Scott Martindaleby Scott Martindale
  President & CEO, Sabrient Systems LLC

What a week. From its intraday all-time high on 2/19/20 to the intraday low on Friday 2/28/20, the S&P 500 fell -15.8%. It was a rare and proverbial “waterfall decline,” typically associated with a Black Swan event – this time apparently driven primarily by fears that the COVID-19 virus would bring the global economy to its knees. Once cases started popping up across the globe and businesses shuttered their doors, it was clear that no amount of central bank liquidity could help.

But in my view, it wasn’t just the scare of a deadly global pandemic that caused last week’s selloff. Also at play were the increasing dominance of algorithmic trading to exaggerate market moves, as well as the surprising surge in popularity of dustbin Bolshevik Bernie Sanders. I think both lent a hand in sending investors into a tizzy last week.

Even before fears of a pandemic began to proliferate, market internals were showing signs of worry. After a sustained and long-overdue risk-on rotation into the value factor, small-mid caps, and cyclical sectors starting on 8/27/19, which boosted the relative performance of Sabrient’s portfolios, investor sentiment again turned cautious in the New Year, even as the market continued to hit new highs before last week’s historic selloff. It was much the same as the defensive sentiment that dominated for most of the March 2018 — August 2019 timeframe, driven mostly by the escalating China trade war. (It seems like all market swoons these days are related to China!)

Alas, I think we may have seen on Friday a selling climax (or “capitulation”) that should now allow the market to recover going forward. In fact, the market gained back a good chunk of ground in the last 15 minutes of trading on Friday – plus a lot more in the afterhours session – as the extremely oversold technical conditions from panic selling triggered a major reversal, led by institutional and algorithmic traders. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more volatility before prices move higher, but I think we have seen the lows for this episode.

The selloff wasn’t pretty, to be sure, but for those who were too timid to buy back in October, you have been given a second chance at those similar prices, as the forward P/E on the S&P 500 fell from nearly 19.0x to 16.3x in just 7 trading days. Perhaps this time the broad-based rally will persist much longer and favor the risk-on market segments and valuation-oriented strategies like Sabrient’s Baker’s Dozen – particularly given our newly-enhanced approach designed to improve all-weather performance and reduce relative volatility versus the benchmark S&P 500.

In this periodic update, I provide a detailed market commentary (including other factors at play in the market selloff), discuss Sabrient’s new process enhancements, offer my technical analysis of the S&P 500, and review Sabrient’s latest fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten US business sectors, and serve up some actionable ETF trading ideas. In summary, our sector rankings look neutral, and our sector rotation model moved to a defensive posture when the S&P 500 lost support from its 200-day moving average. The technical picture has moved dramatically from grossly overbought to grossly oversold in a matter of a few days, such that the S&P 500 has developed an extreme gap below its 20-day moving average and the VIX is at an extreme high. Thus, I believe a significant bounce is likely.

As a reminder, you can find my latest Baker’s Dozen presentation slide deck and commentary at http://bakersdozen.sabrient.com/bakers-dozen-marketing-materials. Click to Read on....

Banks are the Market's Ball-and-Chain

By David Brown, Chief Market Strategist, Sabrient Systems

david / Tag: AAPL, AMD, BAC, C, CAT, CBOU, CBST, GE, GOOG, GS, HOLI, IBM, INTC, JPM, KO, MDF, MSFT, NEM, PRG, sectors, T, YHOO / 0 Comments

Sentimental Journey to the Southside

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”  ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Talk about a serious display of bad feelings.

daniel / Tag: AA, AAPL, AMD, ETFs, GOOG, INTC, IYE, iyw, IYZ, RWR / 0 Comments

One hesitates to put too much emphasis on any given week when discussing market trends, but this week could be the tipping point for the current market. Despite the S&P 500's 50-point gain last week on virtually no news at all, the fact remains that it is still more than 12% below the April 23rd high of 1217 and still has not broken out of the downward channel that began on April 26.

david / Tag: AA, AMD, BAC, BVN, CSX, GE, GOOG, IDCC, INTC, JPM, MRX, NVLS, RIG, sectors / 0 Comments

This week should be another interesting one, but it’s hard to say whether it can match the market’s behavior last week when it donned rose-colored glasses to view four days of mixed economic data.

david / Tag: AA, AMD, ATW, BAC, GE, GME, GS, IBM, JPM, sectors, SYA, UPS, WCRX, YUM / 0 Comments

by David Brown, Chief Market Strategist

David Brown

David Brown

david / Tag: ABT, AMD, Biotechs, C, COST, energy, financials, HE, HITK, INTC, JNJ, JPM, market stats, MyStockFinder, PRE, SCHW, SectorCast, sectors / 0 Comments