Gold Prices Go Hyperbolic: A Bubble Soon to Burst?

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Early Tuesday, gold prices hit a new nominal high of $1,917/oz. only two weeks after rising above $1,800 for the first time.

Gold was at $1,400/oz. at the start of the year.

Although the levels themselves don't seem to be too much of a worry, some analysts are concerned about how quickly gold is rising.

"Gold is considered a good hedge against inflation," economics professor Lloyd Thomas from Kansas State University told CNN, "but the increase in gold price has far outpaced inflation, especially during the last decade."

Thomas said that unless higher inflation, around 10% a year, was forthcoming, gold prices are "clearly in a bubble."

"Bubbles can run a long time -- just look at technology stocks in the late 1990s and housing prices a few years ago," Thomas said. He believes that gold prices will likely soon threaten their inflation-adjusted high around $2,200 an ounce -- another warning bell of things getting a little too frothy, he said.

Others are more concerned about the short term. "Gold could keep working its way higher, but it is starting to look a bit bubbly," Matt Zeman from Kingsview Financial in Chicago told CNN. "The run-up reminds me of what silver did a few months ago. It climbed steadily week after week, sucked everyone in, and then the whole deck of cards came crashing down."

We ran a screen on the most highly shorted gold stocks. Short-sellers think these stocks are set for a pullback, do you agree?

Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Northgate Minerals (NYS: NXG) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $945.95M. Shares shorted have increased from 8.95M to 12.41M month-over-month, a change representing 1.19% of the company's 291.24M share float. The stock has gained 14.49% over the last year.

2. Royal Gold (NAS: RGLD) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $3.98B. Shares shorted have increased from 3.34M to 3.71M month-over-month, a change representing 0.72% of the company's 51.37M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.31% (equivalent to 5.18 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.42%.

3. Randgold Resources (NAS: GOLD) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $10.36B. Shares shorted have increased from 846.08K to 1.12M month-over-month, a change representing 0.32% of the company's 84.73M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.13% above its SMA20, 19.61% above its SMA50, and 26.44% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 10.47% over the last week.

4. Eldorado Gold (NYS: EGO) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $11.09B. Shares shorted have increased from 4.92M to 6.61M month-over-month, a change representing 0.31% of the company's 542.33M share float. The stock has gained 10.81% over the last year.

5. Compania de Minas Buenaventura (NYS: BVN) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $11.39B. Shares shorted have increased from 2.18M to 2.63M month-over-month, a change representing 0.24% of the company's 184.33M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.42% over the last week.

6. IAMGOLD (NYS: IAG) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $7.72B. Shares shorted have increased from 1.28M to 2.00M month-over-month, a change representing 0.23% of the company's 316.00M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.27% over the last week.

7. AuRico Gold Ordinary Share (NYS: AUQ) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $2.43B. Shares shorted have increased from 1.78M to 2.06M month-over-month, a change representing 0.16% of the company's 172.02M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.13% above its SMA20, 15.43% above its SMA50, and 43.46% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.19% over the last week.

8. Newmont Mining (NYS: NEM) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $34.16B. Shares shorted have increased from 11.37M to 12.13M month-over-month, a change representing 0.16% of the company's 486.76M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.51% over the last week.

9. Extorre Gold Mines Ltd. Ordinar (NYS: XG) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $1.0B. Shares shorted have increased from 174.61K to 308.21K month-over-month, a change representing 0.16% of the company's 84.75M share float. After a solid performance over the last year, XG has pulled back during recent sessions. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 22.21%.

10. Harmony Gold Mining (NYS: HMY) : Gold Industry. Market cap of $5.55B. Shares shorted have increased from 2.79M to 3.20M month-over-month, a change representing 0.11% of the company's 366.28M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.35% over the last week.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Alexander Crawford does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

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