This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Bullish, Bearish ETF Trends in 2011

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 ( ETF Expert) -- Even an ardent trend-follower who diligently tracks the price of the S&P 500 must be frustrated. Granted, had he/she sold when the heralded benchmark fell below its 200-day moving average in August, he may have protected principal temporarily.

However, the strategy would have left one buying and selling for losses in October, November and December. Yikes!

Fundamental-valuation wonks have little cause for celebration, either. Some of the most remarkably profitable and successful firms from the technology, energy and industrial sectors began the year trading near decade lows for respective P/E ratios. Did it matter? Earnings may have grown at double-digit rates while prices logged -10%, -20%, even -30%.

Apparently, geopolitical concerns from the Middle East to Europe to Asia (think North Korea) have caused so much uncertainty, neither the "bull" nor the "bear" is taking charge. Instead, we've seen little more than erratic price swings.

There are, however, three ETF trends that the perma-bears may use for debate. I point them out because it is foolish to ignore these particular facts and not to make the case that stocks as an asset class are doomed.

For example, throughout the year, gold held a special place in the hearts of risk-averse investors. And for most of 2011, funds like the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) rewarded believers in the yellow metal's superiority over fiat currency.

Granted, gold has taken a swift kick in the backside lately. Credit the flight to Treasuries, the hoarding of cash as well as profit taking by hedge funds. Even still, the precious commodity raked in double-digit percentage gains through Wednesday.

Gold's rise should have been a boon to miners big and small. Yet even the established producers in Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) collectively set new 52-week lows and 18% year-to-date losses. It's difficult to see the trend as anything but bearish for metal and mining production.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
GDX $25.83 0.00%
GLD $123.65 0.00%
FXE $111.84 0.00%
IYT $141.07 0.00%
SEA $12.36 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs