The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) -- The past week has seen a number of favorable earnings reports as well as
Chairman Ben Bernanke holding his first press conference which came off rather well.
The market has advanced, and has hit our upside targets of 135 (and then some), on the
SPDR S&P 500
. Currently, we are in Florida speaking with investors, and for the first time in a while bullishness is rampant. We remain somewhat cautious about the near-term outlooks, while believing the second half of the year will be strong.
One feature of the market that concerns us is sector performance. There have been some favorable earnings reports on stocks in the tech sector, and most investors we speak with do not realize this is a lagging sector on a short-term basis. It seems likely that individual investors are buying tech names, while institutions are selling those names. At the same time, consumer stocks (both staples and discretionary) have started to out-perform. We illustrate this with charts of the SPY, and compare this to the three sectors, below.
What is even more interesting about this state of affairs is that stocks most investors mention as leaders have started to under-perform as well. We show charts of
Note that while these may be leading companies, the stocks are lagging, and in the case of Google the under-performance is significant -- and both have underperformed since January or earlier. There are favorable tech stocks: two are featured in our latest sector review:
. We show those charts below.
We think there are a few reasons for tech's underperformance, but the main ones are that most Wall Street strategists have been overweight tech since January at least.
Few strategists share our two over weights of
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
Consumer Discretionary SPDR
, but the performance of these sectors contain the kind of household name-type stocks that foreign investors habitually buy when they come into our markets. We will address this in a future article, but one of our recent themes in The FRED Report is that foreign investors will move into the US markets in the second half of 2011.
We show four stocks, two in each sector, that appear attractive to us at this time. These look attractive, even if the market should experience a short-term correction in the next couple of months.
Fred Meissner is founder and publisher of
. Fred is a CMT and past President of the Market Technicians Association (MTA). He recently left Merrill Lynch's Market Analysis Department and Sector Strategy Department to form The Fred Report.�A detailed bio is here: