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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XHB and Facebook – 2 Buy Signals

Facebook

The following analysis was published in the October 28 Profit Radar Report:

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Facebook has been ‘wedging’ lower. It is now at triple support, shows a tiny bullish divergence, and cycles are turning strongly bullish. Upon completion, wedges like this are often completely retraced, which means the up side target is around 188. Aggressive investors may choose to buy Facebook.”

Facebook rallied as much as 12.49% since Monday’s low. Cycles continue higher, and (FB) should rally towards and perhaps beyond 188.

SPDR S&P 500 Homebuilders ETF (XHB)

The following analysis was published in the October 21 Profit Radar Report:

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) is one of the most hated ETFs right now. In September XHB languished in over-sold territory for 10 consecutive days without bounce. Daily RSI-35 (not shown) is the most over-sold since August 8, 2011. Trade is currently below two (red) long-term trend lines. Trend channel support is around 33.13.There are no bullish divergences. In summary, XHB is down 28.75% since January, and is over-sold enough to spark a powerful spike at any time. However, there are no bullish divergences indicative of a lasting low. Perhaps this will change by the time XHB reaches the black trend channel.”

October 28 Profit Radar Report:

XHB closed below the black trend channel on Friday, but with a bullish divergence. A move back inside the channel (above 32.90 on Monday) and above trend line resistance (33.25 and 33.70 on Monday) could unleash a strong bounce. Aggressive traders may buy accordingly.”

Since Monday’s low, XHB rallied as much as 7.95%. Based on sentiment and technicals, further gains are likely.

The Profit Radar Report monitors key indicators to spot low-risk or high probability opportunies. Click here to subscribe or learn about our approach.

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.

Quirky but Accurate Indicator: Housing Sector Troubles Likely to Continue

Sometimes the oddest correlations make the best forward-looking indicators. This is certainly the case with lumber and the housing market. Here’s what this odd but accurate indicator ‘sees’ ahead for U.S. real estate.

Several times in the past we’ve looked at the correlation between lumber and housing – related ETF: iShares US Real Estate ETF (NYSEArca: IYR).

It’s an off the wall kind of an indicator, but it’s proven more accurate than any other housing indicator.

To get the correlation right, we need to set lumber futures forward by about 14 months.

The chart below does just that, as it plots lumber against the PHLX Housing Sector Index.

Lumber 514

As the gray oval on the right shows, lumber saw a big pop and drop in 2012/2013.

The two gray ovals to the left illustrate that the magnitude of such sizeable pops and drops tends to appear muted in the housing sector, nevertheless it suggested an eventual slowing of the housing market.

Lumber is currently at an interesting juncture, as lumber prices were unable to break above resistance and just fell to test support.

As of right now, lumber suggests that the housing market is not ‘out of the woods’. The housing blues may start all over if support for lumber fails.

This would not only affect multi-billion dollar ETFs like the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ), or SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (NYSEArca: RWR), but also millions of Americans.

A proprietary analysis of supply and demand for the SDPR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) also shows that demand for homebuilding stocks is deteriorating.

 

Is the Housing and Real Estate Recovery Here to Stay?

The S&P Case/Shiller Composite 20 Home Price Index just saw its sixth consecutive monthly increase (see chart below).

The index is a composite index of the home price index for 20 major metropolitan areas in the US. Many analysts look at the 6-month recovery (short red “tail”) and are ready to pronounce a permanent bottom for the housing and real estate market.

Obviously, this would be bullish for the iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ETF (IYR), SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), and the overall real estate sector. But does this recovery have legs?

An Odd but Effective Indicator

It’s said that the end justifies the means and that may be the case with the quirky forecasting tool I’m about to introduce. This indicator has to do with lumber prices.

Lumber is a key component for every house and seems to play a role as a leading indicator. It seems that lumber prices tend to rise about a year before the housing sector.

The chart below plots lumber futures against the PHLX Housing Sector (HGX – not an ETF). HGX includes companies like Pulte Group, Standard Pacific, KB Home, DR Horton, Fidelity National Financial, Weyerhaeuser, etc.). I have set the lumber price forward 1 year to capture lumber’s leading indicator role.

The red arrows show the correlation between major highs and lows. Based on the tilt of the red arrows it might be even more appropriate to increase the lead from 12 to 15 months. Regardless, up until mid-2009 the correlation worked like a charm.

Enjoy it While you Can

Since mid-2009 the gyrations of lumber prices have been more pronounced and less correlated compared to the housing sector. I’m not sure why (massive monetary manipulation by the Fed likely plays a role). Assuming that the directional analogy will continue (or resume), lumber prices suggest that the housing recovery will last into mid-2013.

As of late, lumber prices have fallen through trend line support (black line), which is a bearish development. It will take time to determine just how bearish, but lumber futures suggest more weakness in mid-2013.

A resumption of the housing slump about a year from now would certainly harmonize well with our overall forecast for the stock market.

Simon Maierhofer shares his market analysis and points out high probability, low risk buy/sell recommendations via the Profit Radar Report. Click here for a free trial to Simon’s Profit Radar Report.