However, the biggest concern many market participants are sweating over is a potentially more hawkish-than-expected stance Yellen might take in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If Yellen suggests a quickening interest rate normalization time table, the U.S. dollar would strengthen, which would weigh on commodities like gold, and push up yields Treasuries or weigh on bond prices.
Consequently, investors may look at PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP), which tracks the price movement of the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, including the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc.
Gold would be less attractive in a rising rate environment as the hard asset does not offer a yield and it will be pressured by a rising dollar. Traders may consider short or inverse gold ETF options to hedge against a potential turn.
For instance, the ProShares UltraShort Gold (NYSEArca: GLL) provides a two times inverse or -200% daily performance of gold bullion. Alternatively, ETN options include the DB Gold Double Short ETN (NYSEArca: DZZ), which tries to generate the twice inverse or -200% return of the daily performance of gold; DB Gold Short ETN (NYSEArca: DGZ), which tries to reflect the inverse of gold price movements; and VelocityShares 3x Inverse Gold ETN (NYSEArca: DGLD), which tries to reflect the performance of three times the inverse or -300% daily performance.
Additionally, investors can look to hedge bets against gold miners with bearish options like the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: DUST), the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: JDST), ProShares UltraShort Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXS) and ProShares UltraShort Junior Miners (NYSEArca: GDJS). The Direxion options take the -300% exposure to large miners and junior miners, respectively, while the ProShares options take the -200% exposure to large miners and junior miners, respectively.
Lastly, to hedge against falling Treasury bond prices, the ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury (NYSEArca: UBT) takes the 2x or 200% daily performance of long-term Treasuries and the Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF (NYSEArca: TMF) follows the 3x or 300% performance of long-term Treasuries.
While these types of leveraged and inverse ETFs may help traders capitalize on short-term moves, investors should be aware of the risks of investing in these geared products over the long haul and during periods of heightened volatility.
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD, GDX.