"Now the difficulty with those warnings is that they were not specific." -- Lee H. Hamilton
NEW YORK (
) -- In my various writings online and on
I have been aggressively arguing in the past two weeks that intermarket trends are deteriorating, signaling that we could be in a corrective period right here, right now.
Given the number of "nouveau bulls" out there who are under the impression that stocks can't go down in the face of central bank stimulus, now does seem to be the ripe time for markets to refresh fear and pull back when few expect it before ultimately making new all-time highs by the end of the fall. I spoke about this at length recently on
in a segment about an October correction on Monday.
In analyzing extremes, the same message of negativity is occurring. Every week I run a screen on the over 1,000 ETFs/ETNs I track to identify those areas of the investment landscape that are exhibiting extreme price behavior relative to their own respective 20-day moving averages. The idea is to see whether there is a message happening beneath the surface of the market by looking at the opposite ends of winners and losers spectrum over a rolling one-month period. Take a look below for the latest results.
There are some new faces on the lists, particularly among the leaders as the health care fund (XLV) surged alongside China in what appears to be two opposing bets.
On the one hand, XLV may be rallying because of money-positioning defensively in the here and now for a possible correction, and ahead of the elections given potential changes to "Obamacare" should Romney become President. On the other hand, the China small-cap fund, HAO, which is a play on global growth, is showing meaningful improvement.
Given the magnitude and duration of China's equity market underperformance, it would seem to make some sense that China could be washed out for now and that money is simply allocating into "cheaper" equities than what can be found in the U.S.
It should also make some sense that airlines, via FAA, are appearing on the list here as well, given that among the extreme laggards are many energy ETFs such as solar (TAN), oil and gas (XES), uranium (URA), oil (USO), etc. Expectations for lower oil, which the laggards seem to be signaling is possible, would be a net positive for airlines. On balance then, it would appear that the message is for oil to continue losing steam.
The question, of course, is whether declining oil prices are a good thing for equities. The past decade has shown a strong correlation between oil and stocks. Markets actually like oil rising (to a certain point), and don't like when they are falling. Could this weakness in energy be yet another warning of an October correction in which we may be in the early stages?
Should be a fun next few weeks.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.