Mark Twain said history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.
Markets, too, are often perceived as repeating old patterns.
If tea leaves could tell the future price of gold, they would be regularly consulted as well.
I don’t have any tea leaves. I wouldn’t know what to do with them if I had them, but I do keep a record handy of gold prices from the 1980 peak year.
I can check day by day what market closing prices were to see if I can pick up on any pattern.
What I see is that on the 12th day of trading following the point at which the price began to plunge, gold reached its bounce-back peak price. Then the decline resumed.
Yesterday was the 12th day of trading following the April 11 close. As you may remember, the two-day fall that took gold about $200 lower began April 12.
When I looked at this morning’s price decline I thought it might be helpful if I took another look at 1980 prices to what they might reveal for the days ahead.
On the 20th day, the gold price decline resumed in earnest. That would be May 10. Then on the 34th day it plunged again. That would be May 31.
Interestingly, both May 10 and May 31 are Fridays, just like April 12.
I am sure any number of people can shoot holes in this, but you can be sure that I will be watching what the price of gold does especially closely on May 10 and May 31.
After that, the 1980 decline finally ended with a bottom on the 47th trading day, which would be June 19.
Unfortunately, by the time that 1980 bounce kicked in, gold was down by nearly 44 percent from its starting point. That would put the June 19 price at $876.40 an ounce if the pattern holds.
Will the trading pattern repeat?
But if it rhymes, what is to happen in May and June might still be financially painful.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."