The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) -- Since the beginning of earnings season, I've been discussing the rotation into defensive stock sectors. Now, nearly everyone seems to be writing something about it.
That said, you'll find three links to my "defensive sector" commentary below. In the articles, you'll find observations pertaining to changes in everything from relative strength to volume breadth, valuations to new 52-week highs.
May 3, 2011: "
Sector ETFs: What The New Leaders Are Telling Investors"
April 28, 2011:
"Volume Breadth Favors Non-Cyclical Defensive Sectors"
April 15, 2011:
"In Earnings Season, Safer Sector ETFs Are Winning"
Still, throughout the last month, I refrained from making bearish or bullish prognostications. Rather than holding firmly to a "this-must-occur" bias, I let the information guide my decision-making. More specifically, I choose investments based on a wide variety of fundamental, historical and technical data. Then I let unemotional stop-limit loss orders protect positions for a large gain, small gain or small loss.
Of course, not everyone has the patience or discipline to employ stop- limit loss orders or hedges properly. It follows that many readers simply want a "quick pick" or market direction "call."
Rather than insist that an event is imminent or certain, when the exact opposite may be the case, I simply wish to offer ETF evidence of a probable correction. How you use the evidence depends upon your personal approach to risk management as well as your current positions. (For instance, an individual with 50% cash may be putting together a list of ETFs to buy when stock ETFs pull back significantly. In contrast, fully invested folks may want to lighten their exposure to risk assets.)