While 2018 has so far been another stellar year for U.S. stocks, it's been a lot more lackluster for pretty much every other country on the planet. According to a recent research note from Baird, the U.S. accounts for 120% of the year-to-date move in the MSCI World Index.
And as weak as other countries have been, few segments have been as rough for investors as emerging markets.
But that could be about to change.
And Brazil looks like it's the country that's set to lead emerging markets higher in the final stretch of 2018.
To figure out how to trade some of the most popular Brazilian stocks, we're turning to the charts for a technical look.
First, it makes sense to look at the Brazilian market as a whole. For that, there's the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) . EWZ has been one of the most actively traded names on the NYSE in recent sessions, and the chart reveals why:
This ETF is up more than 17% since mid-September, as shares form a pretty textbook example of a double bottom pattern, a bullish reversal setup that signals the start of a new uptrend. Now, shares are rallying up to test a key breakout level at $37.50.
The double bottom in EWZ looks exactly like it sounds - it's formed by a pair of swing lows that stall out at approximately the same price level. Those lows are separated by a swing high that defines the breakout zone for EWZ; that comes in at the aforementioned $37.50 level.
Momentum adds some extra confidence to the reversal setup in EWZ: 14-day RSI has made higher lows during this ETF's pair of price lows, signaling that buying pressure has been building as EWZ traded near its low-water mark. A material push through the $37.50 level is a signal that Brazil is officially in breakout mode.
That's not to say that there aren't any Brazilian plays worth paying attention to at this point, however. Banco Santander Brasil (BSBR) is within grabbing distance of its own $10.25 resistance level this week. Meanwhile, Vale (VALE) and Petrobras (PBR) have each already broken out through their corresponding resistance levels, indicating that buyers are already in control of shares.
Each of these stocks is an example of a Brazilian company that trades on U.S. markets as an ADR, making it an easy way for American investors to get exposure to the rally in Brazil.
From a CAPE standpoint, Brazil currently sports one of the 10 cheapest valuations among MSCI Investable Market indices, making it an attractive place for value-starved U.S. investors to pay attention to, now that price is finally playing catch-up.
Stay tuned - country momentum tends to be cyclical, and Brazil could be the first of many emerging markets to rally following a period of prolonged underperformance.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.