5 Tempting High Reward S&P 500 Sector ETF Setups

If you like team sports, you know that a team may win even though some of its players had a bad day, or vice versa.

Just as a team is made up of individual players, the S&P 500 is comprised of individual sectors. Not all sectors perform at the same level at the same time, in fact, some may boom while others bust.

Here is a look at some sector ETF setups (boom and bust, ripe and stale):

Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV)

The April 17 Profit Radar Report noted that the following about XLV:

The health care sector represented by XLV has taken a beating, too. XLV dropped to the lowest level since January 4, and sentiment has become extremely bearish. Purely based on sentiment, when there was so much pessimism, XLV has rallied over the next month 90% of the time, with an average gain of 5%. Seasonality is positive for the next month as well.

Aside from the green bar, there’s no ‘must hold’ support level, but RSI-2 is over-sold. We are committing a small amount to buying XLV below 86.”

We bought XLV when it dipped below 86 on April 18, and sold XLV when it became over-bought and reached the 5% average gain threshold at 90.50 and May 6.

XLV is now in neutral territory, and the setup has become stale.

Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE)

The April 14 Profit Radar Report featured the chart below and stated:

The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) looks interesting. 3 support and resistance levels meet up to form resistance at 36.80 on Wednesday. Price is wedging higher with a small bearish divergence. Based on the wedge, the down side risk is significant if price fails to hold support. For now, we will go short if XLRE moves above 36.85 and subsequently drops below 36.50.”

Unfortunately XLRE missed my sell limited by 15 cents. After a sizeable drop, XLRE bounced from support, but a break below that support (around 35) is likely to unlock the next down side target. The potential down side risk could be significant, partially because XLRE’s sector ‘cousin’ may be in trouble.

SPDR S&P 500 Homebuilders ETF (XHB)

The May 5 Profit Radar Report pointed out that: “The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) is wedging higher, and close to wedge resistance and general resistance with a bearish RSI-35 divergence. In terms of seasonality, May and June are the worst months for XHB. We will short XHB if it spikes above 41.80 and subsequently moves below 41.70 (stop-loss at day’s high). Considering futures, XHB may open lower tomorrow, and we may consider to go short on a drop below 40.70.

XHB fell below lower wedge support, which unlocks significant down side potential. RSI-2 is near over-sold, and a bounce is possible. In fact, any bounce that gets close to the broken purple trend line (such a re-test of previously broken support is often a ‘kiss good-bye’) would be another low-risk set up to go short.

Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU)

March 27 Profit Radar Report:

The utility sector (represented by XLU) rallied to new all-time highs with more than 80% of its components at a 52-week high..

In addition, XLU was rejected by trend line resistance. Additional trend channel resistance is around 59.50. Support is around 58.20 and 57.20. There was a bearish RSI-35 divergence on the daily chart.

Based on technicals and statistics, shorting XLU has high odds of being profitable. Unfortunately XLU seasonality is very bullish for March/April. 

XLU could move a bit higher, but we will leg into a short position now (and will probably add more if it moves higher). There is no good inverse utility ETF, so we will short XLU above 58.40.”

XLU is making slow down side progress, but it’s not been able to move below support around 57 – 56.75. A move below support could unlock further down side, but immediate down side may be limited due to a near over-sold RSI-2.

PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX)

The PHLX Semiconductor Index is often the ‘MVP’ that drives the ‘team’ to more gains (or vice versa). SOX is at a convergence of support (black trend channel and green trend line). If bulls are going to make a stand, it would be here. If not, the next stop is around 1,440.

Continued sector and stock market analysis available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s evaluation of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF e-Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

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As mentioned in part I of “How to Outsmart a Choppy, Range-bound Market” (published on March 27), we anticipated a rollercoaster-like stock market.

Our strategy was to look for low-risk opportunities in certain industry sectors.

The April 24 Profit Radar Report stated the following:

The S&P 500 has reached a point where a bounce is likely. It’s possible that the bounce may morph into the next bigger rally. We would prefer to see even lower prices (the lower, the better the risk/reward), but we’re not certain if our wish will become reality.

We’ve been here before (February 8, April 2). Both times the S&P rallied … and eventually pulled back again. In February we bought XLU as a lower-risk bet on equities. Now XLP sports an interesting setup.”

