Today may prove to be a critical turnaround day for gold. As the global economy has slowly ground to a halt over the last nine months, gold has been completely dormant, moving essentially one for one with equities and the broader commodities market. In short, there has been very little need for gold from an investment standpoint over the last year since it’s essentially been doing the exact same thing as the markets against which it usually acts as a hedge.

Today marks the first extremely significant departure from that pattern that we have seen for the better part of a year. This morning’s jobs data showed that US employers only added 69,000 jobs in the month of May; the lowest number in over a year. This has rattled already battered stock markets, sending the Dow plummeting by more than 200 points.

Today’s slide adds to the 6% loss the index suffered last month. We would have expected gold to follow in suit, sliding well below $1500 on the news. Instead, it has shot up by more than $50, shattering key resistance levels and settling at $1617 per ounce.

To see gold’s biggest single day move in months come on a day when equities are suffering serious damage is refreshing to say the least. The move shows that protectionist buying is starting to come back into the market. As the situation in Europe worsens by the hour, it will likely add fuel to the fire and could mean significantly higher gold prices very quickly.

As we remember from the end of the 2008 corrective phase, once gold begins to run on risk-averse investment demand it has the potential to log record gains in no time at all. We’ve known for some time that gold was due for a major break. It’s too soon to tell with certainty that this is it. Still, watch closely.

Today’s jobs data will put even more pressure on Fed policy makers going into their June meeting. Eyes are also focused on Greek elections scheduled for the middle of the month. A hint at easing from the Fed, combined with a negative outcome in Greece (which is virtually guaranteed) could set the stage for a significant breakout.

So grab your popcorn and take a seat. If today is any indication, this could prove to be a banner month for gold.

Mike Getlin is Executive Vice President of Merit Financial, home to America's fastest growing physical gold IRA company. Please send comments or questions to meritprofiles@gmail.com.