Comex gold was up by 25.5% year to date a month ago, but this gain has been cut to 18.5%. Four of the largest gold mining stocks and the sector-tracking exchange-traded fund continue to outperform the precious metal. However, for the second consecutive month this is by a lower winning margin.

When you compare to the July and August highs, the ETF and all four gold stocks are in bear market territory, down between 25.1% and 37.9%. Gold futures are down 8.8%.

The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX - Get Report)  trades around $23, up 68.1% year to date and in bear market territory 27.4% below its Aug. 12 high of $31.79. But it is in bull market territory 86% above its Jan. 19 low of $12.40. This exchange-traded fund has 53 components including:

Barrick Gold (ABX) is the largest component of this ETF at a weighting of 9.16%. The stock trades at close to $16, up 114.5% year to date and in bear market territory 32.6% below its July 6 high of $23.47. It is in bull market territory 167.9% above its Sept. 23, 2015 low of $5.91.

Yamana Gold (AUY - Get Report)  has a weighting of just 2.08%. The stock trades around $4, up 100% year to date and in bear market territory 37.9% below its July 13 high of $5.99. It is in bull market territory 169.6% above its Jan. 19 low of $1.38. The stock was an "option on survival" when it traded as low as $1.38 on Jan. 19, by which I mean any stock trading between $1 and $3 a share.

Goldcorp (GG) remains the third-largest component of the gold ETF with a weighting of 6.05%. The stock trades around $14, up 24% year to date and in bear market territory 29.6% below its July 6 high of $20.38. It is in bull market territory 51.6% above its Jan. 21 low of $9.46.

Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report) is the second-largest ETF component with a weighting of 9.10%. The stock trades near $34.50, up 91.9% year to date and in bear market territory 25.1% below its Aug. 12 high of $46.07. It is in bull market territory 124.3% above its Aug. 26, 2015, low of $15.39.

Here's a scorecard for Comex gold, the gold ETF and the four gold mining stocks.

 

The weekly chart shows a red line through the price bars, which is the key weekly moving average (a five-week modified moving average). The green line is the 200-week simple moving average considered the "reversion to the mean."

The study in red along the bottom of the chart is weekly momentum (a 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic), which scales between 00.00 and 100.00, where readings above 80.00 indicates overbought and readings below 20.00 indicates oversold. A negative weekly chart shows the stock below its key weekly moving average with weekly momentum declining below 80.00 in a trend towards 20.00.

Remember that stochastic readings can help investors judge when to add to long positions. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic is based upon the last 12 weeks of data -- each week's high, low and last prices. This measure of momentum declines as a new weekly lows occurs, with the last price closer to the low. When this pattern changes and the weekly last price is closer to the high, the stochastic reading will begin to rise providing an early signal to increase holdings.

Here's the weekly chart for the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the gold exchange-traded fund is negative with the ETF below its key weekly moving average of $25.78 and just below its 200-week simple moving average at $23.65 after trading as high as $31.79 during the week of Aug. 12. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 21.33 down from 27.04 on Oct. 7.

Investors looking to buy the gold ETF should do so on weakness to $22.24 and $19.17, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of 2016.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should sell strength to $35.30, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of 2016.

Here's the weekly chart for Barrick Gold.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the Barrick is negative but oversold with the stock bellow its key weekly moving average of $17.59 and below its 200-week simple moving average of $16.30 after trading as high as $23.47 during the week of $July 8. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 15.82 this week down from 19.02 on Oct. 7, moving further below the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Investors looking to buy Barrick on weakness should do so at $14.11 and $11.22, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of 2016.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should sell strength to $25.48, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of October.

Here's the weekly chart for Yamana Gold.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the Yamana is negative but oversold with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $4.32 and is well below its 200-week simple moving average of $6.79. The stock has been below its 200-week SMA since the week of April 12, 2013, when the average was $13.33. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 18.69 this week down from 23.65 on Oct. 7, moving below the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Investors looking to buy Yamana on weakness should do so at $3.02, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should sell strength to $4.87 and $6.87, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of 2016 and until the end of October, respectively.

Here's the weekly chart for Goldcorp.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the Goldcorp is negative but oversold with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $15.85 and well below its 200-week simple moving average of $21.82. The stock has been below its 200-week SMA since the week of Nov. 16, 2012 when the average was $42.15. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 19.60 this week down from 22.55 on Oct. 7, moving below the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Investors looking to buy Goldcorp on weakness should do so at $12.94, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should sell strength to $22.62 and $24.09, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of October and the end of 2016, respectively.

Here's the weekly chart for Newmont Mining.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the Newmont is negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $37.96 and well above its 200-week simple moving average of $27.44 after trading as high as $46.07 during the week of Aug. 12. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 24.24 this week down from 30.81 on Oct. 7.

Investors looking to buy Newmont on weakness should do so at $30.80 and $25.35, which are key level on technical charts until the end of 2016.

Investors looking to reduce holdings should sell strength to $51.09, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of October.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.