If, at the end of April, you would have told me stocks would now be knocking on the door of new 52-week highs, I might have looked at you with more than a slightly skeptical eye.
Yet thatâ??s whatâ??s happened over the past several weeks, as stocks have pushed higher in the face of a potential summer rate hike by the Fed.
As you can see from the chart below of the S&P 500, represented by theÂ SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), domestic stocks are prepping for new-high liftoff.
So, why the sudden buying in stocks? There are several reasons.
First, we are starting to see improvement in the economic data, particularly on the housing front, where new home sales just had their best print in eight years. Then we also have good aggregate retail sales data, and despite the slump in brick-and-mortar retailers, sales at online stores have been robust.
Though gross domestic product (GDP) has been far from robust, there has been strength in the job market thatâ??s been reflective of a slowly, but steadily, growing economy.
Second, there is a high degree of money on the short side of the trading ledger. When the market rallies, this can cause a further â??short-coveringâ?ť move higher in stocks. Shorts donâ??t short without stop losses in place. When things go higher and youâ??re short, stops get triggered.
Third, Wall Street has become much more friendly to the prospect of a summer rate hike. The Fed signaled it could hike rates in June or July in its April Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes, and the market seems to be taking it in stride.
Finally, the global economic slowdown is showing signs of improvement. China is no longer crashing, and stocks around the world are now stabilizing after the early 2016 swoon.
As I write this, however, I do have to ask myself if this is another head fake by the markets.
After all, there is a lot of uncertainty out there, including the unknowns of the presidential election, and the fate of oil, the dollar and what the Fed actually decides to do.
Having said that, my dad, Dick Fabian, taught me that the best indicator — and the only one that really matters — is price.
So, if stocks are going to actually achieve liftoff, the charts will tell us just how far and how strong the bullish engines are. Keep your eyes on the 50- and 200-day moving averages, as they will tell us a whole lot with respect to whatâ??s likely to happen next.
If youâ??d like to get positioned to profit from the next big move in the markets, I invite you to give my Successful ETF InvestingÂ newsletter a try.
ETF Talk: A Small Silver Fund with a Big Return
A relatively small exchange-traded fund (ETF) with a silver-mining niche that is worth bringing to your attention is the iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP), a fund with just $44 million in total assets.
Its size pales in comparison to the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), also known as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, which I featured in my previous ETF Talk to highlight its status as a $7 billion gold mining fund that invests in large-cap companies to reduce risk and provide stable returns for its investors compared to other precious metals ETFs. SLVP, on the other hand, invests in silver mining companies throughout the world and holds a portfolio of 36 different positions.
However, SLVPâ??s top two companies, Silver Wheaton Corporation (SLW) and Fresnillo PLC. (FNLPF.L), together comprise more than a quarter of the fundâ??s assets, with 18.14% and 8.76%, respectively. Going down the list of holdings, the portfolio also includes Tahoe Resources Inc. (TAHO), 7.97%; First Majestic Silver Corporation (AG), 5.88%; Buenaventura Mining Company Inc. (BVN), 4.99%; Hecla Mining Company (HL), 4.71%; and others.
Year to date, SLVP has performed outstandingly, posting a gain of 95.25%. Put side-by-side with the S&P 500â??s year-to-date gain of 2.26%, SLVPâ??s performance can only be described as impressive.
As you can see from the chart below, SLVP started the year off slowly, but soared during the most recent three months. In fact, its return for the last 100 days is 88.89%. Even in just the last month it has risen 40.1%. The fund pays a 0.35% dividend yield and its expense ratio is 0.39%.
The idea behind SLVP is to invest in companies whose performances are closely linked to the underlying price of silver. What this means is that when silver prices increase, investors should see rising returns from SLVP. Since SLVP invests in different silver mining companies around the world, the fund is exposed to currency risks and local risks for each of its companies.
Essentially, investing in SLVP could be ideal for those who are bullish on silver and are seeking a magnified gain from it. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to research the iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP) further.
If you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate stop losses, please consider subscribing to my Successful ETF Investing newsletter.
As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.
â??Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.â?ť
— Mark Twain
This Memorial Day weekend, I urge you to remember the fallen veterans who gave it all in defense of your freedom. We honor them most by showing true patriotism of the kind the great Mark Twain points out here. You see, real patriotism isnâ??t just blind nationalism. Rather, itâ??s rational support for whatâ??s right, and recognizing what needs changing.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote youâ??d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my column from last week about how hawkish Fed minutes created confusion among investors.Â I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below myÂ Eagle Daily InvestorÂ commentary.