Today's www.theFREDreport.com conference call was broader than usual, given the turbulence we have seen across most asset classes. Investors are searching for answers! To listen to the playback go to: http://free.thefredreport.com/ and scroll down to the " recent call for your review." We will also summarize the call and our market thoughts below.
STOCK MARKET: Sentiment indicators remain contrarian bullish (i.e. a high level of negative sentiment). It is unlikely, given this backdrop, to have a large drop under these circumstances. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is the ETF most are following and key levels are 102 on the downside, and 114 on the upside. A move above 114 could be a big positive.
We see the chance for long-term outperformance by small caps, and the iShares S&P 600 Index (IJR) looks attractive on a market break-out.Another interesting play for big caps is the iShares SP 100 (OEF), the 100 biggest cap stocks in the SPY, which will give a bit more international exposure. Risk management is key right now. BOND MARKET: Rates have fallen precipitously in recent weeks -- investors want bonds, but how best to invest? We feel that there is fairly high risk in the iShares Barclays 20+ Treasury Bond (TLT), but the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) is a better chart for treasuries. We have been advocating the iShares iBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bond (LQD). Our idea is that if Treasury rates continue to fall the LQD, which has lagged, will catch up. And should rates rise the LQD should fall less. International bonds look interesting as well -- the SPDR Barclays Capital International Treasury Bond (BWX) is turning up after a pullback. Managing risk is important here: investors should look for yield in other places and not just treasuries. COMMODITIES: Gold continues to trade well, and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) looks strong longer-term. The United States Oil Fund (USO) has seasonal weakness into the fall and we would avoid this and instead look at oil stocks. The Select Sector Energy SPDR (XLE) and Oil Service HOLDRS Trust (OIH) look more attractive. Chevron Corp. (CVX) is an attractive stock in the oil space. INTERNATIONAL: International markets, on balance, have better charts than US equities. We have been looking at Asia for speculative purposes and note the iShares MSCI Malaysia (EWM) and the iShares MSCI Singapore (EWS) look much better than China and Japan (but are, we repeat again, higher risk). In China, the Claymore China Small Cap (HAO) looks stronger than the iShares FTSE/Xinhau (FXI), and in Japan it is somewhat reversed, with the iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) (large caps) trading better than Japan Smaller Cap Fund (JOF) (small caps).