The best rally for U.S. stock assets in 2 years had almost everything working in its favor. Almost!
It began with end-of-the-quarter “window dressing” by institutional investors. It picked up speed with Greece receiving its controversial bailout. Then, the rally gathered momentum on a surprisingly robust reading on U.S. manufacturing growth. Stocks climbed some more as J.P. Morgan declared a “summer for cyclical stocks.” And an ADP report claiming a host of private sector hiring fueled speculation that the economy may be in better shape than many had feared.
Unfortunately, the official jobs data showed the bleak reality that America isn’t getting back to work. Less than 20,000 jobs were created where 125,000 are required to keep the unemployment rate steady. Headline unemployment rose from 9.1% to 9.2%, though some numbers that account for “dropouts” and underemployment come closer to 20%. Even the average workweek slipped, suggesting employers may have even less reason to add to the workforce.
Just when it had appeared that economically sensitive segments had relative strength and buyer interest, “risk-off” is being revisited. In fact, since a continuation of the summertime rally is unlikely – with jobs uncertainty, Fed Chairman Bernanke’s uncertainty over root causes of the “soft patch,” and CEOs unlikely to give thumbs up to the economic environment – you may need to look abroad.
More specifically, bargain hunters have been scouring ETFs from Japan to India to China. Shouldn’t you?
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.