Other recent market observations worth mentioning include the shift in momentum from the
iShares Russell 2000 ETF
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF
. Small-cap stocks have been leading the majority of the year, but have surrendered momentum to larger blue-chip names -- which may be a sign that we are seeing profit taking in high beta areas, and a rotation into more stalwart defensive names. Another chink in the bull's armor, maybe?
At the end of the day, we're still seeing record inflows to equity-related ETF and mutual funds as performance chasing investors throw in the towel and opt for risk over safety. These moves may ultimately prove to be ill-timed, but are a symptom of the
typical psychological action
that we see through every peak in the market cycle. Greed and fear are powerful motivators.
My recommendation for your portfolio is to stay balanced and continue to ride the trend as long as it is intact. I am not seeing a pressing need to get more aggressive or defensive, at this time, until either a breakout or breakdown in recent consolidation comes into view. A step back below the 50-day moving average would be a warning sign for stocks and give us an indication that we are seeing a confirmation of downside risk.
Another key indicator to watch will be interest rates as we make our way through the transition of the
chairman role. Both stocks and bonds are likely to get volatile in the wake of monetary policy changes. That is why it is key to have a solid
risk management plan
in place to lock in gains when the tide turns and prepare for new opportunities.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.