September has not been kind to gold, which has lost 16% since reaching a nominal high of $1,917.90/oz. in late August. But according to historical data, October may not be any nicer.
Mark Hulbert at MarketWatch cites gold's disappointing track record for the month of October in a cautionary article to gold investors: "Over the last three decades, the London PM Fixing Price [for gold] in U.S. dollars terms has lost an average of 0.9% during October. That compares to a 0.6% gain in all other months. That difference of 1.5 percentage points is statistically significant."
Hulbert describes one theory for this observation: Gold tends to move inversely to stocks, and since September is often a bad month for the stock market, October sees a tradable low in stocks that may attract money away from gold. But he also says that this inverse relationship breaks down in November and December, which are good months for both stocks and gold.
November coincides with Diwali and the season many Indian couples schedule their weddings, a very big mover in the gold market. "Roughly 50% of gold demand still comes from jewelry. Over half of this comes from India and China," says John LaForge, analyst at Ned Davis.
For a look at what the smart money thinks, we ran a screen on gold mining stocks for those seeing significant net buying from institutional investors over the current quarter and insiders over the last six months.
The smart money doesn't seem to be worried about a possible correction in the price of gold -- are they being overly optimistic?
List sorted by market cap. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. US Gold (NYS: UXG) : Engages in the exploration for, development of, production, and sale of gold, silver, and other precious metals. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 6.7M shares, which represents about 6.22% of the company's float of 107.66M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 3,067,000 shares, which represents about 2.85% of the company's 107.66M share float.
2. Vista Gold (NYS: VGZ) : Engages in the evaluation, acquisition, exploration, and advancement of gold exploration and development projects in Australia, North America, and Indonesia. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 13.3M shares, which represents about 21.31% of the company's float of 62.40M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 29,500 shares, which represents about 0.05% of the company's 62.40M share float.
3. Midway Gold (NYS: MDW) : Engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral properties in North America. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 10.7M shares, which represents about 14% of the company's float of 76.41M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 100,000 shares, which represents about 0.13% of the company's 76.41M share float.
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 Eben Esterhuizen and Alexander Crawford do not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, insider data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.
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