STRATEGIES

The market has reached a level where next week could go either way. But something could happen next week to turn the momentum negative, and MoneyShow's Tom Aspray suggests being very careful with your potential risk if you plan on new buying in the short term.

Stocks had another choppy week, as stocks tried to continue higher early on, but then turned lower Tuesday afternoon.

After Wednesday's dismal performance, Thursday's strong close stabilized the market, even despite Friday's lower close. I was expecting the prior week's lows to be broken, but they were not.

The yields on both short- and longer-term bonds declined a bit, which gave bondholders a bit of relief after what has been a tough six weeks.

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Many bondholders are in shock, especially those in the high-yield or junk market. The chart of the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield (JNK) shows that it hit a high of $41.95 on May 8, followed by a low on June 6 of $39.84. This was a drop of just over 7%, making its yield of 6.64% look much less attractive.

This is worse than the decline in the S&P 500 from the recent high at 1,687 to the intraday low of 1,598, which was just over a 5% decline. Many stock investors were apparently buying on the last decline, but are still wondering whether they should have waited to buy lower.

So what will the rest of the year bring for bond- and stockholders? More pain or more gain?

The completion of the weekly reverse H&S bottom formation for 30-year T-Bond yields, as discussed in my Eyes on Income column, does favor higher yields as the year progresses. Many investors are also hoping to get some clarification of Fed policy this week after the FOMC meeting, but I think the Fed will want to keep the market guessing.

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Even TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) have been hit hard. Lower inflation numbers and fears that the Fed would stop their bond buying has caused significant outflows, as the chart indicates. The returns have also dropped into negative territory after giving double-digit returns in 2011.

The bond market is oversold, so a rebound is likely over the next few weeks. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in 4 Ways to Summer-Proof Your Portfolio, I would use any rebound to lighten up on the bond portion of your portfolio, and also shorten the maturity of your holdings. I think there will be more pain for bondholders later in the year.

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Tickers Mentioned: SPY, DIA, QQQ, IWM, XLK