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

Quick assessment:  We have an historic pandemic wreaking havoc upon the global economy, with many US states reversing their reopenings. We just got the worst ever quarterly GDP growth number, and jobless claims are resurging. The Federal Reserve is frantically printing money at breakneck pace to keep our government solvent, with M3 money supply growth having gone parabolic. We have a highly contentious presidential election that many consider to be the most consequential of our lifetimes. There is unyielding and unappeasable social unrest, with nightly rioting in the streets in many of our major cities. Tensions with China are again on the rise, with a new Cold War seemingly at hand. Hurricanes are threatening severe damage in states that are already reeling from a surge in COVID hospitalizations. And yet the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) has burst out to new highs while the S&P 500 (SPY) is within 3% of its all-time high (although, quite notably, both of these cap-weighted indexes are dominated by a handful of mega-cap, disruptive juggernauts).

Of course, stocks have been bolstered by unprecedented congressional fiscal programs and Fed monetary support, including zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), open-ended quantitative easing (QE), de facto yield curve control (YCC), and the buying of corporate bonds (including junk bonds and fixed-income ETFs – and perhaps will include equity ETFs at some point). This de facto “Fed put” has induced a speculative fervor, FOMO (“fear of missing out”), and a TINA (“There is No Alternative!”) mindset for risk assets – particularly given infinitesimal bond yields and a falling dollar. Furthermore, while COVID cases have risen with the economy’s attempt at reopening, the death rate is down 75% since its peak in April, as the people being infected this time around are generally younger and less vulnerable and hospitals are better prepared.

However, we have witnessed extreme bifurcation in this market, with certain secular growth segments performing extremely well and hitting new all-time highs, while other segments are quite literally in a depression. And although the pandemic has exacerbated this situation, it has been developing for a while. As I have often discussed, when the trade war with China escalated in mid-2018, the market became highly bifurcated to seek the perceived safety of the dominant mega caps over smaller caps, growth over value, and secular growth Technology over the neglected cyclical growth sectors like Financials, Industrials, Materials, and Energy. It rotated defensive and risk-off even given the positive economic outlook. This is also when the price of gold began to ascend. Yes, gold has become much more than just a hedge; it now has its own secular growth story (as discussed below), which is why Sabrient’s new Baker’s Dozen for Q3 2020 includes a gold miner.

So, while Sabrient’s flagship Baker’s Dozen portfolios over the past two years have been dominated by smaller caps, the value factor, and cyclical sectors – to their detriment in this highly bifurcated market – you can see that our newer portfolios since the enhancements were implemented have been much more balanced among large, mid, and small caps, with a slight growth bias over value, and a balance between secular growth and cyclical growth companies.

In this periodic update, I provide a market commentary, 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, while our sector rankings look neutral (as you might expect given the poor visibility for earnings), the technical picture is bullish, and our sector rotation model remains bullish.

As a reminder, Sabrient has introduced process enhancements to our forward-looking and valuation-oriented stock selection strategy to improve all-weather performance and reduce relative volatility versus the benchmark S&P 500, as well as to put secular-growth companies (which often display higher valuations) on more equal footing with cyclical-growth companies (which tend to display lower valuations). You can find my latest Baker’s Dozen slide deck and commentary on terminating portfolios at http://bakersdozen.sabrient.com/bakers-dozen-marketing-materials. To read on, click here....

Last week, stocks cycled bullish yet again. In fact, the S&P 500, NYSE Composite, and NASDAQ each closed at record highs as investors positioned for the heart of earnings season in the wake of strong reports from some of the Tech giants. Notably, Utilities stocks got some renewed traction as yield-starved investors returned to the sector.

Are Latest S&P Ratings On EU Baked In or About to Burn the Market?


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them -- that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” -- Lao Tzu

They’re back.

daniel / Tag: AMJ, ETF, EU, EUO, euro-zone, GLD, S&P, Standard & Poor’s FXI / 0 Comments

One Man’s Oracle is Just Another’s Cup of Tea Leaves

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning. -- Lao Tzu

For numerous Wall Street investors, the past year had all the marks of a funhouse run amuck. Little fun, lots of muck.

daniel / Tag: AMJ, ETF, EU, EUO, FXI, GLD / 0 Comments

Bears Snap Out of Snooze, Commodities Get Goosed

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“I made my money by selling too soon.” -- Bernard Baruch

The sound you may have heard last week was the stirring of the Bears.

daniel / Tag: CBOT, Crude, DJIA, Dow Jones Industrial Average, ETF, GLD, gold, S&P 500 Index, Silver, SLV, SPX, USO, VIX, VXX / 0 Comments

Markets Slip and Slide on an Oily Sheen

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.” -- George Bernard Shaw

The equity markets are poised for the next leg up of their recent bull run.

Oh, wait.

The markets are about to be slammed down back to the Stone Age.

Playing Around with some Commodity ETFs

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future.”   -- John Maynard Keynes

Is it just me, or does it seem like the markets are holding their collective breath, nervously waiting for a shoe to drop?

daniel / Tag: DJIA, Dow Jones Industrial Average, GLD, SLV, SPX, USO / 0 Comments

Biting the Silver Bullet, or Maybe Hopping on for a Ride?

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.” ~ Mark Twain

The markets seemed to have taken a decision this week, though in a somewhat strange fashion.

daniel / Tag: DJIA, Dow Jones Industrial Average, GLD, NASDAQ, S&P 500 Index, SLV, SPX / 0 Comments

Is Gold a Little Too Hot To Hold?

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“You can't have everything. Where would you put it? ~ Steven Wright

If you want to try to sum up the market action over the last month, you could say it’s mainly been “upward thrust, followed by three plus weeks of sideways.”

daniel / Tag: COMP, DJIA, Dow Jones Industrial Average, GLD, NASDAQ, S&P 500 Index, SPX / 0 Comments

Has the Gold Train Left the Station?

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

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