The Week Ahead: Should You Invest Overseas?

Thomas Aspray Professional Trader & Analyst,

Despite the strong push from most to stick with US stocks, some of the other world markets  are acting better and should be watched closely as  they may present the best opportunities for 2013 . MoneyShow's Tom Aspray overviews the markets to see what may lie ahead for the rest of November and where the best opportunities may be found.

Friday’s closing bell was a welcome relief to most investors and many traders. While traders like volatility, the number of cross currents buffeting the stock market still makes those on the short side nervous.

The major averages tried to rebound early Friday, but the major averages gave up their gains after President Obama and Speaker Boehner gave their speeches. The major averages violated some key support levels, as did many individual stocks.

Clearly the re-election of President Obama left Republican pollsters and much of Wall Street in shock. The potential tax consequences of the fiscal cliff caused many to rush for the exits, as it did not seem to matter whether the sector was strong or not.

Some of the biggest casualties were dividend-paying stocks, but I think many who sold those will regret their decision in the coming months. Of course, the best course is to put your income-producing stocks in your IRA..

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While all of the major averages suffered losses last week, many of the other world markets do look much better technically. The chart of the German Dax Index reveals that it just broke its uptrend (line b) on Friday. More importantly, it is still well above the support from late August (line a) in the 6,875 area. This is about 4% below last Friday’s close.

If you compare this chart to that of the S&P 500, you will note that it broke the uptrend from the June lows (line c) on October 23. The support from the August lows in the 1,400 area, line c, was broken this week.

It was the Dax that was weaker than the S&P this spring, helping to warn us of the correction into the June lows. Though many Dax investors do not have the same tax concerns as US investors, they are faced with an economy than looks much weaker than ours and a currency that is falling. It is possible that the sentiment in the Eurozone is reaching extremes.

The Eurozone crisis is likely to be on the front burner this week, as a showdown over Greece is looming. The region's economic data continues to deteriorate, with industrial output falling in many parts of the Eurozone.

It is therefore not surprising that the consensus still seems to be that the US is the best place to invest. Carlyle Group (CG) co-chief executive William Conway echoed this sentiment after last Wednesday’s sharp stock-market decline. Their earnings beat estimates, and of the $1.6 billion they invested in the third quarter, almost 75% was in the US.

NEXT: What to Watch

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In addition to the US election, the Chinese government is meeting to select its future leaders. The latest data on their economy is quite encouraging. Three main areas saw nice growth in October, including industrial output, retail sales, and investment. It looks as though efforts to turn their economy around are working, and the hard landing others were concerned about early in the year now seems unlikely.

Of course, our sluggish recovery has had little help from China, and resurgence in China (along with other emerging markets) could give the US economy a boost in 2013. Most of the targeted China ETFs have corrected from their highs, while the more broad-based emerging-market ETFs like the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) have held in a tight range.

US economic data over the past two weeks, especially in the housing sector, has been quite good. Last Friday, consumer sentiment rose to a five-year high, and inventories were also up in September. Household spending also rose. All are positive factors for retailers as we head into the holiday shopping season. This data also suggests that the majority of the consumers are not yet worried about the fiscal cliff.

On Monday, the bond markets and banks are closed in observance of Veterans Day, although the US stock market is open. On Wednesday, we get the latest reports on producer prices and retail sales, along with the release of the latest FOMC minutes.

There is more data on the manufacturing sector coming Thursday with the Empire State Manufacturing Survey and Philadelphia Fed Survey. Also on Thursday, we get the Consumer Price Index, and of course jobless claims. The week ends with the industrial production report on Friday.

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What to Watch
The 2012 asset performance chart shows that GLD has moved above the SPY this week (see circle) as both are now up just over 10% for the year. The daily technical studies now suggest that gold has bottomed.

This may be a significant development, as the chart shows that on July 25, SPY moved ahead of TLT as bonds were topping. Then, on August 15, GLD also moved above TLT, which was just a few days before GLD broke out to the upside.

The stock market has been considerably weaker than I thought it would be two weeks ago, and there are not even any hints yet that the worst of the decline is over. Before that is possible, we need to see a three- to five-day rally and then another drop which is not accompanied by heavy selling.

This is a classic bottom formation, and occurred last May. Back then, the Spyder Trust (SPY) made a low on May 18, then rallied until late May before making further new lows in early June. The charts from early June show that then the A/D line and McClellan oscillator formed bullish divergences at the June lows.

So how long will the market correction last? I would expect it to be over by the end of November, and it may be much better than expected holiday sales data that turned things around. As I cautioned last week, “Don't Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff”—selling in fear of something that may or may not happen is generally not a successful strategy.

However, selling because your pre-determined stop is hit is a totally different matter. Lowering your stops or ignoring them is generally a prescription for disaster.

As for as the major trend, the weekly analysis of the NYSE Composite and its Advance/Decline does not show signs of a major top. The major averages other than the Nasdaq-100 are holding above the 61.8% Fibonacci support from the June lows. If they are decisively broken, then a test of the June lows becomes a possibility.

