Normally the action in the gold and silver futures markets tends to be pretty similar, since the same general forces affect both precious metals. When inflation or some other source of anxiety is ascendant, both metals rise, and vice versa.

But lately – perhaps in a sign of how confused the world is becoming – gold and silver traders have diverged. Taking gold first, the speculators – who tend to be wrong at major inflection points – remain extremely bullish. Commercial traders, meanwhile – who tend to be right when speculators are wrong – are extremely bearish, with short positions more than double their longs. Historically that’s been a setup for a big drop in gold’s price.

Viewed as a chart with the gray bars representing speculators and red bars the commercials, and where divergence is bearish and convergence bullish, the result is pretty ugly.

But now check out silver. Where gold futures speculators’ long positions are three times their short bets, silver spculators are actually more short than long. In other words, the people who are usually wrong are bearish. The commercials, meanwhile, are almost in balance, which is usually bullish for silver’s subsequent action.