January was a rough month in the stock market by almost any metric. From an index standpoint, the U.S. concentrated SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) dropped 5.07%, while the globally oriented iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) fell 5.30%. Both benchmarks would have been substantially worse if not for a late month rally that was spurred by oversold conditions alongside a sizeable rally in crude oil prices.
Many investors are now succumbing to the realization that volatility happens quickly and with little advance warning. In fact, several high growth sectors experienced jaw-dropping moves in the month of January that are good examples of how quickly gains can evaporate in the midst of adverse conditions.
Clean energy has been on fire so far this year as solar, wind, battery, and renewable fuel companies continue to make inroads against traditional oil & gas conglomerates. Companies such as Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) are striving to make the concept of green energy available to mainstream consumers and appear to be succeeding on many fronts. Read more
In our monthly ETF chart roundup video, we analyze the current trends of the market. The important themes to watch this month are large cap stocks, solar companies, international dividend ETFs, U.S. dollar, commodities, and high yield bonds. Recorded after the market close on March 5, 2015.
With the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) trading in a wide range since the beginning of the year, many momentum investors may be searching for signs of life in alternative areas of the market. Just because the broad measure of U.S. stocks is waffling sideways, doesn’t mean that there aren’t suitable ETF candidates to add to your watch list at this juncture. Read more
The last few trading weeks have surprisingly choppy with the market unable to make up its mind on a convincing direction. The mornings are typically filled with bullish opens that fade in the middle of the day as momentum wanes. The key push for the bulls is to regain the prior highs and extend this most recent rally. The bears on the other hand are gunning to push the major indices below their short-term trend lines to re-establish dominance. Right now I gauge either scenario as being likely, with the bears perhaps having a slight edge given the propensity for greater volatility this year. Read more