ETF Trends
ETF Trends

With a year-to-date loss of about 50%, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) is one of the worst-performing non-leveraged sector ETFs. Not surprisingly, the several of the non-leveraged funds that have been even worse than GDX are also gold and/or silver mining ETFs.

If there is any good news for GDX, aside from the fact that 2013 is drawing to a close, it is that there is evidence that the ETF’s darkest days may be behind it.

In an interview with CNBC last Friday, Oppenheimer’s chief market technician Carter Worth said “GDX has all the hallmarks of something that’s stabilizing, basing.”

Worth may have a point. GDX is down 2.8% in the past month, which by the standards of gold mining ETFs in 2013, is not a bad monthly performance. Importantly, Worth pointed out that GDX move above its downtrend line several months ago and has since found support there, but not violated that line. GDX actually traded higher for the month of October. [Checkout the Chart of the Gold Miners ETF]

Encouraging comments about GDX will not fall on deaf ears. Although ETFs, such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), have bled billions in assets this year as gold’s remarkable 12-year bull run comes to an end, investors have stuck by GDX. [Contrarian ETF Ideas]

Perhaps lured by compelling valuations or simply the theory, however flawed, that mining stocks cannot fall much further, investors have poured $2.3 billion in GDX this year. That is nearly a third of the ETF’s current assets under management tally of $7.1 billion. In just the past week, GDX has attracted almost $213 million, according to Index Universe.

GDX is also not richly valued relative to the S&P 500 (^GSPC). The ETF has a trailing 12-month P/E of 16.3 and a trailing 12-month price-to-book ratio of 1.08, according to Market Vectors data. However, the ETF’s three-year standard deviation is nearly 30% with a Sharpe ratio of -0.8.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.