Rising gold prices don’t portend doom as they once did. In fact, Cramer said Wednesday, these days they trumpet good news. He even went so far as to call the present gold rally, with the commodity up 26% year-to-date to $1,117.80 an ounce, “a huge positive.”
How could this precious metal’s affect on the market make such a sharp 180? Cramer offered three reasons.
First, expensive gold equals a weak dollar, and that’s good for American business. The lagging greenback keeps our exports cheap, thereby making our companies more competitive overseas. As Cramer said, Boeing can undercut Airbus and Caterpillar can undercut Komatsu. Plus, the money that companies make in euros translates into more dollars, which then leads to earnings beats. And when estimates are beaten, stocks go higher.
Second, high gold prices indicate that deflation’s not a threat. Deflation, which is very difficult to reverse, struck hard during the Great Depression. Costly bullion now means we won’t repeat the experience.
And third, gold’s climb higher is a sign of possible reflation, Cramer said, of prices recovering. While some on Wall Street fear inflation, some pricing strength would do companies a world of good. Again, reflation would help to boost earnings.
Cramer also debunked the myth that it’s dangerous to trade gold as an asset class. Some people think it takes money away from equities. But that wasn’t the case when oil, also treated as an asset class, fetched $147 a barrel. And expensive oil is much more detrimental to the economy than expensive gold. So there’s really no reason, Cramer said, why high gold prices should hurt the stock market.
Of course, Cramer offered a way to play the commodity’s big move. He’d been recommending the SPDR Gold Shares ETF , which tracks the price of gold, saying it was better, and seemingly safer, than individual gold-miner stocks. But there’s a new ETF that he said might be better right now.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF just launched on Wednesday, and it allows shareholders to own 38 different medium and small gold and silver miners. Cramer said the fund, with its younger stable of miners, has more room to run than the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF , which follows the larger gold miners. And given that the GDX is up 47% year-to-date compared with the GLD’s 27%, the GDXJ could be in store for similar, if not better, returns.
Cramer’s bottom line? Don’t fear rising gold prices. They can help the economy and your portfolio.
“Gold is good,” he said, “especially when it goes higher.”‘
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