The gold bugs returned to the market on Thursday and shares of gold mining stocks rallied as a mix of sector news and weakness in the broader market drew investors to the group.
Stock losses accelerated on Thursday morning as a disappointing quarter from Macy's (M) spooked the rest of the retail sector.
The S&P 500 was down 0.59%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.7%.
But gold shares sparkled, and Royal Gold (RGLD) led the gainers, adding almost 5% after posting better than expected result and said its operating cash flow rose 15% to a record $75 million in its just-ended fiscal third quarter.
The company posted a $23.7 million profit or 36 cents a share for the quarter on revenue of $107.0 million in its fiscal third quarter ended March 31. Those numbers compare to a loss $67.7 million, or $1.04 a share, on revenue of $93.5 million a year ago.
Randgold and Newmont Mining (NEM) rose 3.25% and 1.82% respectively.
Earlier Thursday Newmont unveiled an agreement to invest about $109 million for a 19.9 percent ownership of Continental Gold, supporting the near-term development of the high-grade Buritica gold project in Colombia.
Canadian miners also tagged along for the gains.
The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index rose 2.5%
Gold futures in New York rose 0.5%, adding $5.70 to trade at $1,224.60 in the late morning.