2 Currency-Tied Stocks to Watch Under $20

Both of those stocks have contrarian potential

Managing Editor
May 2, 2024 at 2:16 PM
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Uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve’s rate cut schedule has investors stuck in a holding pattern until more data defines the country's fiscal path. It also means safe-haven assets like gold -- as well as more volatile currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) -- generate a lot of buzz.

This week in our Cheap Seats: Stocks Under $20 segment, we're looking at two stocks tied to two very different currencies, but that are affordably priced; Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) and cryptocurrency-adjacent name Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:MARA).

GOLD is up 0.6% to trade at $16.46, after an upgrade from Veritas Research to "buy" from "reduce" overshadowed a price-target cut from Raymond James to $24.50 from $25. The Canada-based gold mining stock is off 8% in 2024, but added roughly 20% since its Feb. 14 lows just under $14, an area that was also home to October lows. 

MARA, meanwhile, is 6% higher to trade at $17.04. The shares are 28% lower in 2024, having just briefly tested -- and today reclaimed -- the 200-day trendline. The stock has more than doubled off its Oct. 6 annual low of $7.16, and sports a 71% year-over-year lead.

There's contrarian potential to monitor with both stocks. If GOLD or safe-haven assets show weakness this summer, it could catch options traders off guard. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Volatility Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), GOLD's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 10.93 sits higher than 84% of readings from the past year.

As for MARA, a whopping 20.4% of the stock's total available float is sold short. If BTC reclaims $60,000, or if Marathon Digital's earnings report next week after the close on May 9 yields a move to the upside, it may catch those bears off guard and force a short squeeze. 


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