Yesterday evening, I suggested that Cisco Systems' (NASDAQ:CSCO) strong results could give the market a boost this morning. However, the markets are flat so far: As of 10:15 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down a nominal 10 points, while the broader S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) is up a fraction of a point, with the technology sector outperforming. In any case, there's no doubting the reason Cisco's shares are up 6.3%.

The macro view
Owners of the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT:GLD) will be pleased to learn that the gold industry's movers and shakers are projecting further gains for the yellow metal over the next 10 months. At the London Bullion Market Association's conference held in Hong Kong this week, the consensus forecast for the price of gold by next year's conference in September 2013 is $1,849. Last year's forecast was more optimistic, calling for gold to break $2,000, but this came only weeks after gold had achieved its all-time (nominal) high of $1,920. The LBMA conference is the gold industry's highest-profile event, bringing together 700 traders, bankers, and mining executives.

Between sluggish economic growth, global monetary easing, and the eurozone crisis, the environment looks well-suited to support prices in a (substantial) range around current levels. However, new gold speculators (there is no such thing as a gold investor) need to be aware that prices are extremely volatile and, once monetary policy begins to normalize, declines will be swift, consequential, and permanent.

In the meantime, one dominant miner, Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), stands out as the low-risk option in this industry. To gauge the scope of the opportunity without glossing over the risks, click here to request gold specialist Christopher Barker's just-released premium report on the company, and you'll also get 12 months of Chris' coverage.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.