Scott Martindale  by Scott Martindale
  President & CEO, Sabrient Systems LLC

Well, the election is finally upon us, and most folks on either side of the aisle seem to think that the stakes couldn’t be higher. That might be true. But for the stock market, I think removing the uncertainty will send stocks higher in a “relief rally” no matter who wins, as additional COVID stimulus, an infrastructure spending bill, and better corporate planning visibility are just a few of the slam-dunk catalysts. Either way, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is here, as both sides seem to agree that the only way to prevent a COVID-induced depression in a highly indebted economy is to print even more money and become even more leveraged and indebted. Now investors can only anxiously pray for a clean, uncontested election, followed soon by a reopening of schools and businesses. Stocks surely would soar.

Of course, certain industries might be favored over others depending upon the party in power, but in general I expect greater market breadth and higher prices into year-end and into the New Year. However, last week, given the absence of a COVID vaccine and additional fiscal stimulus plus the resurgence of COVID-19 in the US and Europe, not to mention worries of a contested election that ends up in the courts, stocks fell as investors took chips off the table and raised cash to ride out the volatility and prepare for the next buying opportunity. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) even spiked above 41 last week and closed Friday at 38, which is in panic territory (although far below the all-time high of 85.47 in March).

Nevertheless, even as the market indices fell (primarily due to profit-taking among the bigger growth names that had run so high), many of the neglected value stocks have held up pretty well. And lest you forget, global liquidity is abundant and continuing to rise (no matter who wins the election) – and searching for higher returns than ultra-low (or even negative) government and sovereign debt obligations are yielding.

All in all, this year has been a bit deceiving. While the growth-oriented, cap-weighted indexes have been in a strong bull market thanks to a handful of mega-cap Tech names, the broader market essentially has been in a downtrend since mid-2018, making it very difficult for any valuation-oriented portfolio or equal-weight index to keep up. However, since mid-July (and especially since the September lows) we have seen signs of a nascent rotation into value/cyclicals/small caps, which is a bullish sign of a healthy market. Institutional buyers are back, and they are buying the higher-quality stocks, encouraged by solid Q3 earnings reports.

Going forward, our expectation is that the historic imbalances in Value/Growth and Small/Large performance ratios will continue to gradually revert and market leadership will broaden such that strategic beta ETFs, active selection, and equal weighting will thrive once again. This should be favorable for value, quality, and growth at a reasonable price (GARP) strategies like Sabrient’s, although not to the exclusion of the unstoppable secular growth industries. In other words, investors should be positioned for both cyclical and secular growth.

Notably, Sabrient has enhanced its GARP strategy by adding our new Growth Quality Rank (GQR), which rewards companies with more consistent and reliable earnings growth, putting secular-growth stocks on more competitive footing in the rankings with cyclical growth (even though their forward valuations are often higher than our GARP model previously rewarded). As a result, our newer Baker’s Dozen portfolios launched since December 2019 reflect better balance between secular growth and cyclical/value stocks and across large/mid/small market caps. And those portfolios have shown markedly improved performance relative to the benchmark, even with this year’s continued bifurcation. Names like Adobe (ADBE), Autodesk (ADSK), Digital Turbine (APPS), Amazon (AMZN), Charter Communications (CHTR), NVIDIA (NVDA), and SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) became eligible with the addition of GQR, and they have been top performers. But at the same time, our portfolios are also well-positioned for a broadening or rotation to value, cyclicals, and small caps. In addition, our three Small Cap Growth portfolios that have launched during 2020 using the same enhanced selection process are all nicely outperforming their benchmark. So, IMHO, this provides solid justification for an investor to take a fresh look at Sabrient’s portfolios today.

In this periodic update, I provide a comprehensive market commentary, offer my technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review Sabrient’s latest fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten US business sectors, and serve up some actionable ETF trading ideas. In summary, I expect stocks to move higher once the election results are finalized – but with plenty of volatility along the way until the economy is fully unleashed from its COVID shackles. In addition, our sector rankings reflect a moderately bullish bias (as the corporate outlook is starting to clear up), the technical picture looks ready for at least a modest bullish bounce from last week’s profit-taking, and our sector rotation model retains its neutral posture. As a reminder, you can go to http://bakersdozen.sabrient.com/bakers-dozen-marketing-materials to find my latest Baker’s Dozen slide deck and commentary on terminating portfolios. Read on....

Wall Street presently seems to be in a sideways state of mind, with the major indices traveling predominantly horizontal these last couple of weeks. Not a surprise, really, as the news cycle has been relatively tame and the current earnings season largely followed the predicted script.

So for investors, the question is whether the market is consolidating for a push into yet another round of record highs or simply running out of steam and veering towards an inevitable correction. And, with a busy week on tap, the year’s bullish uptrend gets yet another opportunity to be tested, and the consolidation-vs-reversal question gets yet another look.

daniel / Tag: DJIA, COMP, SPX, FDN, SOXX, FXL, SMH, QTEC, IGV, VGK, Eurozone, Mario Draghi, FED, GDP, ECB / 0 Comments

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”  -- Lao Tzu

However the banking debacle in Cyprus plays out over the next few days and weeks, it should serve as a reminder that, economically speaking, much of Europe remains on shaky ground.

daniel / Tag: AAPL, SPX, DJIA, EZU, PSCT, SOXX, FDN, TECL, IGV, SMH, FXL, QTEC Technology Sector, Eurozone, Cyprus, ECB, EC, TROIKA, GDP, IMF / 0 Comments

ETF Periscope: Benny and the Greeks

“Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff.“  --Steven Wright

Ben Bernanke struck out swinging.

Next up: the European Union’s heavy hitters. How they handle the curve ball will go a long way toward establishing the market’s direction for the upcoming week and, most likely, for the remainder of the year.

david trainerThe market decline experienced thus far is closer to its beginning rather than its end. Recent market rises are likely just flashes in the pan.

There is nothing that politicians or regulators can do to prevent the natural price discovery that is critical to the long-term health of our capitalist system.

The market needs to go down again before it can sustain any future rise.

ETF Periscope: Emperor’s New Clothes, Wall St. Edition

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” --  Mark Twain

The U.S. equity market has just come off one of its worst weeks since March of 2008. It ended the week at a level lower than it found itself way back in January of this year, while giving serious indications that it may continue to head south.

Not to worry, though.

daniel / Tag: DJIA, ETF, GDP, IAT, ISM, IYZ, SPX / 0 Comments

Mandarin Monday - China Moves into Second Place

By Phil of Phil's Stock World

China became the World’s 2nd largest economy this weekend.

[JECON.2]

ilene / Tag: China, GDP, Options, stock-market, trading, Washington Post / 0 Comments