NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- Yellow lights may not signal that a driver should slam on the brakes. On the other hand, anyone who has ever pushed the pedal to the floor to make it through an intersection has been burned by a speeding ticket or three in his/her lifetime.
Similarly, when warning signs appear, investors should not abandon every exchange-traded asset in their vehicle. Yet ignoring significant impediments to sustainable price appreciation is likely to cause emotional stress at best and undesirable financial hardship at worst.
One week ago, I gave readers and listeners 3 ETFs for tracking the probability of a market correction. And while these indicators are by no means intended to predict the future, they are intended to provide insight for evaluating risks relative to rewards.
For those who may not wish to review my commentary in its entirety, the ETFs included Proshares Ultra Short Euro (EUO), PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility (SPLV) and iShares DJ Home Construction (ITB). With respect to EUO over the last week, it climbed significantly above its 50-day moving average, clearly indicating that the eurozone, its currency and its ongoing debt crisis may thwart stock advances.Similarly, the SPLV-SPY price ratio continues to rise further above a 50-day trend line, demonstrating greater relative strength for defensive stocks like staples, health care and utilities. Even ITB is struggling to stay atop its 50-day. In spite of these three indicators hinting that a more substantive pullback may grip equities, the S&P 500 still sits near 1510 at the midpoint of the trading day Wednesday. That's roughly a single percentage point below 2013 highs. In my estimation, however, it will be very difficult for U.S. stocks to scale the increasing number of worries on the wall without first experiencing an anxiety-riddled selloff.