The 200-day moving average of the Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Total Return Index has traditionally been a reliable indicator of the direction stocks are trending. Sean O'Hara, director of Pacer ETFs, said trend is looking friendlier of late.
"We had the fourth consecutive day above the moving average yesterday, so if today finishes above, then we will go back to the 100% long position," said O'Hara. "The trend is telling you that directionally in the short run, prices are moving up."
O'Hara's Pacer Trendpilot 750 ETF (PTLC) tracks the total return performance of the Pacer Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Trendpilot Index, which is triggered by an equity indicator, a 50/50 indicator and T-Bill indicator. The PTLC was a finalist for 2015 Best New ETF from ETF.com and has taken in more than $346 million in assets since its launch last June.
The equity indicator is triggered when the Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Total Return Index closes above its 200-day simple moving average for five straight business days. If that occurs, the fund moves 100% of its assets into the Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Index.
The 50/50 indicator is triggered when the Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Total Return Index closes below its 200-day SMA for five consecutive business days. When that happens, the exposure of the fund is 50% Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Index and 50% 3-Month U.S. Treasury bills.
Finally, when the Wilshire U.S. Large-Cap Total Return Index's 200-day SMA closes lower than its value from five business days earlier, the fund shifts entirely to 3-Month U.S. Treasury bills, where it resides now, after the market's drop in January. From the T-Bill position, however, the fund will only change to the equity position when the equity indicator is triggered, and the fund will not return to its 50/50 position unless the equity indicator is first triggered.
The firm also offers the Pacer Trendpilot 450 ETF (PTMC) , which offers a similar strategy following the Wilshire U.S. Mid-Cap Total Return Index.
"We feel mid-cap is an underowned area of the market," said O'Hara. "If you look at mid-cap stocks over history, they do better than large cap and small cap with less risk than small caps. So if you are looking to put a little extra return in your portfolio, mid caps are a great place to do that."