Thursday was another strong day for exchange traded funds holding shares of gold miners.

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest gold miners ETF by assets, jumped 4.4% despite earnings misses from Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Agnico-Eagle (NYSE: AEM), two stocks that combine for 17.5% of GDX’s weight. [Seven Mining ETFs to Remember]

With GDX and rival mining ETFs dominating the list of the best non-leveraged ETFs in 2014, market observers and technical analysts recently have not been shy about highlighting improving technical scenarios for the miners. For example, GDX this week has notched consecutive closes above its 200-day moving average, a line it has not closed above since December 2012.

“This technical metric is not the magic dividing line between bull and bear markets that some would make it out to be, but the move above it suggests something positive is happening for the sector,” reports Michael Kahn for Barron’s.

Kahn also notes the performance of GDX against physically-backed gold ETFs like the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is a positive sign. When considering there were several years in GLD’s bull run that GDX traded lower, the fact that miners are outpacing bullion does indeed look positive. [Miners Ready to Beat Bullion]

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