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as “trader with a good track record” and Investor’s Business Daily says: “When Simon says, the market listens.” Find out why Barron’s and IBD endorse Simon Maierhofer’s Profit Radar Report.

Low-Risk Sector Trades

The Utility Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) and Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) were over-sold and over-hated at the time. In addition they were trading against support with bullish divergences. And, paying some of the best dividends in the business didn’t hurt.

We bought XLU on February 12, and sold XLU on April 6 for a 6.16% gain.

We bought XLP on April 25, and sold XLP on May 1 at breakeven.

We again bought XLP on May 31, and sold XLP on July 10 for a 5.50% gain (yes, sometimes it may take two attempts to get it right).

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At no time did XLU or XLP fall below our purchase price, and both trades offered a 11.66% (including dividends) absolutely no risk, no stress return.

The Profit Radar Report continuously looks for low-risk trade opportunities, which includes stocks, gold, silver, oil, currencies. Continued updates and recommendations are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, 24.52% in 2015, 52.26% in 2016, and 23.39% in 2017.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

How to Outsmart a Choppy, Range-bound Market

From January 26 to February 9, the S&P 500 lost as much as 11.84%. This initial freefall was followed by a rollercoaster-like performance.

The large February drop (340 S&P points) expanded the trading range and complicated the search for low-risk S&P 500 entries (see S&P 500 analysis).

Hunt for a Better Risk/Reward Setup

In fact, there was no low-risk setup for any of the major indexes. However, the February 11 Profit Radar Report featured the chart below and identified this low-risk sector trade:

The Utility Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) dropped as much as 17.22% since its November high. As of Thursday, XLU was deeply oversold while testing a long-term support line. On Friday, XLU jumped 2.10%. The only thing missing as a bullish RSI-35 divergence at the low. The risk/reward for XLU looks more appealing. We will leg into XLU is it drops below 48.40.”

Barron’s rates iSPYETF as “trader with a good track record” and Investor’s Business Daily says: “When Simon says, the market listens.” Find out why Barron’s and IBD endorse Simon Maierhofer’s Profit Radar Report.

We anticipated the S&P 500 to rally from the February 9 low, but ultimately relapse. XLU was a lower-risk vehicle to have ‘skin in the game’ just in case stocks continued higher than expected (runaway insurance).

XLU dropped below the 48.40 buy limit on February 12. Although the ride hasn’t been smooth, XLU never dropped below our entry price (allowing us to ‘play with house money’), and is currently up 3.88% (compared to a 1.30% loss for the S&P 500).

Next resistance is above 50.50, support around 49. Failure to move above 50.50 or a relapse below 49 would be a warning signal.

Although the Profit Radar Report’s analysis is centered on the S&P 500, there are times when it makes sense to think outside the box and go where opportunity takes you.

Continued updates are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

 

Buying Climaxes Soar to 1-Year High

Wall Street concluded 2014 with double-digit gains, the S&P 500 was up 11.34%, but stocks didn’t end on a high note.

The last week saw 393 buying climaxes, the highest amount since January 2014.

According to Investors Intelligence, buying climaxes take place when a stock makes a 12-month high, but closes the week with a loss. They are a sign of distribution and indicate that stocks are moving from strong hands to weak ones.

Hardest hit were utility, bank and insurance stocks along with the corresponding ETFs.

The Utility Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLU), Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLF) and iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEArca: IWM) were some of the prominent ETFs with weekly red candle highs.

The Profit Radar Report closed all equity positions on December 30, largely because the Russell 2000 (one of the leading indexes at the time) displayed sluggish internals.

The chart below plots the S&P 500 against buying climaxes. When looking at the chart it’s important to keep in mind that buying climaxes are reported on Monday of the following week.

Since most of the 2014 corrections were brief and followed by a V-shaped recovery, it appears as if buying climaxes marked lows instead of highs.

The second chart shows selling climaxes, which soared in early December.

The recent spike of buying and selling climaxes suggests that investors are torn and the period of calm may have come to an end.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) Delivers Promising Rally

The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLE) lost as much as 28.57% from June to December. Every attempt to go bottom fishing was greeted by further losses.

I was nearly tempted to fish for an oil low in late November, when I wrote that: “Oil failed to make a new low this week, but a marginal new low would likely come with a bullish RSI divergence and the potential for a bottom.”

