Mining Stocks Have Been the Most Frustrating Trade for the Last Year

02/13/2018 10:38 am EST

Focus: COMMODITIES

Avi Gilburt, Esq

Founder, ElliottWaveTrader.net

Will the GDX break out when the ABX completes its longer-term pullback? Until then, it seems the market is trying to teach us a lesson in patience, such as exhibited by the biblical figure Job, writes Avi Gilburt, technical analyst and author of ElliottWaveTrader.net.

For those who follow me regularly, you will know that I have been tracking a set up for the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which I analyze as a proxy for the metals mining market.

I believe that the GDX can outperform the general equity market once we confirm a long-term break out has begun, and I still think we can see it in occur in 2018. But, after last week’s break down below the December 2017 low, the set up will have to be resurrected first in the coming months.

I am not sure what more there is to say. We have had several break-out set ups break down in the GDX over the last year. Yet, all the market has done is consolidate sideways for an entire year. Clearly, this is not something I would have or could have expected. Moreover, we still have a 5-wave structure off the 2015 lows, which still keeps us in a longer term bullish perspective.

Since the GDX is a composition of a whole host of mining stocks, I have to resolve myself to understanding that the weaker stocks have certainly been a strong drag on the overall fund. So, until the weaker stocks prove they have a bottom in place, it seems quite clear that the GDX will continue to frustrate us.

The miners we are holding in our EWT Miners Portfolio are presenting as exceptionally strong, especially relative to the GDX as a whole. Many of them seem as ready to break out similarly to the manner in which GLD seems poised to break out. Yet, when I go back to look at stocks like Barrick Gold (ABX), it seems quite clear why the GDX has been underperforming.

As you can see from the attached ABX chart, it has followed through down to lower lows in this current pullback. When I highlighted this chart a few months ago to our members, I noted this lower low potential, and the ABX is now fulfilling that potential.


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But, as I also noted in those updates, the long-term potential presented by this chart is quite strong. As you can see, the positive divergences evident on this chart as the market has dropped down to just below its .618 retracement of its 2016 rally is quite stark. This is often a precursor to a strong reversal which will likely kick off the larger degree 3rd wave which has failed to take hold over the last year.

Within the micro count of ABX, it would seem we are completing the wave v of (C) of y of ii. But, within wave v, we may still see another 4-5 structure before this completes its downside. That means that the 14 region is going to be the resistance over which it will have to rally in impulsive fashion to begin to signal that this wave ii has finally completed. Should that occur, we may see the ABX catch up quite quickly to the rest of the complex behind which it has been lagging.

So, in order to align the GDX chart with the ABX chart, I have to consider any bounce below the 22-22.66 region as being a 4th wave bounce, similar to the potential we see in the ABX. It will take an impulsive rally through the 22.66 region to suggest that the lows have been struck in the GDX, assuming the ABX is also impulsively rallying through its 14 region.

Again, we will have to start seeing the laggards in this complex catch up and potentially even outperform to signal that a true low has been struck.

But, in conclusion, even though the GDX technically broke its recent (1)(2) structure, the metals charts still give me reason to remain bullish in the larger degree.

As I noted to my subscribers, the short-term indications in my 144-minute silver chart suggest it is trying to bottom out, while the longer-term structure in ABX suggests it should also catch up to the rest of the market, which would allow the GDX to finally break out when the ABX is finally able to complete its longer-term pullback.

Until such time, it seems the market is trying to teach us a lesson in patience, such as that exhibited by the biblical figure Job.

See charts illustrating the wave counts on the GDX, GLD & ABX.

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