December 24, 2013
I know how the classic Christmas carol goes, but this is not the year for the "five golden rings." Gold is headed towards worst year in over three decades, as the U.S. economy continues to recover and the metal loses its luster as a hedge against the dollar. While 2014 may be a better year for gold, it's simply too risky to put new money in the yellow metal. Or, in companies that mine gold, for that matter.
That's because there are several other headwinds kicking up.
First, there's the Federal Reserve's newly revealed tapering plan. Essentially, the more confidence there is in central banks, the worse it is for gold and other precious metals. So because the Fed implied that it may not conduct quantitative easing "to infinity," confidence in the Fed improved, hurting gold in subsequent trading days.
The other factor weighing down the gold market is that a lot of gold has just become available on the world markets. As part of the new nuclear agreement struck with Iran last month, sanctions were removed on $8 billion in Iran's frozen assets. This means that the country will rely less on gold, which it had previously traded for crude oil under the economic sanctions.
Right now, what the gold market needs is instability among central banks as well as tension in the Middle East—uncertainty makes gold more appealing to nervous investors. In my opinion, I'm happy that we're not in that situation—either of these things could change, but I don't recommend you go loading up on gold stocks right now.
In fact, I ran 14 of the largest gold companies through Portfolio Grader this morning, and I was shocked to see how poorly all of these stocks performed in my screens. Just take a look:
|Ticker||Company||Quantitative Grade||Fundamental Grade||My Rating|
|ABX||Barrick Gold Corporation||F||D||Strong Sell|
|AEM||Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.||F||C||Sell|
|AU||AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|AUY||Yamana Gold, Inc.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|BVN||Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA||F||D||Strong Sell|
|EGO||Eldorado Gold Corp.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|GFI||Gold Fields Ltd.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|GG||Goldcorp Inc.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|GOLD||Randgold Resources Limited||F||D||Strong Sell|
|KGC||Kinross Gold Corporation||F||D||Strong Sell|
|NEM||Newmont Mining Corp.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|NGD||New Gold, Inc.||F||D||Strong Sell|
|RGLD||Royal Gold, Inc.||F||D||Strong Sell|
As a reminder, the market is only open a half day today (closing at 1:00 p.m. ET), and it will be closed tomorrow in observance of Christmas Day. I hope you have a wonderful time with your families and I'll be back bright and early on Thursday with your Stock of the Day.