Gold has been on a tear over the past three weeks, rising 6.3 percent amid signs of economic weakness that may slow the Federal Reserve's hand in raising interest rates.
Thanks to that sharp rally, gold has outperformed the S&P 500 index so far in 2015. The precious metal has returned 2.7 percent during that period, compared to 1.6 percent for the S&P 500.
Gold closed Monday at $1,214.90 an ounce, and the S&P 500 at 2,080.62.
As for the signs of economic weakness, non-farm payrolls rose only 126,000 in March, the smallest increase since December 2013. And consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent in February, after dropping 0.2 percent in January.
The Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow model forecast economic growth of only 0.1 percent, as of Thursday. And that's an improvement from Wednesday when the projection was zero growth.
The sluggish economic data has pushed out expectations of when the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates. Many economists expect the Fed to move in September.
All that is good for gold and bad for stocks to the extent that a weaker economy means weaker earnings.
Analysts predict a 4.6 percent drop in S&P 500 profits for the first quarter, following a 3.7 percent increase in the fourth quarter, according to FactSet.
On the gold front, "now, with so many bears in the woods, the fact that the Fed seems to be kicking the can down to the road to maybe September instead of June is helping gold tremendously," George Gero, a precious metals analyst with RBC, told CNBC.
Meanwhile, international investor Jim Rogers has been bullish on gold for years, but that doesn't mean he sees the precious metal's strength lasing forever.
"Gold is going to turn into a bubble eventually, and when it turns into a bubble, I hope I’m smart enough to sell it," he told Sprott Money News,
when asked what would push him to dump his gold holdings.
"On the other hand, on the down side, I’m not quite sure that I can think of anything that would cause me to sell my gold. If nothing else, it’ll be for my children someday."
Rogers sees major financial trouble ahead in our country.
"The United States is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world," he said. "No debtor nation has ever gotten like this, and the debts are going higher and higher. That is a reason to own gold and silver."
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