ETF Update: A New Look at Gold

As we noted in last week's update, system trading is not the ideal vehicle for sharp, news-based turning points.  The stories about the Obama appointments and plans helped the market to a good rebound from an oversold condition.  A system will not anticipate such events nor the reaction.

Our TCA-ETF system does catch some cyclical turning points, and has also kept us out of harm's way during the bulk of the recent decline.  The system is designed to get us on the right side of the big market moves, and in the best ETF's to enjoy the benefits.  (For new readers, there is a more complete description of our methods and ratings at the end of the article.)

Revisiting the Gold Mining Stocks

The only new buy in our ETF universe is the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, (GDX)
The concentration is pretty good, with 34 total companies and the top
five representing about 37% of the total.  Canadian companies make up
65% of the group.  There is little correlation to the S&P 500, and
a beta relative to gold bullion of 1.57.

We also featured GDX last July, but the sector has been difficult to forecast.

Others recommending GDX include both technical and fundamental analysts.  Trends I'm Watching highlights the recent four-week strength, up almost 27%.

Deron Wagner, a colleague at's RealMoney site (subscription required, free trial available), writes as follows:

On the daily chart below, notice how it's breaking out above the high of its tight consolidation of the past three days.

With the GDX now above its 50-day moving average,
it can be bought on any small pullback. Ideally, the $25 to $25.50 area
represents an ideal buy point because the prior high from Nov. 5
(marked by the blue horizontal line) should now provide support as
well. Since the GDX closed just above the high of its short-term
consolidation, it's not even too late to buy near its current price.

Deron includes a nice chart with his analysis.

Mitch Tuchman at Blogging Stocks has an interesting fundamental observation about owning the gold miners versus the metal itself.

There are two reasons to buy GDX instead of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) or the iShares Comex Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU)
both of which are pure gold ETFs (you own a share of gold sitting in a
safe). First, the ratio between gold and the value of the gold held by
miners has been relatively stable for 30 years. But today, the gold
miners are selling at 33% of that historical ratio, so bulls say it's
better to buy the miners, not the metal. Second, the biggest expense of
a mining company is energy. Oil today hit $54 per barrel, down 63% from
a peak of $147. This adds to the profits of the Gold Miners.

Earlier this year the miners lagged the metal, so Tuchman's analysis is quite interesting.  It may help to explain the recent strength.

Weekly TCA-ETF Rankings

The ratings reflect prices and signals as of Wednesday
night, November 26th.  The GDX ETF made a big move from 19th last week to the #3 position.  Readers
should note that we provide these as market information, not trading
advice.  Please read our disclaimers.  If you want to follow the
service in real time, please review our free reports on methods and
performance.  We use some discretion in our own trading programs,
knowing when there are news events that may not be reflected in the

Based upon the current ratings, we continued our  bearish position in the  Ticker Sense Blogger Sentiment poll.


Note for New Readers

Our weekly ETF Update is designed to assist both investors and
traders interested in ETF's and Sector Rotation.  Before turning to the
current rankings, let us undertake a review for readers new to this

Our Method.  In this past article,
we described our basic methodology and why we believe the rankings are
useful for fundamental traders and technical traders alike.  While we
urge readers to check out the entire article, the key point is that
ETF's pose challenges and opportunities different from investment in
individual stocks.  The fundamentals may be more difficult to assess. 
Even with a good grasp on fundamental trends, there is a lot of
technically-based trading in ETF's.  This means that those trading with a fundamental approach (and we do this as well) want to monitor the "hot money" moves.  Here is an article on that point.

The system synopsis.
We look at Trending sectors, Cyclical Sectors, and build in an element
of Anticipation for both entry and exit — thus the name of the model,
TCA-ETF.  While we do not reveal the exact methodology for spotting
trends and cycles, the system is not a "black box."  The basic elements
are used by many, and widely reported.  We even discuss the need for human analysis as opposed to black box trading.

We report the rankings
each week, now on the weekend with a one-day delay, using the Thursday
output from the model.  We monitor and trade this daily, and offer a
free report (request via the email address on the top left of the site)
for those interested in our weekly trading program.

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  • myinvestorsplace10 December 1, 2008  

    Thank you for sharing useful information.We want you to come up with more information so that will be helpful to everyone.

  • Raytayzmd December 1, 2008  

    …how’s “Newarc Investments” doing these days?…I looked at the website and under “The Results” found a little table labelled:
    “Great Stocks, Great Performance as of 12/30/05”

  • Jeff Miller December 1, 2008  

    Ray – You are correct in noting that our “static” site is way overdue for some updating. We have limited partnership programs for accredited investors and also a method for nearly any investor to participate through their own TD Ameritrade account as part of our advisor group.
    As a registered investment advisor must, I talk with each potential investor about personal needs, risk tolerance, and how this investment would fit in the entire program. I am happy to share performance data with potential investors, depending upon which program fits their needs.
    In a general sense, both our sector rotation and long-only programs have beaten the market significantly over their ten-year life span. The TCA-ETF approach is doing better this year, since it avoided the worst of the market decline.
    Thanks for asking! Feel free to write for our free reports explaining the methods and the programs. If you are still interested, we can set up an appointment to talk.