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Matthew D. McCall's  Instablog

Matthew D. McCall
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Matt McCall is founder and president of Penn Financial Group, an investment advisory firm that specializes in ETFs and individual portfolio management. The company also publishes MarkETForce, a newsletter dedicated solely to ETFs and proprietary ETF portfolios. Matt is also a contributor for Fox... More
My company:
Penn Financial Group LLC
My blog:
McCall's Call
My book:
The Next Great Bull Market - How To Pick Winning Stocks and Sectors in the New Global Economy
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  • ETF Leaders During the Sell-Off

    Since hitting a high on April 23, the S&P 500 is down 12% as many of its peers around the globe have fared even worse. So which ETFs have been able to hold up the best?


    A look at the best of breed since 4/23 as broken down by asset type.


    Sector ETFs


    Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX) – No big surprise here considering gold’s rise during the sell-off.


    HOLDRS Internet Infrastructure ETF (NYSE:IIH) – Virtually no volume for this $3 ETF that has 89% of its assets in two stocks: Verisign and Akamai Technologies.


    SPDRs Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEARCA:XLP) – When the word recession begins to make its way back into investors vocabulary the consumer staple stocks become attractive again.


    Single-County ETFs


    iShares MSCI Chile ETF (NYSEARCA:ECH) – The best of the worst. All ETFs in this category were in the red, but ECH only lost 1.5% as it consolidates for nearly six months.


    iShares Thailand ETF (NYSEARCA:THD) – This one does surprise me, but clearly it outperformed its peers in Asia, only losing 2.5%.


    Global X InterBolsa Columbia 20 ETF (NYSEARCA:GXG) – Thinly traded ETF that has experienced some wild swings over the last month, but only down 4%.


    Fixed Income ETFs


    Vanguard Extended Duration ETF (NYSEARCA:EDV) – A big move of 13% as volume has picked up for the long-term bond ETF.


    iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT) – Gained 7%, but is off the recent highs near $100/share. I would look to sell into the strength.


    SPDR Long Term Treasury ETF (NYSEARCA:TLO) – A consistent theme in this category as the long-term government bonds have been the winners as equities fell.


    Disclosure: Long GDX
    Jun 02 1:07 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Gold - A Healthy Pullback or Bursting of a Bubble?
    The great debate over whether gold is in the early stages of a run that could take the precious metal above $2000 has been underway for months and will remain that way well into 2010. With gold sitting at $1135, there is no argument it has come a long way from the sub-$300 in 2001. However, will the momentum be enough to keep the rally going or did the December pullback market the beginning of a major bubble bursting?
    First I will take a look at the fundamental outlook. The gold bugs, which I am not, will argue that gold must be owned as a hedge against the fall of the developed world and the crumbling of the US Dollar. Sure there are geopolitical concerns and the long-term chart of the US Dollar Index looks ugly, but there are more reasons to own gold. There is the likely possibility of inflation in the coming years. How about the scenario the many large money managers now see precious metals as an asset class that must always be owned.
    Technically the chart of gold looked like a thing of perfection until the December fall. However, over the long-term the chart remains bullish and investors need to take into consideration the magnitude of the December sell-off. From the high of $119.54 on the SPDRs Gold ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) to the low of $105.31 the ETF only fell 11.9%. Considering the rally of 40% from the low in April to the high in December, an 11.9% pullback is not necessarily the bursting of a bubble. My technical view suggests GLD remains bullish as long as it can hold above the $105 area.
    Finally there is the psychological view on gold. As I mentioned there are the gold bugs that will always want to own gold whether it is at $200 or $2000 an ounce. There is also the new wave of gold buyers that are not necessarily gold bugs, but really just momentum investors and believers that gold should be an asset class. That being said, this same crowd could also give up on gold quickly and that would take GLD below $105 and back into the $80’s. For full disclosure I do own a fairly large position in GLD for my portfolio management clients and will hold for now as long as GLD remains above $105.
    In conclusion, I like gold as a play in 2010 and feel the most recently drop in price was merely a pullback and buying opportunity. Also, I like (and own) the base metals, PowerShares Base Metals ETF (NYSEARCA:DBB), even more and would own DBB over GLD if I had to choose one ETF in the metal sector. Not to leave out silver (NYSEARCA:SLV), my view is the reward-to-risk outlook for the metal slightly favors gold.

    Disclosure: Long GLD, DBB, SLV
    Tags: GLD, SLV, DBB, etfs, metals
    Jan 07 10:19 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Investing in Unfamiliar Commodities through ETFs
    As the price of gold has been stuck in a narrow trading range for months and oil is failing to break above the $75 level, investors can turn to unfamiliar commodities that are not considered the usual suspects when looking at investing in the sector.
    The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Sugar ETN (SSG) hit a new high today as the price of sugar futures hit the highest level in two decades. Investors can use the ETN as a vehicle to play the price of sugar within their portfolio. The ETF is up 64% year-to-date.
    The PowerShares Base Metals ETF (NYSEARCA:DBB) invests in a trio of industrial metals (copper, aluminum, zinc). Copper and aluminum especially have seen a huge increase in demand from China over last year, helping push the metals to the best levels of the year. DBB is an inflation hedge, play on a global economic rebound, and beneficiary of a weaker US Dollar.
    The iShares Silver ETF (NYSEARCA:SLV) invests 100% in silver futures, which have been following a similar pattern to gold, but is trading at a discount historically to its precious metals peer. I feel SLV is the better play versus gold at current prices.

    I currently own shares of DBB and SLV.
    Tags: SSG, DBB, SLV, ETF, commodities
    Aug 12 1:13 PM | Link | Comment!
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