Weekly Brief
04/11/2014

The strategies gave back last week’s gains and followed US stocks sharply lower again this week. Intermarket Matrix lost 1.88%, Global Equities 2.19%, Sector Switch 2.79% and Market Cap Blend a very heavy a 3.12%. Our broad US equity measure dropped 2.62%.

It was another very active week across Relative Strength tables, where we registered a whopping 27 RS chart changes (see Matrix, Sectors, Global Eqs), 15 RS chart signal reversals (see Global Eqs), and seven fund rank changes (see Global Eqs). Another 13 charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Matrix, Sectors, Blend, Global Eqs), many with the potential to further shakeup our RS table leadership.

At the portfolio level, there were two position changes (see Global Eqs) and two dividend distributions (see Matrix, Sectors) to report this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned position changes, dividend distributions, chart changes, chart signal reversals, fund rank changes and chart signal reversal warnings.

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Trade Alert: 2 New Actions Taken
04/10/2014

Two portfolio-level changes were made today by a single strategy. Details are as follows:

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Weekly Brief
04/04/2014

The strategies managed modest gains this week, despite a late-week sell-off that reversed strong advances on Monday and Tuesday. Market Cap Blend rose 0.89%, Global Equities 0.85%, Sector Switch 0.69% and Intermarket Matrix 0.37%. Our broad US equity measure, meanwhile, added 0.49%.

Activity picked up dramatically across Relative Strength tables, where we recorded six RS chart changes (see Matrix, Blend, Global Eqs), four RS signal reversals (see Blend, Global Eqs), and a whopping eight fund rank changes (see Blend, Global Eqs). While those rank changes failed to impact our RS table leaders, 14 charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Blend, Global Eqs), several with potential to trigger near-term leadership shuffles.

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes to report. There were, however, five dividend distributions (see Sectors, Blend, Global Eqs).

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned dividend distributions and RS table developments.

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Quote of the Week
03/28/2014

Dan Norcini offered this great advice to readers in his most recent post on gold:

…never base a trade ( or an investment ) for that matter on a headline. NEVER! Let the market technical price action do that for you

Remember, markets are based on differing opinions. Some are bullish; some are bearish. But keep in mind that they are just opinions and in that sense, guesses as to how the market might respond to a particular scenario. The only true proof consists of the price action. It either confirms or validates ones opinion or it does not. It really is that simple.

Weekly Brief
03/28/2014

It was rough going for the strategies this week as our Relative Strength leaders collectively lagged their peers. Intermarket Matrix fared best, with a 0.28% decline. Sector Switch, Global Equities and Market Cap Blend, however, gave up much heavier 1.68%, 2.17% and 2.99% losses respectively. Our broad US equity measure lost 0.38%.

It was another quiet week across Relative Strength tables, where we registered just two RS chart changes (see Matrix). While there were no RS chart reversals or fund rank changes to report, 14 charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Blend, Global Eqs), several with the potential to unseat at least one RS table leader.

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes or dividend distributions this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned RS table developments.

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Weekly Brief
03/21/2014

The strategies ended mostly higher this week. Market Cap Blend, Global Equities and Intermarket Matrix gained 1.19%, 0.92% and 0.50% respectively. Sector Switch lagged with a 0.34% loss. Our broad US equity measure, meanwhile, rose 0.83%.

It was a quiet week across Relative Strength tables, where we picked up just five RS chart changes (see Matrix, Sectors, Global Eqs). There were no RS chart reversals or fund rank changes, though eight charts ended the week on signal reversal alert (see Matrix, Blend, Global Eqs).

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes or dividend distributions to report this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned chart changes and chart reversal alerts.

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Weekly Brief
03/14/2014

The strategies snapped a two-week winning streak and moved collectively lower this week. Intermarket Matrix lost 1.31%, Market Cap Blend 1.63%, Sector Switch 1.66% and Global Equities 1.83%. Our broad US equity measure gave up 1.91%.

Across Relative Strength tables we picked up 19 RS chart changes (see Matrix, Global Eqs), as well as one chart reversal involving an RS leader (see Matrix). That reversal was not enough to trigger a fund rank change, however, and of the ten RS charts that ended the week on reversal alert (see Matrix, Blend, Global Eqs), none have the potential to affect our current RS leadership.

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes or dividend distributions to report this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned chart changes, chart reversal and chart reversal alerts.

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Weekly Brief
03/07/2014

For a second week running the strategies ended higher across the board. Market Cap Blend led with a 2.20% gain, while Global Equities, Intermarket Matrix and Sector Switch rose 1.42%, 0.65% and 0.50% respectively. Our broad US equity measure tacked on 1.06% and touched a fresh all time high in the process.

Activity was subdued across Relative Strength tables, where we saw just nine RS chart changes (see Matrix, Sectors, Blend, Global Eqs). There were no RS chart reversals or fund rank changes to report, though seven charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Sectors, Blend).

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes. There were, however, two dividend distributions (see Matrix, Sectors).

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned dividend distributions and chart changes.

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Dollar-to-Oil Ratio Breaks Down, Violates Bull Support
02/28/2014

This one really caught my eye after today’s close. Our UUP (US Dollar) to DBO (Oil) relative strength chart has formed a bearish double bottom breakdown and simultaneously violated bullish support dating all the way back to August of 2011. A bearish price ratio in this case indicates that UUP is underperforming DBO.

Recall that a weak dollar is inflationary, as are strong oil prices. Given those facts, it’s easy to see why commodity prices (which tend to thrive amid inflationary indications) have been rallying of late. What’s much more difficult to predict (and I won’t even bother trying) is whether or not those prices will continue to rally long enough to undo the substantial technical damage suffered last year and the year prior relative to both domestic and foreign equities. If they do (and that’s a BIG if), expect both DGL (Gold) and DBO (Oil) to advance up the ranks of our Intermarket Matrix. If either claims top spot, the strategy will react accordingly and take a position.

Weekly Brief
02/28/2014

The strategies ended collectively higher this week. Sector Switch was our best performer with a 2.10% gain. Market Cap Blend added 1.90%, Global Equities 1.43% and Intermarket Matrix 1.15%. Our broad US equity measure rose 1.31%.

It was another fairly active week across Relative Strength tables, where we picked up 12 RS chart changes (see Matrix, Sectors, Global Eqs), one RS chart reversal (see Matrix), and two fund rank changes (see Matrix). Eight RS charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Blend).

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes or dividend distributions.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned chart changes, chart reversals, fund rank changes and chart reversal warnings.

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Quote of the Week
02/28/2014

Charles Kirk recently observed that the average investor tends to consume much more “information” from financial media during market declines. This is folly, he argues:

My suggestion to you is to do the exact opposite – read less during times of stress. Yes, write that down somewhere. If you or your strategy is under significant pressure, the last thing you need is outside “peanut gallery” type input on what you should do with your portfolio. None of us knows your plan or your strategy like you do and whatever anyone says could be in direct conflict with those and very bad advice on top of that. This is a terrific way to lose lots of money and to stray away from whatever plan or strategy you have developed during less stressful times.
The first thing I do when I feel the heat, is that I try to read less and focus much more on the charts.

Remember, having more input is not necessarily good and that’s especially true when the market becomes emotional and the media right along with it to sell advertising.

HT: Abnormal Returns

Weekly Brief
02/21/2014

The strategies ended mostly higher this week. Market Cap Blend and Global Equities each rose 1.04% while Sector Switch gained a modest 0.05%. Intermarket Matrix lost 0.04% and our broad US equity measure gave up 0.07%.

Activity picked up a bit across Relative Strength tables, where we saw 11 RS chart changes (see Matrix, Sectors, Global Eqs), one RS chart signal reversal (see Matrix), and two fund rank changes (see Matrix). Ten RS charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Matrix, Blend).

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes or dividend distributions to report this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned chart changes, signal reversal, fund rank changes and signal reversal warnings.

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Talk About Your Whipsaws
02/14/2014

Less than two weeks after flashing its first bearish chart signal in 13 months, SPY – our broad US equity measure and a proxy for the S&P 500 – has reversed course sharply and violated overhead bearish resistance at 182.00. While the chart’s signal remains red (barely), violation of bearish resistance has prompted both Sector Switch and Market Cap Blend to abandon the defensive bond positions they opened just last week and return to offense. A classic whipsaw! Frustrating? You bet it is. But such occurrences are a normal part of every chartist’s life. The important thing is to take them in stride and get on with your next move.

Weekly Brief
02/14/2014

The strategies turned in mixed results this week. Global Equities was by far our best performer, with a 2.71% gain. Intermarket Matrix added 1.87%, but Sector Switch and Market Cap Blend lost 0.19% and 0.23% respectively. Our broad US equity measure rose another 2.42% on the week and violated important overhead chart resistance in the process.

