(Bloomberg View) -- The stock market's worst January coincides with a chorus of predictions that the fall of gold has reached bottom from its lofty peak in 2011. Gold is the investment of the fearful, and there's fear of just about everything from recession to terrorism. Indeed, gold rallied 6.3% during the past six weeks.

On casual inspection, it's easy to conclude that the price of gold has nowhere to go but up after a four-year slide to $1,045 an ounce in December from a record $1,923 -- a 46% decline measured by futures contracts.

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