NEW YORK (
) -- Everyone's focusing on gold lately -- and with good reason.
After trading in a sideways consolidation range from 1,540 to 1,640, the market decisively broke out to the upside Aug. 22. The problem for many people: The market hasn't looked back since!
People who missed the move are now kicking themselves and wondering if the market will ever give them a chance to "get in" and make money.
As bullish as I feel for the economic and geopolitical backdrop for gold, markets don't go straight up or down, do they? Thus far, gold has covered about $150 to the upside. So far, pullbacks have been almost nonexistent -- they have been short-lived and shallow. This is an indication that we are dealing with a very strong market.
So how does one enter the market now? Here are my thoughts: First, I would rule out buying new highs at this time. The reason being that the market has a band of resistance from 1,790 to 1,800 or so. Buying new highs would be buying right into established resistance -- and that is a trading no-no. Patience is key here.
The way I see it, one could look to buy the 50% to 62% retracement back lower if the market gets down there -- or one must wait and see if the market is able to take out upside resistance and then look to buy the first pullback. After all, old resistance becomes new support. In other words, if the market is able to pull away from the 1,800 level on a closing basis, I would then look to buy a pullback to that level.
In addition, if the market is able to break above that level, then new highs can be bought, but there should be confirmation first. As I said, patience is paramount.
For now, the strategy below is one way to try to get into the gold market using the December futures contract. As always, if futures are not your thing, feel free to contact me to discuss alternatives. Please note, today is Sept. 24, and all trade information is based on the most recent data.
Buy 1 December gold futures contract at $1,675 or lower good until canceled.
Place a protective stop at $1,658 good until canceled.
Target $1,800 or higher.
Stop may be trailed based on an individual's risk tolerance and money-management preferences.
Risk on trade: In the scenario above, $1,745 including a $45 R/T commission inclusive of all fees.
Profit potential: theoretically unlimited to the upside. If target stated above is reached, profit would be $12,455 after subtracting a $45 R/T commission inclusive of all fees.
Please note that a mini contract may be used. In that case, amounts stated above would be one-third.
Please note: Futures and options trading is inherently risky and isn't suitable for all investors. Past performance isn't indicative of future results. Stop-loss orders meant to limit losses may not be effective because market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders.
Matt Zeman is a trader at
. He began his trading career as a runner in the grain pits at the Chicago Board of Trade before becoming an arbitrage clerk. Eventually he started trading equity options and stocks. Matt now is a full-time futures broker. He has been a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox and Bloomberg, and provides his views on the stock, bond and futures markets for financial media including Dow Jones, the L.A. Times and The Associated Press. Matt is a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, and carries series 3, 7 and 66 licenses.