"Combine the extremes, and you will have the true center." - Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Followers of my writings online know that I have been vastly bullish since 2012 began, with the exception of the April-May "mini-correction" that shook investor confidence but at the same time ended up being a phenomenal buying opportunity, with hindsight.
Equities have continued to surprise most investors, producing real returns considerably higher than average. The reasoning for this is irrelevant; whether due to organic or forced reflation, price has remained the key determinant of price itself.
Yet, many still refuse to believe. As October has started, various intermarket trends have shown deterioration. Despite this, broad market averages appear to be "downwardly sticky."Aside from the earnings story and uncertainty over the elections, many have refused to play the market because of fears of a Middle East conflict between Israel and Iran. I hear this continuously from prospective investors who call about how our buy and rotate strategies used for managing our mutual fund and separate accounts might behave on such an event. If this should happen, could markets correct substantially? It is certainly possible. However, price thinks an imminent conflict is unlikely. Every week I run a screen on my list of over 1,000 ETFs/ETNs to identify which areas of the investable landscape are showing extreme movement. The idea behind doing this is to get a sense of what opposite ends of the performance spectrum may be signaling about investor sentiment going forward. Take a look below at those ETFs furthest above (extreme winners) and furthest below (extreme losers) their respective 20-day moving averages.
Israel, the Middle East, and Oil There is a certain message occurring in the two lists above that I think is incredibly important to stress regarding fear over an oil spike and Middle East conflict. Notice that the iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market ETF (EIS) is among the extreme winners list, while energy-related ETFs such as Guggenheim Solar (TAN), Global X Uranium (URA), PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (PBW) and SPDR S&P Oil and Gas Services (XES) are among the extreme losers.