Collapse in Value of Dollar Sees Investors Turning to Gold, Which Has Been Outpacing the Market

Price of the monetary metal is rising faster than S&P 500, Nasdaq, and the Dow.

AP/Nick Ut, file
Gold bars and coins. AP/Nick Ut, file

Could honest money be the better bet? Recent data show that the stock price of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange traded fund has risen faster than the three major American stock indexes over the last six months.

Though the equity market is roaring — the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average all closed at record highs on Wednesday — the price of gold is rising even faster. 

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF, a tracker for the price of gold bullion, rose in price by 19.8 percent as of the market’s close on Thursday — over the same period, the S&P 500 jumped 17.4 percent, the Nasdaq rose 16.3 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 14.1 percent.

Even as the equity markets reach new heights, including the Dow passing $40,000 a share on Thursday, investors are reaching for the gold. Famed hedge fund manager Michael Burry, known for his “big short” on mortgage bonds in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, just secured a major position in the real asset. Mr. Burry, according to his first quarter 13F filing, shed Amazon and Alphabet stocks to buy up shares of Sprott Physical Gold Trust ETF. 

Investors are snapping up physical gold, too.  Warehouse retailer Costco began to offer gold bars for sale last year and has barely been able to keep up with demand since. Customers have been spending as much as $200 million a month on Costco’s 1-ounce 24 karat gold bars, according to analysts at Wells Fargo. As the bars are often sold out in seconds, entire Reddit threads exist to report evidence and location of restocking. 

The price of gold rising alongside a strong equity market is unusual. Gold has historically been seen as an attractive asset when the equity market tanks and investors seek out a more reliable alternative. But the equity market isn’t tanking — it’s booming. And still, investors keep driving the price of gold up higher and higher, defying the widely believed rule-of-thumb that the precious metal and the equity market have an inverse relationship. 

The rally is not over yet, Goldman Sachs predicts. The leading investment bank recently boosted its 2024 base case price target for gold to rise to $2,700 an ounce, up from its original estimate of $2,300. In a letter to investors, Goldman Sachs noted that the price upgrade was in large part due to the precious metal’s recent price stability in spite of a stronger-than-expected CPI report.


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