Dow Jones Indexes announced on Wednesday that its Dow Jones Golden Crossover U.S. Large-Cap Total Stock Market Index was going to slice its equity allocation from 100% to 25% over the next five days. The remaining 75% of the portfolio would be held in short-term U.S. Treasury Bills, which is pretty close to cash.
Using a quantitative and rules-based algorithm, the index has signaled a downward-trending market condition called a “Dead Cross.” The Dead Cross occurs when the market’s 50-day moving average crosses below its 200-day moving average. In short, a very bad sign for investors.
Known as the “Moving Average Crossover System”, the index’s quantitative strategy dynamically changes component weights between an underlying equity index and a cash index according to the occurrence of “Golden Cross” and “Dead Cross” signals. A Golden Cross occurs when the 50-day moving average crosses above the 200-day moving average. During this period, the index tracks the underlying equity index, in this case the Dow Jones U.S. Large-Cap Total Stock Market Index. During Dead Cross periods, the index is allocated between the underlying equity index and a cash equivalent.
While no ETF tracks the Golden Crossover index, two ETFs track the Dow Jones U.S. Large-Cap Total Stock Market Index: the Schwab U.S. Large Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:SCHX) and the SPDR Dow Jones Large Cap ETF (ELR).
Dow Jones Indexes says from December 31, 1999 through June 30, 2011, the Golden Crossover index outperformed the Dow Jones U.S. Large-Cap Total Stocks Market Index by 4.44 percentage points and reduced volatility by 5.97 percentage points, measured on an annualized basis.
The Dead Cross occurred in mid August. John Nyaradi says in addition to this, the market entered another rare bear territory indicator on the “point and figure” methodology used by Charles Dow himself. He says a dead cat bounce is a possibility, which is what we appear to be in right now, but that the major trend is negative. He recommends inverse ETFs.