Valuations Can't Offset Current Concerns

By: Chris Ciovacco | Mon, Jun 20, 2011
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With QE2 winding down, China raising interest rates, and debt problems in Europe, investors have not responded to strong earnings growth. According to Bloomberg:

Standard & Poor's 500 Index companies will earn 18 percent more this year than in 2010, according to the average estimate of more than 9,000 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Higher profits haven't stopped the gauge from falling 6.8 percent since April 29, pushing valuations to the cheapest levels in 26 years. Even if companies posted no growth, price-earnings ratios would be lower than on 96 percent of days in the past two decades.

On June 16 and June 17, we outlined several levels to watch in terms of monitoring the short-term outlook for stocks, commodities, and currencies. The table below shows numerous markets and key levels as of Friday's close. The intermediate-term outlook remains concerning, but the short-term outlook requires some patience as long as the values in the table hold.

Using the first row as an example of how to read the table, 1,276 was an important level for the S&P 500. We closed Friday at 1,272 or below 1,276, which leans bearish for risk/inflation protection assets. The next level to watch on the S&P 500 is the 200-day moving average, which sits at 1,263.

Key Levels as of June 17, 2011

If the levels above are violated in a bearish manner, especially at the end of the week, we would most likely raise some additional cash. We sold our remaining small stake in energy last week (XLE). We also sold our small position in real estate (IYR). Depending on how things play out this week, the next logical area for possible defensive action would be to sell a portion of a broad-based index, such as VTI or SCHB.

If the levels in the table above hold at the end of this week, we are open to more positive outcomes for stocks, commodities, and commodity-related currencies (FXA, FXC). Our large cash position gives us plenty of options in the event the markets surprise on the upside in the coming weeks.

 


 

Chris Ciovacco

Author: Chris Ciovacco

Chris Ciovacco
Ciovacco Capital Management

Chris Ciovacco

Chris Ciovacco is the Chief Investment Officer for Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC. More on the web at www.ciovaccocapital.com.

All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Investment recommendations may change and readers are urged to check with their investment counselors and tax advisors before making any investment decisions. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. This memorandum is based on information available to the public. No representation is made that it is accurate or complete. This memorandum is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned. The investments discussed or recommended in this report may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial position. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The price or value of the investments to which this report relates, either directly or indirectly, may fall or rise against the interest of investors. All prices and yields contained in this report are subject to change without notice. This information is based on hypothetical assumptions and is intended for illustrative purposes only. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE.

Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC is an independent money management firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. CCM helps individual investors and businesses, large & small; achieve improved investment results via research and globally diversified investment portfolios. Since we are a fee-based firm, our only objective is to help you protect and grow your assets. Our long-term, theme-oriented, buy-and-hold approach allows for portfolio rebalancing from time to time to adjust to new opportunities or changing market conditions.

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