Mainstream investors looking for a hedge against inflation and a volatile stock market have taken a shine to gold, driving prices for the precious metal to historic highs, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gold futures have risen more than 42% since mid-August. The latest Fed interest-rate cut bumped prices in electronic trading above Monday’s $927.10 record close.
Gold hasn’t always been a winning bet. It soared to $847 an ounce in 1980 and then went on a two-decade skid, falling 70%, to $253, in 1999, making it unwelcome in most investors’ portfolios. Gold didn’t recover to 1980 levels until this year; some predict it’ll soon top $1,000. Its renewed luster shows how uncertain times are, experts say. (Read more gold stories.)