Activity was subdued across Relative Strength tables, where we picked up just six RS chart changes (see Sectors, Global Eqs). There were no RS chart reversals or fund rank changes to report, though 11 charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Matrix, Blend, Global Eqs).

At the portfolio level, we saw five new changes as both Switch and Blend were bounced out of their defensive bond positions and right back into the very same stock funds that they sold last week, with only losses to show for their efforts. Frustrating, I know! But on the brighter side, both Matrix and Global Eqs remained long US equities over that same period and the losses incurred by Switch and Blend were minimal. Rather than frown over those losses and the opportunity cost of two strategies having sat out the past week’s rally, we should consider the fact that both took appropriate and justified defensive measures when broad market price action demanded it, and that both have, without fuss, cut their losses in the face of fresh bullish action. When (not if) defense does eventually pay off, we’ll be very happy that those measures were at their disposal.

In the meantime, below we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned position changes and RS table developments.

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Trade Alert: 5 New Actions Taken
02/14/2014

Five portfolio-level changes were made today across two different strategies. Details are as follows:

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Weekly Brief
02/07/2014

The strategies ended mostly lower again this week. Intermarket Matrix was our only winner, with a 0.66% gain. Global Equities dropped 0.22%, while Market Cap Blend and Sector Switch posted much heavier 3.53% and 3.99% losses. Our broad US equity measure fell sharply on Monday only to rally late-week to a respectable 0.84% gain. Both Blend and Switch missed out on that rally, having rotated into defensive bond funds following Monday’s selloff.

Activity was very subdued across Relative Strength tables, where we picked up just three RS chart changes (see Matrix, Global Eqs). There were no RS chart reversals or fund rank changes, though 11 RS charts ended the week on reversal alert (see Matrix, Blend, Global Eqs).

There were five position changes (see Sectors, Blend) and two dividend distributions (see Matrix, Sectors) to report at the portfolio level this week.

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned position changes, dividend distributions and RS table developments.

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US Equities Flash Bearish Warning
02/03/2014

After 13 straight months on solid bullish footing, SPY – our broad US equity measure and a proxy for the S&P 500 – has flashed a bearish high pole warning at 174.00. Will prices continue to weaken, or will they quickly rebound as they’ve done so many times in recent months? I have absolutely no idea, nor do I wish to venture a guess.

What I can tell you with certainty is that the reversal has prompted two of our strategies – Sector Switch and Market Cap Blend – to close their respective offensive positions and open fresh defensive ones. Global Equities remains long the US market, but could soon move to defense as well if its broad market measure turns bearish. Meanwhile, Intermarket Matrix, which uses no offensive/defensive switch, will stick with US stocks so long as they remain top-ranked within that strategy’s multi-asset class fund universe.

Trade Alert: 5 New Actions Taken
02/03/2014

Five portfolio-level changes were made today across two different strategies. Details are as follows:

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Quote of the Week
02/02/2014

Andrew Nyquist recently included this pointer in a short list of suggestions on how novice investors can better manage risk:

Don’t get bogged down in the latest news. Major media outlets use the same “news” to reason why a market is up, and later down, within the same day. Stay focused on your investing strategy and time frame. And realize that it is unique… and this is okay.

I’ve had to learn it the hard way, but that really is very good advice.

HT: Abnormal Returns

Weekly Brief
01/31/2014

The strategies continued to struggle this week amid more broad market volatility. Intermarket Matrix rose 0.24%, while Global Equities, Sector Switch and Market Cap Blend lost 0.50%, 0.80% and 1.24% respectively. Elsewhere, our broad US equity measure posted a modest 0.15% gain (accounting for dividends), after swinging sharply between gains and losses several times over the course of the week.

Across Relative Strength tables, there were ten chart changes (see Matrix, Global Eqs) and one chart signal reversal (see Global Eqs) to report. There were no resulting fund rank changes, however, and our key broad market indexes (SPY and ACWI) remained on bullish chart signals at week’s end. Heading into next week, five RS charts are flashing signal reversal alerts (see Blend), none however with the potential to unseat our current table leaders.

At the portfolio level, there were no position changes. There was, however, one dividend distribution (see Matrix).

Below, we detail all holdings, past-week position returns, fund rankings and past-week fund returns on a strategy-by-strategy basis. We also break down the above-mentioned dividend distribution and RS table developments.

(more…)