The Alternative Energy Breakout?

by: Michael A. Gayed, CFA

Its been one helluva crazy 1st quarter. Investors were quite jittery, and understandably so given the events unfolding in the Middle East and Japan. And yet, despite what appeared to be overwhelmingly negative macro events (causing a bit of a correction from mid-February to mid-March), it ended up being a pretty strong three months.

Concerns over the rolling revolutions occurring in the Middle East and nuclear fallout from Japan's damaged reactors has continued to fuel oil prices higher. This might explain the recent surge in strength in anything alternative energy related. I ran a screen on over 800 ETFs/ETNs to find those funds furthest from their respective 20 day (1 trading month) moving averages. The top 10 furthest are below.

(Click to enlarge)

Overwhelmingly the majority are in clean energy ETFs. Given the substantial underperformance in alternative energy stocks over the past three years, its worth considering if this strength could continue given global catalysts. Solar has been a substantial beneficiary of negative sentiment towards anything nuclear, with wind turbines not far behind.

What matters here is that between the negative public attitude towards Uranium and continued fears over Oil shocks, alternatives may become the surprise winner this year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. Pension Partners, LLC, and/or its clients may hold positions in securities mentioned in this article at time of writing.