NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I have a confession. I'm the guy who wrote an article back on March 4 titled "The Death of Gold and Silver Stocks".That seems like ages ago, and in the article I lamented that Barrick Gold (ABX - Get Report) had plunged to "new 52-week lows" of around $29 a share.
So the current rally off the most recent bottoms for precious metals and the producing miners is a big relief. Is that what analysts mean by a relief rally, or is this the beginning of a huge move skyward? That is the $100 billion question. For those daredevils who bought GDX and some of the gold mining stocks about 17 days ago, the collective sighs are being heard around the world. But the questions remain. The answers to these questions are tricky at best. What I can offer you are some of the interesting facts about the gold mining stocks that are unequivocal and available for subjective interpretation. Fact #1: Precious metals and the mining stocks are easily manipulated by both short-selling and those who swing both directions, both short and long. With futures contracts and derivatives it's done regularly.