Pair trading: long general market, short gold sector. It’s become regular and it is likely pursued by numerous institutions.
Every gold stock got fundamental problem on hands: present metal price doesn’t support earnings. This problem can come in play soon enough, when companies have to report earnings in 2 months. It makes every stock vulnerable and it’s quite possible that institutions target this weakness. If someone (big enough) takes short position and defend it now then in 2 months (short-term thing) it can bring certain benefits. Defending short positions require keeping gold price low; can be done too, on temporary basis at least.
If scenario above is correct (no guarantees, in this regard) then playing with these stocks now on retail level can be very risky, especially buying after and/or during short-lived rallies.
Actually I think it is holding up well. Gold is dropping - not sure why. Markets are rallying because the jobs data was bad enough that tapering would likely not take place. The USD is rallying because the jobs data was not too bad. Mixed signals for sure - so why is Gold selling off? Not sure.
Hard to understand moves in the short term.
Look forward though, I can't see how Gold would do bad with Central Bankers all over the world battling each other to debase their currency.