Japan Crisis Dominates Under 20-Day MA for ETFs

by: Michael A. Gayed, CFA

Last week I put out a piece on Seeking Alpha showing the results of a screen I ran on a list of over 800 ETFs/ETNs to find those which were further away from their respective 20-day moving averages. Alternative energy funds dominated the list in what appeared to be a breakout for the industry on global concerns over nuclear energy and ongoing protests in the Middle East.

I thought it might be worth while to run the same screen for those ETFs/ETNs furthest below their respective 20 day moving averages to perhaps identify those areas of the investable universe which may be contrarian trades given extreme weakness. While not surprising, it's still worth noting the extent to which anything uranium and Japan related fell.

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The Uranium ETF (NYSEARCA:URA) remains by far the furthest below its short-term moving average. Japan ETFs haven't actually performed as poorly, as investors speculated on the country's ability to come back from the Nikkei collapse which occurred in the days following the tsunami.

The Vietnam ETF (NYSEARCA:VNM) actually is further below its 20 day MA than Japan, as that country continues to struggle with very high inflation and overall economic mismanagement. At the bottom of the list is Peru (NYSEARCA:EPU), which has underperformed the broader U.S. market since December after a strong period of strength for most of 2010.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: Pension Partners, LLC, and/or its clients may hold positions in securities mentioned in this article at time of writing.