Uncertainty Has Returned

by on April 14, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

Stocks endured a volatile trading week, the first one in a while, as investors digested a number of worse-than-expected economic data releases along with the general feelings of uncertainty that are associated with corporate earnings season. Resurfacing Euro zone debt woes also played a key role in bringing back the bears, as markets endured a rough sell-off to close the week [see also Free Report: Everything You Need To Know About Commodity ETFs].

Actionable ETF Trade Ideas

Last Week’s Actionable ETF Ideas
Ticker Position Performance







Our picks from Monday’s Insider posted a disappointing performance as volatility from the first half of the week threw off our technical recommendations. Below, we highlight how our trade ideas fared during the week [sign up for a free trial of ETFdb Pro to get actionable ETF ideas every Monday, as well as access to more than 40 all-ETF model portfolios].

Trade #1 Long EWG: Down 1.1%

This ETF got off to a fairly encouraging start as it kept afloat near the $22 level during Monday’s sell-off. Resurfacing fears stemming from rising yields on Spanish and Italian government bonds on Tuesday dragged EWG lower, missing our recommended stop-loss at $21.50 a share by just two pennies. This ETF rebounded higher in the days following, however, profit-taking pressures on Friday brought it back below Monday’s opening price.

Trade #2 Long SCZ: Down 1.5%

This recommendation got off to a solid start as SCZ was able to close in green territory on Monday. Unfortunately, profit taking pressures prevailed on Tuesday and SCZ tanked alongside broad equity benchmarks. We stuck to our rules and closed out the trade after SCZ declined below our outlined stop-loss at $38 a share, leaving us with a 1.5% loss on the week.

Trade #3 Long PCY: Unchanged 

This was our fundamentally defensive position and unfortunately it failed to provide much protection from the rampant volatility seen during the first half of the week on Wall Street. This ETF traded sideways Monday through Wednesday, failing to take on the safe haven reputation during the market turbulence that we had hoped for. PCY climbed higher alongside broad stock indexes on Thursday, hitting a high of $28.23 a share, only to give up these gains the following day; this ETF closed right where it opened for the week, leaving us with a flat trade.

ETFdb Portfolios

Retirement ETFdb Portfolios

Our Low Volatility portfolio was able to pull ahead for a second week in a row as uncertainty in the global financial market took its toll on stocks and bonds alike. Not surprisingly, our fixed income-heavy Ready To Retire portfolio also held its ground quite well as the bond market provided temporary shelter to investors from all of the selling pressures on Wall Street  [see All Portfolio Returns].

ETFdb Portfolio Weekly Return
Low Volatility 0.34%
Ready To Retire 0.13%
Cheapskate 0.03%
Moderate -0.03%
10 Years Til Retirement -0.16%
5 Years Til Retirement -0.19%
Aggressive -0.19%
20 Years Til Retirement -0.21%
30 Years Til Retirement -0.38%

Regional ETFdb Portfolios

Our international portfolios fared quite well considering that investors were broadly scaling back on risk exposure throughout the week. Earnings season made way for volatility across U.S. markets, and our Ex-U.S. portfolio was able to take the lead accordingly. Our developed market-heavy Global Titans portfolios was the second best performer for the week, followed closely by our BRIC-Or-Bust and Euro-Free Europe portfolios.

ETFdb Portfolio Weekly Return
Ex-U.S. 0.78%
Global Titans 0.47%
BRIC-or-Bust 0.45%
Euro Free Europe 0.45%
Asia-Centric 0.44%
Emerging & Frontier Markets 0.33%
Ex-Europe 0.08%
Easy-As-ABC -0.04%
Africa-Centric -0.37%
LatAm-Centric -0.37%

Themed ETFdb Portfolios

Our themed portfolios ended the week mixed as certain strategies were able to outperform asset classes plagued with volatility. Gold prices staged an impressive recovery following the dismal performance from the previous week. Likewise, our GLD-Free Gold Bug Portfolio took the lead, gaining over three full points on the week. Profit taking pressures swept across virtually every corner of the market and our sector-specific Energy Bull and Baby Boomers portfolios were the two worst performers on the week.

ETFdb Portfolio Weekly Return
GLD-Free Gold Bug  3.32%
Black Swan Hyperinflation 0.90%
The Sky Is Falling 0.56%
Futures Free Commodity 0.52%
Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market 0.38%
Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven 0.28%
Commodity Guru 0.20%
Cheapskate Hedge Fund 0.18%
High Tax Bracket 0.10%
High Yield 0.07%
Financials Free 0.06%
Socially Responsible 0.06%
Ben Graham 50/50 -0.02%
Equal Weight -0.13%
2012 ETFdb Portfolio -0.20%
Small Cap -0.20%
Kitchen Sink -0.28%
Actively-Managed -0.29%
RAFI -0.31%
Pure Growth -0.45%
AlphaDEX -0.46%
High Tech -0.50%
Greedy When Others Are Fearful -0.51%
King Dollar -0.52%
Alpha Seeker 2.0 -0.54%
Energy Bull -0.55%
Baby Boomers -1.31%

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.