I came across some interesting observations while doing some research on the historical prices of the AMEX GoldBugs Index (symbol HUI). The HUI is made up of the 15 largest unhedged gold producers in the world, and is one of my primary ways to track gold stocks in the aggregate.

As gold has wobbled and fallen quite rapidly lately, the HUI is moving quite a bit too. Over the last few trading days, it has seen quite a bit of volatility including several single day moves of more than 3% (up or down) and a single day of -7.6% (9/11/06)!

How common is this? looking at the 10 years of data since the index was created, there have actually been 49 days where the index moved up or down more than 7%. (For the gold bugs out there, there were 37 up days and 12 down days.)

Out of the 2500 trading days, a full 10% of the trading days exceeded a 4% move! (A full 60% of those days were UP days.)

Most amazing, there were 2 days where the index spiked defied all adjectives by moving higher by more than 15% including the largest single day gain of 24% back in September of 1999 when God himself smiled on the gold bugs and 15 central banks suspended their gold sales all at the same time…

The largest single down day for the index was -12.6% in July of 2002 when something happened that was important to gold, but not important enough for Google to find it some 4 years after the fact…

And almost by definition, indexes are typically much less volatile than individual stocks, so imagine how much individual gold stocks are moving!