Over the past week, we have been noticing an interesting and notable divergence between the performance of U.S. broad-based ETFs and select emerging markets ETFs. The PowerShares QQQ Trust ($QQQ), which tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index, has convincingly broken down below key intermediate-term support of its 50-day moving average and is technically in bad shape. However, the iShares Emerging Market Index ($EEM) has been consolidating in a tight, sideways range during the same period, and also formed a "higher low" within its base of consolidation. With a little help from a bounce in the broad market, EEM will likely break out above the highs of its range and start making another leg higher. The daily chart of EEM below illustrates this:
Looking at the longer-term weekly chart of EEM, notice that the consolidation on the daily chart follows a recent breakout above resistance of an 18-month downtrend line, which should now act as the new support level:
Of the various countries that comprise this emerging markets ETF, one of the best looking country-specific ETFs is iShares Hong Kong ($EWH). As shown on the daily chart below, notice that EWH has been neatly holding near-term support of its 20-day exponential moving average, and is now poised for a breakout to a fresh 52-week high:
When an ETF has so much relative strength that it simply trades in a tight, sideways range while the rest of the broad market is trending lower, it clearly indicates a lack of selling interest. As such, it doesn't take a lot of buying interest in the broad market to subsequently move the ETF higher. Therefore, both EEM and EWH are potential buy candidates if they rally above their respective horizontal price resistance levels. This could easily happen as soon as we see the first decent bounce in the U.S. markets.
As mentioned yesterday, we presently have the choice of being short, buying inversely correlated "short ETFs," or trading ETFs with a low correlation to the direction of the broad market. Since these are international ETFs, there is a low correlation to the direction of our domestic markets. Accordingly, both EEM and EWH could be considered for potential buy entry IF they trade above their trigger prices, despite the recent "sell" signal on our market timing model. EWH is probably the better choice of the two because it is poised to breakout to a new 52-week high. Nevertheless, we are not yet listing either ETF as an "official" trade setup because we first prefer to see at least a bit of broad market stabilization, which would reduce the odds of a false breakout if these ETFs attempt to move to new "swing highs."
For those who are new to trading or new to running a disciplined system, there will be a few times a year when there simply isn't much to do. When this happens, there is no need to force the issue. If you are keeping track of your trade stats (and we know you are), you should be able to review these periods when you should have done very little and analyze each trade taken. Did you really have a good reason to put the trade on or were you simply trading because you were bored? Are you taking setups outside of your methodology just to satisfy the urge to do something? What was the overall outcome? For us, we plan to remain disciplined and patiently wait for the pitch, following the proven methodology of our swing trading system.
The commentary above is an excerpt from the October 23 issue of The Wagner Daily swing trading newsletter. To receive immediate notification of any new "official" swing trade entries in our model portfolio, including exact, entry, and stop prices, sign up for your 30-day risk-free membership to our stock and ETF trading service by clicking here. To learn how to trade stocks and ETFs with a "no nonsense" short-term trading system that works, check out our comprehensive online trading course at http://www.morpheustrading.com/services/stock-trading-video-course.