Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dumb Money Dumps Gold

Alex Roslin at cotstimer says:

Turns out the "dumb money" small traders in gold derivatives have thrown in the towel. The latest data shows their net long position falling to a bearish extreme as a percentage of the total open interest in gold futures and options.

What does that mean in layperson's terms? The folks who tend to be positioned the wrong way in the markets believe gold has topped, and they're selling it. That means my system based on trading opposite to the small traders in gold has just flashed a renewed bullish signal for Canadian Gold iUnits (symbol XGD). (See the table below for more details.) Personal disclosure: I've been long XGD since this setup flipped to bullish back in May. I found in my research on the past COTs data that the best way to trade XGD was to fade the gold small traders.

However, not all markets work the same. My research also found it was best to trade on the same side as the "smart money" gold commercial traders—these would be the gold miners—for bullion itself as well as the HUI Gold Bugs Index and USERX U.S. Gold Fund. That's just the way this fascinating data works.

And these three latter setups flipped to bearish in the Sept. 25 COTs report due to extreme pessimism on the part of the commercial traders. Since September, the commercials have steadily reduced their large net short position to the point where my gold and HUI setups have just gone to neutral (zero) for the first time in nearly two months. Of course, the commercials are still far from actually getting to the point where they'd flip my setups to bullish.

In silver, the "dumb money" small traders have bumped up their net long position a fair amount since the previous COTs report. Now, they're just slightly negative about silver's prospects compared to the historic data. My silver signal remains solidly in the bullish column, where it's been since July. (Disclosure: I've been long SLV iShares Silver since that signal started, too.)

The action in copper since September has been quite depressing if you happened to be a bull. Since my copper setup gave three renewed bearish signals starting in the Sept. 25 COTs report, copper is down about 15 percent. Yikes. With the latest COTs report, my copper setup still has a bearish tilt because the "dumb money" large speculators—the big investment firms and hedge funds—are still fairly bullish by historic standards. This, despite the dramatic selloff! It makes you wonder how these folks stay in business. Oh yeah, that's right. Commissions, management fees, tax loopholes, offshore accounts. Almost forgot.

And what of the beleaguered U.S. buck? Do the COTs give any hope for the poor greenback, so crushed and unloved? No, sorry, they don't. In fact, the "smart money" commercials in U.S. dollar index futures have again reduced their net long position—their seventh straight such move. My dollar setup, already on a bearish signal since way back in Oct. 2006—when the dollar's latest downtrend started—now has a decidedly bearish tilt.

For more details and signals from my setups for equities, energy, the Treasuries, currencies and agriculture, visit my free blog Good luck this week.

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