For market-watchers, the last week of October was a bit like waiting for a tornado in Kansas. You know that a twister is about to touch down on a plain… but you don’t know where or when.
The quietude is entirely due to 3 items: (a) mid-term elections on Tuesday, 11/2, (b) Federal Reserve quantitative easing (QE) policy announcement on 11/3, (c) lame duck Congress tax policy prior to 2011. The markets expect Republicans to win the House of Representatives and hope the Fed will deliver “enough” QE to help the economy. Anything less may be an excuse for profit-takers.
The wild card is tax policy. I believe that the White House has only priced in the Administration’s party line stance. Yet the greater likelihood is a willingness to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts in full or at least an Obama olive branch to compromise more on taxation. I could be wrong. Yet a better tax scenario is likely to boost risk assets dramatically into the close of the season.
So where should that sidelined cash go? You have to look at the momentum that technology stocks are garnering in the final quarter of 2010. Whereas the popular Dow and S&P 500 benchmarks have been unwilling to set new 52-week highs, most Tech ETFs have already surpassed their April peaks.
|Tech/Telecom/Wireless ETFs That Hit New 52-Week Highs On 10/29/10|
|Approx 1 Month %|
|Internet HOLDRs (HHH)||10.3%|
|First Trust DJ Internet (FDN)||8.6%|
|iShares DJ U.S. Tech Index (IYW)||6.6%|
|SPDR S&P International Telecom (IST)||6.6%|
|PowerShares Nasdaq 100 (QQQQ)||6.2%|
|SPDR Select Technology (XLK)||5.8%|
|PowerShares Telecom & Wireless (PTE)||5.0%|
I’d wait for a “sell-the-news” opportunity or a “bear scare,” but then I’d be a buyer on tax policy concessions. You could certainly paint a broad stroke with the iShares DJ Technology Index Fund (IYW). Or you could run with the market-cap weighted PowerShares Nasdaq 100 (QQQQ) if you like the idea of an investment that is 22% Apple stock.
If you really want to get down to the bolts and nuts of what’s making tech click, you can get smart-phone providers like Google and cloud computing standouts like Salesforce.com in First Trust DJ Internet (FDN). Back in August, this was one of my top 3 U.S. ETF picks for a Q4 rally… and what a rally it has already been! Other ETF investments that relate to wireless technologies include PowerShares Dynamic Telecom and Wireless (PTE) and Wireless HOLDRs (WMH).
Disclosure: Gary Gordon, MS, CFP is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial, Inc, and/or its clients may hold positions in the ETFs, mutual funds, and/or any investment asset mentioned above. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial, Inc. or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert web site. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships.