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NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- I came across an interesting fact on the news wires recently. The S&P 500 has corrected at least 5% at least one time in the first five months of every year since 1996. What does that mean? It implies that the probability of seeing the benchmark fall to 1485 from 1565 is greater than any of us might like to believe.
Nobody knows whether or not
a run on European banks will create more sellers than buyers of U.S stock assets. For that matter, 2013 may defy every probable outcome and every warning sign.
On the other hand, safety seekers appear interested by U.S. Treasuries once again. The
iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund(TLT) is further above its near-term 50-day moving average than at any point since the fiscal cliff concerns that jockeyed alongside the November elections. Additionally, TLT is demonstrating greater relative strength via its RSI Index than at any point since those same November dates.
The song is very similar for all of the long-dated Treasury bond funds, including
Vanguard Extended Duration(EDV),
Pimco 7-15 Year Treasury(TENZ) as well as
Pimco 20+ Zero Coupon Treasury(ZROZ).
Perhaps surprisingly, intermediate-dated Treasuries have held up rather well throughout the stock bull of 2013. In spite of consistent commentary that forewarned imminent rises in yields circa mid-February,
iShares 7-10 Year Treasury(IEH) and
iShares 3-7 Year Treasury(IEI) have seen the 50-day slope turn higher since February. More recently, the respective slopes have turned positive -- a potential "buy signal" for many technical analysts.
While I respect technical data, I do not make decisions based on chart patterns and relative strength alone. I find value in a wide variety of info -- fundamental, contrarian, economic, geo-political, seasonal, historical, anecdotal, rate policy and more. That's why I am equally intrigued by the historical data on 15+ consecutive years with 5% pullbacks by May; that's also the reason that I am particularly interested in the contrarian info provided by ultra-low levels for the
CBOE S&P 500 VIX Volatility(VIX).
For my clients at Pacific Park Financial
I am not holding any direct exposure to Treasury Bond ETFs. If I am looking for a safe haven, money market accounts and short-term corporate credit via
iShares 1-3 Year Credit(CSJ) are more appealing. If I am looking for reasonable reward for low risk, short-term diversified high yield is preferable. Both
Pimco 0-5 Year High Yield(HYS) and
SPDR Short-Term High Yield(SJNK) are worthy of consideration.
Right now, investors continue buying into every sign of S&P 500 weakness. If Treasury Bond ETFs continue to climb, however, don't be shocked if the smart money begins selling into S&P 500 strength.
A Comeback For Treasury Bond ETFs?
Approx 5-Day %
PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon (ZROZ)
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)
iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury (TLT)
Vanguard Long-Term Government (VGLT)
iShares Barclays 10-20 Year Treasury (TLH)
PowerShares 1-30 Laddered Treasury (PLW)
iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury (IEF)
S&P 500 SPDR Trust (SPY)
Follow @etfexpertThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.