Two days later (November 28) oil lost 10% in one day and I shared this updated outlook with Profit Radar Report subscribers: “Friday’s 10.4% loss was more than just a ‘marginal new low.’ RSI also confirmed the new price lows. Obviously this decline is stretched, and a rally can develop at any given time, but at this point it’s better to wait for a move back above resistance. The next real support/resistance level doesn’t emerge until around 50, but it appears ambitious to expect oil to drop that far.

Turns out the $50 target wasn’t all that ambitious after all (actual low for crude oil futures was 53.60). It appears like oil will test the 50 level next year. For now, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLE) chart looks more promising than oil.

The December 10 Profit Radar Report stated that: “XLE is near parallel trend channel support and may bounce, but with lacking evidence of a more permanent low in oil prices, going long XLE is risky. A drop below trend channel support followed by a close above would offer a low-risk buy signal.”

The weekly XLE chart below includes the trend channel (purple lines) along with helpful prior support/resistance levels (dashed gray lines).

XLE dipped below the trend channel last week and closed back above it on Wednesday. This is the first encouraging sign for XLE.

Yesterday’s Profit Radar Report spells out what’s needed next for this fledgling bounce to gain momentum.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Crude Oil and Energy SPDR ETF Gushing to Major Support

Crude oil prices have been gushing lower since their June high, down 20%. The same is true for the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF. Those two charts show that the odds for a tradeable bottom are now above average.

Crude oil has plummeted from $107 to $84.

Are falling oil prices good for the economy or are they a reflection of a weak economy?

It’s a chicken or egg kind of question.

The media is certainly at a loss, as those actual headlines from 2011 and 2012 illustrate:

  • AP: “Higher oil prices threaten global economy” – March 10, 2011
  • Reuters: “Oil prices rise on economic optimism” – January 10, 2012
  • AP: “Higher oil prices offset worries about global economic recovery” – May 25, 2011

A simple look at a comparison chart (S&P 500 vs XLE) shows that oil and stock prices can, and often will move independently from each other.

Regardless on how oil prices affect the overall stock market, oil prices are at important support.

Crude Oil Support

The crude oil chart shows trade being repelled by red trend line resistance in August 2013 and June 2014.

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After a 21% drop from high to low, oil is sitting right above important support around 84.

Energy Select Sector SPDR Support

The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLE) matched crude oils gush lower, down 20% from its high.

The 81 level offered important support in December 2007, March/April 2011 and February 2014 (blue dots).

Considering the steepness of the recent selloff and proximity to important support, there’s a good chance oil and XLE will find a tradable bottom somewhere around current trade.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Simon Says: Financial Sector Needs Buffett’s Berkshire More Than Ever

Bank CEOs live in multi-million dollar mansions near Wall Street, Warren Buffett lives in a 56-year old house in Nebraska. Bank CEOs not only need Warren Buffet to polish their image, but being lumped in with Buffett has other benefits.

Huge amounts of Federal Reserve money can ‘buy’ profitability, but not popularity. Just ask Wall Street.

Bailed out conglomerates like Chase, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Bank of America or Wells Fargo are making money hand over fist, but they are not winning any popularity contests.

Fat cat bank CEO’s live in multi-million dollar mansions near Wall Street. In contrast, Warren Buffett still lives in his Nebraska home, purchased for $31,500 in 1958.

The average person can relate to Buffett more easily than James Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein.

Ironically, as the biggest component of the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLF), Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) is lumped in with Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and the usual suspects.

Berkshire accounts for 8.79% of the XLF ETF and carries more weight than any other financial sector constituent. And XLF may need Buffett’s help.

The Financial Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLF) is at an important juncture right now.

We looked at the similarities between the June and August breakouts (green bubbles) on August 22 (XLF Financial ETF Breaks above Resistance to New 6-year High).

The blue boxes highlight the parallels between the two patterns:

  • Triple top (red dots)
  • Selloff (red arrows)
  • Eventual break to new highs (green arrows) on elevated volume (green boxes)

My August 22 conclusions was that: “XLF would enjoy limited upside, a consolidation period and another pullback. Resistance right around 23.05 is likely to act as support in the days/weeks to come.”

Support at 23.05 held on September 25, 26 and 29, but broke today. Support will now turn into resistance, and the path is down as long as trade stays below resistance.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.