Commodities & Metals

Short Sellers Could Feel Some Pain as Gold Stocks Set New Highs

In the two-week short interest reporting period that ended July 15, the price of gold rose by less than 1%. For the year to date, however, gold futures have gained about 25% and posted an all-time high at $1,941.90 per ounce early Monday morning.

Short interest moves among gold-mining stock and gold exchange-traded funds mostly increased in the two-weeks through July 15. Prices kept rising too, though, and all but one of the stocks we tracked posted a new yearly high Monday morning.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) saw short interest rise by 6.0% to 10.8 million shares, which represents about 1.4% of the company’s float. It would take these sellers about two days to cover their short interest. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose by about 0.7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.00 to $69.98, and the high was posted Monday morning. Shares closed at $66.75 on Friday.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD) short interest rose by 3% in the two weeks through July 15. About 14.8 million shares were short. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added about 0.6% in the period, and the stock closed at $28.44 on Friday. Its 52-week range is $12.65 to $30.19, and the high was set Monday morning. The stock traded up about 5.5% Monday morning at around $30.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) short sellers added 4% to their positions over the period. Some 44.0 million shares were short, or about 3% of the stock’s float. The stock added nearly 17% in the first half of July. Days to cover remained at three. Shares closed at $13.12 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $4.82 to $13.87. They traded at around $13.51 Monday morning, up nearly 3.0% for the day.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) saw short interest increase by 10.0% in the two weeks. About 1.0% of the company’s shares were short, or 2.25 million. Days to cover remained at two. The stock gained about 2.8% during the two-week short interest reporting period. Shares closed Friday at $71.80, and a new 52-week high has been posted at $75.17 Monday morning. The 52-week low is $31.00. Shares traded at around $74.37, up 3.6% Monday morning.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) added just over 6% to the share price during the period. Short interest dropped by 21% to about 16.8 million shares, or 1.3% of the stock’s float. Days to cover dipped from two to one. Shares closed at $8.42 on Friday, and a new 52-week high of $8.99 was posted Monday. The 52-week low is $2.72 and shares traded at around $8.84, up about 4.9% early Monday.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) saw short interest rise by 15% in the two-week period to 35.8 million shares. Days to cover rose from one to two. The shares added 5.4% during the two weeks and closed Friday at $41.83. The 52-week range is $16.18 to $44.46, and the high was posted Monday morning. Shares last traded up nearly 6% to $44.26.

The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDXJ) saw short interest rise by 1% to 5.8 million shares. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added about 8.7% during the first half of July, and they traded up more than 6% Monday morning at $62.92 after posting a new 52-week high of $63.30 earlier in the day. The 52-week low is $19.52.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) saw short interest rise by more than 22% during the period to 10.7 million shares. Shares added 1.8% during the two weeks, and they posted a new 52-week high of $182.76 early Monday morning. The 52-week low is $132.31, and shares were last seen trading up about 2.3% at $182.73.