Things may be too good for gold.
Bullion saw its fourth-straight down day, hitting $1,277.80 per ounce at one point on Thursday. And, some think it can sink a lot further—all the way down to $1,000.
Though gold is still up nearly 5 percent, what's been tarnishing the precious metal? Naturally, some of it has to do with the Federal Reserve.
Even though first-quarter gross domestic product figures showed almost no growth in the United States, the central bank decided to continue tapering its monetary stimulus. The Fed, it seems, thinks the economy will improve enough to no longer need as much of the bank's help.
Gold traders took that as a bearish sign for the yellow metal. After all, if the Fed isn't in any rush to lower interest rates and flush the financial system with dollars, then the perceived need for gold as an inflation hedge wanes.
Some investors believe gold has more downside ahead.
"Gold’s next stop is $1,100 on its way to $900 an ounce," said John Stephenson, portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management. "It went up like an escalator and it’s coming down like an elevator."
However, others believe gold's current price is based on short-term considerations rather than long-term outlooks.
"People are now worried about deflation," said Laeeth Isharc, partner at Kaleidic Associates in London. "Those fears are already in the price and are not justified by the fundamentals. As Chinese growth bottoms, the commodity bull market resumes, and as the U.S. labor market continues to heal, we will soon see a pickup in inflation—in the U.S., but also in emerging markets that are important buyers of gold. That's a much better environment for gold and it's time to revisit the bullish side."
But, Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, says gold's charts are pointing to a bearish future.
"For the time being, you have to remain on the sidelines here and potentially still be a seller," said Ross, a "Talking Numbers" contributor.
Ross' near-term chart shows a base of support at the $1,180 level. That point was tested twice—in June and December—but was able to hold. However, it's the 12-year chart that has Ross concerned for gold.
"When we look longer term, it's hard to get too excited about gold," said Ross, who notes that bullion gained nearly 700 percent from 2000 to 2011, where it peaked at $1,876.90. "Given the magnitude and duration of that advance, a bigger pullback here—perhaps a 50 percent pullback—to that magical $1,000 level is really what's needed to wash gold out and get it back going in the other direction to make it exciting."
Holding back gold from falling further—at least for now—has been geopolitical tensions abroad, particularly in Ukraine.
"Without that unrest, we might already be there," said Ross about his target for gold.
Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, agrees with Ross and says the fundamentals back up Ross' charts, though it's not just because of Ukraine alone.
"I'm a gold-hater as well," Sanchez said. "What really has kept us where we are is Treasurys have been range-bound all year. We've had these little flights to safety thanks to events like Ukraine. But, those have been selling opportunities."
Since February, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has traded between 2.6 and 2.8 percent. That will soon end, according to Sanchez.
"We're going to see rates eventually rise," said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "We are eventually going to see the economic data catch up. … As that happens, the case for gold is going to go away.”
The only thing keeping gold from falling are range-bound Treasurys, said Sanchez, but "as soon as that goes away, gold will continue its path downwards."
Disclosure: Stephenson, Isharc, Ross and Sanchez don’t have positions in gold.
To see the full discussion on gold, with Ross on the technicals and Sanchez on the fundamentals, watch the above video.
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