May 14, 2020

The stock market is reflecting the expectation of a “V” recovery in the economy. The Trump Government, specifically Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, believes economic activity will be largely restored by the end of August. It’s nothing but propagandist fantasy.  I’d be stunned if he really believes that.  This bear market rally is a just that – a bear market rally. The same pattern occurred after the tech bubble popped in 2000. The Naz plunged 40% followed by a 42% rebound rally. When the bear rally ran out of steam, the Naz declined 42% over the next four months.

A lot of money is flowing into mining stocks, especially junior exploration companies. More investors are aware that the cat is out of the bag w/regard to the physical vs. paper situation in London and NYC. The money flowing into mining stocks – especially speculative juniors – is starting to go from a trickle to a heavy current.  A lot of stock deals that have been announced in the last couple of weeks have been up-sized by a considerable amount. This is highly bullish indicator for the precious metals sector.

Silver Doctors / SD Bullion invited me back to discuss the insanely overvalued stock market and the precious metals market:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

“I’ve always thought your newsletter is the best value in the junior mining world. It’s great to get your insight as things get moving here. Some of your suggestions are among my best performers.” – subscriber, “James,” to the Mining Stock Journal