NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- It's one thing to claim that the stock market is pricing in Armageddon... that emotionality is trumping rationality. It's another thing to dismiss investor fears as silly or absurd.
Along these lines, the researchers at Bespoke published a fascinating table of "technically oversold" ETFs. In Analystville, one may regard an ETF as oversold when its current price is more than 10% below a 50-day moving average. Bespoke's list actually included ETFs that plummeted more than 15% below the popular 50-day trendline. Big-time oversold, right?
However, a quick perusal of the "Oversold ETF Table" demonstrates that representatives may be quite different from one another. Whereas many large-cap stock ETFs present attractive trailing P/E multiples of 13 or less, the Russell 2000's most recently published trailing P/E at WSJ.com is 34. Shouldn't one be a bit fearful of trailing P/Es at 34 when forward guidance is hazy in an extraordinary "soft patch" or potential double-dip?
It follows that funds like iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) and iShares Russell 2000 Growth (IWO) may be technically oversold, but they're hardly bargains. Even when the P/E is closer to 17 -- as the case may be for PowerShares Dynamic OTC (PWO) -- it may be difficult to for some to purchase high P/E ETFs due to an "oversold technicality."Not surprisingly, Bespoke's "Oversold ETF" List also includes European ETFs from SPDR Euro STOXX 50 (FEZ) to iShares MSCI France (EWQ) to iShares MSCI Austria (EWO). Is fearing the uncertainty surrounding the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis irrational? Not if you pay attention to ever-increasing LIBOR rates, which has been raising the stakes for inter-bank lending. Note: 3-month LIBOR has ticked up even higher -- now .303% -- since I discussed its breach above a 200-day trendline on Aug. 16 in "Hazardous LIBOR Trend Requires Shift To Asia Bond ETFs and Asia Country ETFs." Is fearing the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. defense budget crazy? Not when failure to reach accord in the so-called "super-committees" could result in extreme cutbacks to the defense and aerospace industry. Powershares Aerospace and Defense (PPA) resides on the "Oversold ETF Table" as well. Simply stated, it may be useful to see tables of ETFs meeting certain criteria. In fact, traders may want to buy the biggest decliners on relief rallies alone. Nevertheless, investors would want to scrutinize lists for components that present something unique. Perhaps indiscriminate selling may have caused some to toss the proverbial baby out with the bath water.