Timing the final bottom in silver

We would like to start with a question from one of our subscribers today, as we believe that it is a good way to show the distinction between tools that help you spot what direction the market is about to move and those that are better suited to time the exact reversal point, which is – in current circumstances – the final bottom in gold, silver and the whole precious metals sector.

Q: (…) One thing that I do is to look for price divergence with RSI and MACD and that is evident in the charts. Price has hit a lower low and RSI and MACD have hit a higher high/low. To me that indicates a possible good time to buy GDX, GDXJ and mining stocks. This is a volatile time so it would be difficult to hold through this period.  (…) Also $BPGDM is at zero and can't go any lower. (…)

There are divergences in numerous indicators now - such as RSI and MACD - on numerous precious metals-related indices and for individual mining companies. This, however, has been the case for some time. For instance on the GDX ETF chart you can see that the early April low was accompanied by a higher low in the RSI indicator, and preceded by a move higher in MACD. The early March bottom was also accompanied by a higher low in the RSI indicator.

The point is that divergences are good in showing that a given move may be running out of steam, but are not that good when it comes to determining whether the bottom is in or not. With a reverse parabola in gold and a long-term cyclical turning point that we wrote about in our last essay, we are quite certain that the end of the decline is near, and that's all that the divergences confirm. They don't suggest whether or not the bottom is already in.

The Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index was indeed at the 0 level and it couldn’t go any lower (it’s a bit higher today). That's true. But miners can. This index was at 0 in 2008 when the final bottom was formed - that's true. However, that's just a one-time event. It has some predictive power, but it's not all that strong as it's not a tendency. Statistically, we would have to see about 30 cases or more to speak of an existing relationship. But putting statistics aside, we would have to see at least a few cases with the same or similar outcome to say that this could be a tendency. Consequently, while the Gold Miners Bullish Percent Index being at 0 is a contrarian bullish factor, we think that other methods of analysis are more important right now.

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