by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems LLC

Volatility suddenly returned with a vengeance last week – to both stocks and bonds. In fact, on Wednesday, while the -3.1% single-day selloff in the S&P 500 didn’t quite equal the -4.1% fall on February 3, the normal “flight to safety” into US Treasuries when stocks sell off didn’t occur, which was quite distressing to market participants and pundits alike. But on Thursday, bonds caught a bid while equities continued their fall. Suddenly, talk has become more serious about the potential for slower global growth due to rising interest rates and escalating trade wars.

But has anything really changed from a fundamental standpoint? I would say, absolutely not. Although the risk-off rotation since June 11 continues to hold back Sabrient’s cyclicals-oriented portfolios, our quantitative model still suggests that little has changed with the fundamentally strong outlook characterized by global economic growth, impressive US corporate earnings, modest inflation, low real interest rates, a stable global banking system, and historic fiscal stimulus in the US (including both tax relief and deregulation). Moreover, it appears to me that equities are severely oversold, and now is a good time to be accumulating high-quality stocks with attractive forward valuations from the cyclical sectors and small caps.

When a similar correction happened in February, the main culprits were inflation worries and hawkish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates. After all, the so-called “Fed Put” has long supported the stock market. But then the Fed commentary became less hawkish and more data-driven, which was helpful given modest inflation data, but the start of the trade war rhetoric kept the market from bouncing back with as much gusto as it had been displaying.

So, what caused the correction this time? Well, to an extent, bipartisan support for heightened regulation and consumer privacy protections hit some of the mega-cap InfoTech stocks that had been leading the market. But in my view, the sudden spikes in fear (and the VIX) and in Treasury yields and the resulting rush to the exit in stocks was due to a combination of the Federal Reserve chairman’s suddenly hawkish rhetoric about interest rates and China’s extreme measures to offset damage from its trade war with the US.

In this periodic update, I provide a market commentary, offer my technical analysis of the S&P 500, 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 remain bullish, while the sector rotation model has switched to a neutral posture due to the recent correction. Read on....

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. -- Napoleon Hill

Wall Street seems to be feeling frisky lately, with major indices testing, poking and prodding record highs. And, in spite of the fact that the CBOE Volatility Index has been jolted back to life, the domestic economy seems to be exhibiting tendencies of slow, steady but solid growth.

But will Washington politics manage to upset Wall Street’s upbeat apple cart?

daniel / Tag: DJIA, SPX, COMP, PSP, KBE, KRE, IYG, XLF, ISM / 0 Comments

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”  -- Lao Tzu

Wall Street has been traveling in a tight line this past week, a classic tightrope walk between greed and fear. Investors seem unwilling to take profits off the table resulting from the year’s uptrend, not wishing to miss any of current Bull Run, but also appear reluctant to allocate more cash towards equities, at least for the moment.

daniel / Tag: DJIA, SPX, PSP, KBE, KRE, IYG, XLF, Finance Sector, Eurozone, Europe, Sequester, CBO / 0 Comments

david trainerBefore I delve into the accounting loopholes used to prop 3rd-quarter earnings, I will start with pointing out the intimidating amount of ETF choices in the financial sector.

There are 25 financial sector ETFs.  These 25 ETFs have drastically different stock holdings and, therefore, allocations. The lowest number of holdings is 24 while the highest is 496, per figure 1.

dtrainer / Tag: BAC, C, JPM, KBE, KBWP, VFH, XLF / 0 Comments

david trainerThe financial sector is one of four sectors to earn our “dangerous” rating and is the worst-ranked sector in the our 3Q11 Sector Roadmap report according to my methodology at New Constructs.

dtrainer / Tag: AFL, C, FAS, FXO, IAK, IAT, IYF, IYG, KBE, KBWP, KCE, KIE, KRE, KRU, MS, PFI, PIC, PJB, RWW, RYF, TRV, UYG, VFH, XLF / 0 Comments

10,000 Reasons to Hedge Your Bets

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though it’s not quite officially over, for all practical purposes it’s time to say goodbye to the dog days of summer.

daniel / Tag: FED, GLD, IYP, KBE, QTEC, S&P 500, USO / 0 Comments

Is VIX a Fix for What Ails You?

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”   ~Albert Einstein

A whole lot of commotion, but not so much motion. It all depends on your perspective.

daniel / Tag: ETF, ETN, IWP, KBE, MFE, POT, QTEC, VIX, VIXX / 0 Comments

“To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect” ~ Lao Tzu

The markets are ready to dive off a cliff. Or maybe it just feels that way.

daniel / Tag: ETF, ETF-trading, IWP, KBE, KBW, PIIGS, QTEC, XOP / 0 Comments

"Prophecy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks."
--  Mark Twain

Back around 2000 years ago, the Greeks consulted the Delphic Oracle on
everything from important matters of public policy to personal affairs. The Oracle had a pretty decent reputation for seeing into the future, aided, no doubt, by the generous intake of hallucinogenic vapors she reputedly inhaled.

daniel / Tag: ETF, ETF-trading, exchange-traded-funds, IWP, KBE, QTEK, XOP / 0 Comments