The stars — in the form of smart and dumb money futures contract positions — have once again lined up favorably for precious metals. Here are those positions for gold and silver as of Tuesday the 4th. Notice that speculators (the dumb money) got a lot less optimistic — that is, less long and more short — while the commercials (the smart money) got much less pessimistic. The closer each group gets to neutral, where their longs and shorts are about equal, the greater the likelihood that metals prices will rise in the subsequent six or so months.
And here’s the same data for silver presented in graphical form. The top bars are speculator longs and the bottom are commercial shorts. When they approach the zero line that’s bullish.
So here we are once again, at the tail end of a grindingly-protracted precious metals correction that has led a lot of people to give up altogether and sell their mining stocks. The next few months should be much better, especially for holders of the junior miners that were caught in the GDXJ downdraft.
Playing this indicator — known as the Commitment of Traders Report, or COT — is of course just a way to pass the time while the real underlying forces affecting precious metals work themselves out. Those forces — rapidly accumulating debts which leave central banks no choice but to inflate away their currencies — are still accelerating in most places, and the inevitability of mass-devaluation will become clear when the central banks now talking about “interest rate normalization” and “balance sheet reduction” are forced to admit that those things are impossible, and all that’s left is debt monetization as far as the eye can see.
On that day it won’t matter what futures traders — or junior miner ETFs — are doing. The physical precious metals bid will go infinite — that is, big players holding useless cash will buy up all the gold and silver that’s available, at pretty much any price that’s demanded.