Skip to main content

NEW YORK (ETF Expert) --Half of the largest U.S. corporations are missing revenue targets this earnings season.

Non-cyclical sectors from health care to consumer staples are beating the pants off economic growth standouts like technology and energy.

Trading volume is noticeably larger on down days than on up days. Treasury bonds are notching new 2013 peaks on safe-haven purchasing. Yet, the

S&P 500

is currently within a percentage point of an all all-time high.

I continue to

recommend less aggressive dividend income plays


WisdomTree Equity Income


. Its 3.6% yield offsets some of the downside risks that have become parcel and part of second quarter trading. Moreover, its concentration in non-cyclicals (e.g., telecom, pharmaceuticals, staples, utilities, etc.) reduces some of the volatility associated with high-volume selloffs.

Outside of the U.S., China's manufacturing segment is trending in the wrong direction, with preliminary estimates showing marginal expansion. Similarly, Japan's economic prospects have been so grim, money printing and yen devaluation have been deemed the only path to restoration. Also, with the eurozone region contracting at a rapid clip, world stocks that are tied to growth (e.g., materials, energy, consumer discretionary, etc.) are unlikely to thrive.

My prescription here is quite similar to the one for the U.S. Stick with ETFs that focus on non-cyclical segments that are less tied to the global economic slowdown. These exchange-traded trackers still work because worldwide central bank stimulus means ultra-low interest rates, and ultra-low interest rates mean investors will covet safer equities with dividend cash flow.

Two of the better ones include

WisdomTree Global Equity Income



iShares Emerging Market Low Volatility



I believe the current rally will fall short of many bullish prognostications. More specifically, I expect selling activity to increase substantially whenever the S&P 500 approaches 1600. In fact, it is fair to expect a 5% to 7% pullback on almost any turn of events, from a series of disappointing earnings to a "Sell in May" mentality to bank instability in Europe.

The mere fact that depositors in Cyprus witnessed confiscation of those deposits still has the potential for Italian and Spanish customers to reconsider where they do their banking.

In other words, aggressive short-sellers may wish to take a hard look at shorting

iShares Europe Financials


. Not only is the series of lower lows attractive on a technical basis, but I do not believe we'll see Spanish bond yields at these 2-year lows for long. Another possibility? Pair-trade investors might go long on

WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity


while simultaneously shorting EUFN.

Follow @etfexpert

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.

Gary Gordon reads:

Real Clear Markets

Jeff Miller


Charles Kirk

On Twitter, Gary Gordon follows:

Jonathan Hoenig

Doug Kass

Hard Assets Investor