By Sean Williams
Regardless of the industry, stocks don't often go up in a straight line, and precious-metal investors found this out the hard way during the month of August.
Up until August, gold miners were among the top-performing sectors for 2016, but the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF, which holds some of the largest gold miners in the world, dropped nearly 17% last month. Some of the worst-performing gold mining and royalty companies for the month of August were:
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM): down 13%
Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY): down 29%
Royal Gold (NASDAQ:RGLD): down 13%
IAMGOLD (NYSE:IAG): down 28%
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX): down 22%
McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX): down 23%
Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC): down 23%
What caused such a tumble, you wonder? I'd single out two factors in particular for the slump.
Two reasons gold stocks suffered a meltdown in August
Without question, the biggest concern for physical gold during the month of August was the continuation of improved U.S. economic data. In July 2016, the U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs when only 180,000 was forecast by economists. With the exception of May's brutally bad jobs report, new job creation has been stronger than most analysts have forecast.