Bulls Weigh on Gold as Losses Mount in Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSEARCA:NUGT

Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSEARCA:NUGT) falls

The Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust  shares were down yet again on Friday morning after a day of huge losses on Thursday. Most of Wall Street has turned its back on gold as the US heads toward a rate rise later on in 2015, and the risk of both inflation and deflation melt away.

SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) Price target

We’ve seen a wide range of negative outlooks on gold since the fall in the price of the metal began earlier in July. The bulls have, for the most part, stayed out of the limelight. There’s good reason for that. Most of those who are bulls now were bulls three months ago, and they’ve been proven wrong. Right now most are trying to rework their models or abandon gold altogether. Here’s what some of them are saying.

Stepping back, doubling down, and staying quiet

An old adage says to buy into gold as soon as the last bull has left town. We’re not sure if that’s true just yet, but it’s clear that many former gold bugs have left their positions and are trying to recover losses in the market.

Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance has long been happy to put money in gold, but he’s turning against the metal right now. “From a technical perspective,” he told CNBC, “it doesn’t look hot.” He said that the price of the metal has “broken through some very critical areas.”

On the other hand, some observers are doubling down on the metal. In a report published on July 3, Bank of America Merril Lynch forecasted that gold prices would rise to $1,300 in 2016.

“We are on the cusp of a bull market,” reads the report. The investment house says that “gold can be supported even if the U.S. central bank turns less accommodative, as long as the Fed just normalizes monetary policy.”

John Paulson and David Einhorn, two hedge fund managers known for their bets on gold, will have to disclose their positions in ETFs and miners of the metal next month. The final  date for 13F filings is on August 14. Then, or perhaps the day before, we’ll be able to see if gold’s big hedge fund fans are still backing the metal.

Gold ETFs remain a danger

Leveraged ETFs carry risks that don’t exist in pure metal trading. That’s why the Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust  has lost more than 70 percent of its value in the last three months.

There are very few outspoken Wall Street voices who will advise a bet on the ETF as a result. Leverage is dangerous, and it’s not for the faint of heart. The NUGT ETF tracks an index of gold mining shares and seeks to deliver returns of three times those on the index.

The price of the Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust  has become very separate from the price of gold as a metal in recent weeks as a result. Even gold bulls aren’t likely to advise a bet on the ETF.

The risks are simply too great for all but the most thrill-seeking of traders. There’s no outspoken bulls of the index in the limelight, and there isn’t likely to be, at least until the price of gold turns around.

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