2 Underloved Gold Stocks Taking a Breather

After huge rallies to new highs, Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) and Kinross Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:KGC) are taking a breather

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Apr 13, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Gold stocks are slipping today, after strong export data out of China lifted the strength of the dollar and diminished demand for "safe haven" investments. But overall, the precious metals sector has been having a fantastic year. In fact, it is one of the best-performing sectors at the moment, with every one the stocks under our "precious metals" umbrella above their 80-day moving averages. The average year-to-date stock return for precious metals is 90.8%, according to Schaeffer's Senior Equities Analyst Rocky White, and the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) is up 63% so far in 2016 and just off an annual high. Below we'll take a look at two gold stocks that are taking a breather today, but could have room to run in the event of a sentiment shift: Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) and Kinross Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:KGC).

NEM is down 3.4% at $29.59 today, but is ahead 70% year-to-date after hitting a two-year high of $13.25 on Tuesday. The stock saw support from its 10-week moving average in recent weeks, as it made its most recent trek higher, and now sits comfortably above the $28 level, which has stifled rally attempts since late 2013. NEM also outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 58 percentage points over the past three months and now boasts a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 70 -- ont he cusp of overbought territory.

Analysts appear wary of NEM, with five rating the security a "hold," compared to five "strong buy" ratings. Short sellers have been backing off recently, however. Short interest on NEM fell by 30% during the most recent two-week reporting period and now accounts for less than 2% of the stock's available float.

Despite recent outperformance in the shares, option traders are still betting against NEM. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.51 is higher than 87% of all readings in the past year. Should gold prices resumes their upward trend, an unwinding of this bearish sentiment could propel Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) toward new multi-year highs.

Meanwhile, KGC is 2.6% lower at $4.35, after the shares hit a two-year high of $4.49 earlier in trading. Like NEM, KGC is taking a respite from a huge rally, which started in late January. The shares have added nearly 140% in 2016, outperforming the SPX by a mind-blowing 175 percentage points over three months. And KGC's 14-day RSI of 83 puts it deep into overbought territory.

Out of 15 analysts following the KGC, nine rate it a "hold" or worse, though a few have upgraded their opinions amid the stock's rally. Meanwhile, near-term traders have lately been far more put-heavy than usual, with Kinross Gold Corporation's (USA) (NYSE:KGC) Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.02 ranking higher than 99% of the past year's readings. An exodus of option bears could usher KGC higher.

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