Look Abroad When You Have an American Trendless Market

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You've seen all seen the headlines: "Market Hits a New All-Time High." But you cannot judge the market by the headlines. Headlines can be quite deceiving. If you look at the chart of the Dow below, it is trading barely above where it was trading in January.

^DJI Chart
^DJI
data by YCharts

The Nasdaq has been a wilder ride but equally disappointing. It has barely budged since late January and is also trading close to where it was at the beginning of the year.

This is why, despite headlines to the contrary, I describe this market as "trendless." The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq only tell part of the story. The internals of the market are much worse than market indices suggest, especially for last year's leading stocks and sectors.

^IXIC Chart^IXIC data by YCharts

That said, I am looking abroad for opportunities. I am invested in India through stocks HDFC Bank (HDB) and (TTM), mutual fund Matthews India Fund (MINDX), and the MSCI India Index (INP) exchange-traded fund.

There are also attractive opportunities in Brazil, Mexico and South America. Here in the U.S., given that we are in a trendless market, I favor low P/E names and dividend payers over momentum and high valuation segments of the market.

Low P/E semiconductor stocks like Lam Research (LRCX) and Qualcomm (QCOM) are a couple of good examples. I also like many names such as Continental Resources (CLR), Carrizo Oil (CRZO) and Cimarex Energy (XEC).

Look at the U.S. market.

Since March 1, the Global X Social Media Index (SOCL) is down 21.6%, the First Trust DJ Internet Index (FDN) has declined 12.1% and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (IBB) has dropped 9.3%. Last year's market leading index, the iShares Russell Microcap Index (IWC) is 8.4% lower since its March high.

SOCL Chart
SOCL
data by YCharts

At the same time, the bond market has rallied for the year to date, especially at the long end of the yield curve. The 20 year+ US Treasury (TLT) is up 12.2% for the year. Nobody seems to have a good answer for why we are seeing this "flight to safety" but I suspect one reason is economic data we are seeing are still not that rosy.

First-quarter GDP was only 1% due to weather, and where will second-quarter GDP come in? The consensus estimate is just north of 3% but we have to wait about six weeks to find out. But is the bond market telling us the economy is slowing down? Is this why the level of interest rates remains so low? I think so.

Hence my focus in such places as India, through the MSCI India Index ETN, the leading index in the world this year despite some recent consolidation.

Data from Best Stocks Now App

I am still a big believer in the India story. In my opinion, the recent elections in India have created a tremendous opportunity there for the next several years.

INP ChartINP data by YCharts

So despite a trendless market, there are still several very promising trends to play.

At the time of publication the author was long long HDB, TTM, LRCX, CRZO, CLR and XEC.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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