One day does not make a trend, but Monday’s action in a pair of popular leveraged gold miners exchange traded funds could signal that another big move is coming for this heavily traded, volatile segment of the ETF market.
On Monday, traders pulled $33.2 million from the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: NUGT) while adding almost $13 million to the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: DUST), according to Direxion data. NUGT and DUST are the triple-leveraged answers to the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest gold miners ETF.
For one day at least, it appears those moving out of NUGT and into DUST got the trade right as DUST, the bearish play, is up 6.1% on volume that has already surpassed the three-month trailing average while NUGT is down 6.2%. With GDX up 19.5% year-to-date, NUGT has surged 59.1% while DUST has tumbled 49%. [A Wild Week for Gold Miners ETFs]
With gold prices trading higher throughout much of January, investors embraced gold miners ETFs. For example, GDX has added nearly $811 million in new assets this year. However, about $201 million has been pulled from NUGT this year while over $131 million has been added to DUST.
What makes Monday’s inflows to DUST and departures from NUGT a scenario worth watching, assuming it morphs into an ongoing theme, is investors’ long-standing penchant for allocating new capital these to one of these ETFs as it falls while pulling money from the other as it rises.
For example, from about Aug. 20, 2014 to Sept. 23, DUST lost $185.3 million in assets but surged 55% over that period. [Getting it Wrong With Leveraged ETFs]
Over the same period, GDX slumped 15%, but NUGT saw inflows of $340 million. From early May 2014 to the start of June, investors have allocated $3 to NUGT for every $1 pulled from DUST while the latter jumped 27.4% and NUGT slid 24%.
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares