On Monday, as gold inched toward $1,400 an ounce, bulls claimed the yellow metal was entering a third-quarter bull market – and Tuesday's gold-price gains helped it get there.
Comex gold surged $24.40 to $1,417.50 an ounce in mid-morning trading Tuesday, and spot gold soared $13.50 to $1,419, a three-month high.
The precious metal is now up some $200 an ounce, or 20%, from June's three-year low of $1,179.40. A 20% gain equals a bull market.
Propelling gold prices Tuesday was a move from "risk-off" trades into safe haven assets.
All three major U.S. benchmarks were off sharply Tuesday, piggybacking the swoon that began late Monday, as investors grow increasingly concerned the United States and its allies are organizing military action against Syria.
Editor's Note: To get the full picture of where gold prices are headed next, you have to see this chart out of China. It's the most important gold graph we've seen in a long time…
"Coming within the current nervous state of the markets, any flare-up or intensification of Middle Eastern tensions will surely take a further toll on risk sentiment," Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, told Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commented Monday that evidence "strongly indicates" chemical weapons were used in Syria. Kerry said U.S. President Barack Obama "believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons (chemical gas) against the world's most vulnerable people."
Those comments were construed as a war speech, and military retaliation against the Syrian government could occur as early as Thursday.
"The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they could still prepare for peace talks at Geneva," a source who was at Monday's meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul told Reuters.
Weak Data Could Delay Taper
It's not just the headline news factoring in to why gold is up today…