Unless the outlook weakens substantially further, I would not be surprised to see new rally highs by the S&P 500 in the first quarter of 2013.

In spite of last week’s drop, the individual investor has become more bullish as of November 8. Now 38.5% are bullish, compared to a low of 28.6% in the middle of October. Very little change for the financial newsletter writers, but the survey was conducted before the presidential election was decided.

NEXT: Stocks and Tom's Outlook

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S&P 500
The daily chart of the Spyder Trust (SPY) shows that the 50% Fibonacci retracement support at $137.64 was hit last Friday as the low was $137.55 .The break of the uptrend (line a) in the middle of the week was a negative development.

There is band of support between Friday’s lows and the 61.8% retracement support at $135.16. The SPY is currently testing its daily Starc- band, with the weekly band this week at $136.04. The last time the weekly Starc- band was tested was last May.

The daily OBV did not form any divergences at the recent highs, just breaking support and the uptrend (line b) this week. The WMA is declining, which is consistent with a further decline.

The first resistance is now at $140 to $140.50, with stronger levels at $141.84 and the declining 20-day EMA. There is major resistance at $144 to $146 where the former uptrend and the daily downtrend intersect.

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Dow Industrials

The SPDR Diamond Trust (DIA) has been much weaker than the SPY, as the 50% Fibonacci support at $128.31 has been decisively violated with the close on the weekly uptrend (line d). The 61.8% support is at $126.38, with weekly chart support in the $124 to $125 area.

The higher-yielding Dow stocks have been hit especially hard, and my review last week of the Dow's Most Oversold Stocks indicated that the majority could still go lower.

The relative performance or RS analysis shows that Dow stocks have been weaker than the S&P 500 since the middle of July, when the RS line dropped below its WMA

The on-balance volume (OBV) has dropped sharply in the past three weeks, as the WMA and the uptrend (line f) have both been broken. The OBV is now approaching support from the June lows.

There is quite strong resistance in the $130 to $132 area, which is likely to stall any rally attempt.

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Nasdaq-100
The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) has continued to face heavy selling pressure, as it dropped below the 61.8% support at $64.05 this week. Tech giant Apple (AAPL) was not able to hold support in the $570 area from late July, as $530 has been reached.

The Nasdaq-100 A/D line has also reached more important support, from where it is trying to turn up. It needs to start a new uptrend before there are any signs that the tech sector has regained its footing.

There is first resistance now at $64.50 to $66, with the declining 20-day EMA at $65.63. The rebound over a week ago failed to overcome the 20-day EMA or the former uptrend (line b), which was a sign of weakness.

Russell 2000
The iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) dropped below the 50% retracement support at $79.85 last week, and the uptrend (line d) was also broken. The 61.8% support stands at $78.17, with more important chart support in the $76 area.

The Russell 2000 A/D line failed to move above its WMA on the latest bounce, and now shows a clear pattern of lower lows. The longer-term uptrend (line f) has also been broken. The A/D line has long-term resistance at the downtrend (line e), which was tested but not overcome in September.

There is resistance for IWM now in the $80 area, and the 20-day EMA is at $80.79. There is more important resistance in the $82 to $83 area.

NEXT: Sector Focus, Commodities, and Tom's Outlook

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Sector Focus
The iShares Dow Jones Transportation (IYT) tried to rally in early November, but turned lower from the resistance at $92.50. It continues to lag the Dow industrials. A close back above these highs is needed to turn it around

All sectors were hit pretty hard last week, with the Select Sector SPDR Financials (XLF) the weakest, down 2.8%. Next was the Select Sector SPDR Technology (XLK), which lost another 2.3%.

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Since the June lows, the Select Sector SPDR Energy (XLE) is holding up the best, as it is still up over 12%...but has cut its gain almost in half from the September highs.

The performance of XLK dropped below SPY and XLV in early October, which warned of its recent weakness. XLK is now up just 4% from the June lows.

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Even the more defensive Select Sector SPDR Health Care (XLV) was down over 2% last week. It was up over 16% in October, but is now up just over 10%. The weekly chart still looks positive,as XLV is still above its weekly uptrend (line b).

The weekly Starc- band is at $38.70 this week, with the highs from early 2012 at $38.

The relative performance is still making new highs, as health-care stocks are still outperforming the S&P 500. It shows no signs of topping out. The OBV will close the week below its WMA, but did not form any negative divergences art the recent highs.

Crude Oil
The weekly chart shows the steady decline over the past eight weeks, but the prices are still in a broad trading range. There is major support (line e) in the $79 to $80 area and the weekly Starc- band.

The weekly OBV turned up this week, which is an encouraging sign, as it has held above its long-term support (line f). A move in the OBV above the resistance at line e would be a positive sign. The weekly chart has strong resistance now in the $93 to $95 area (line d).

Precious Metals
I discussed both gold and silver ETFs, including the Spyder Gold Trust (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), in last Friday’s column.

My recommended buy levels were hit on the last decline. As I noted in the article, another pullback is possible over the next week that could provide another buying opportunity

The Week Ahead
Though I expected more selling two weeks ago, I was clearly not bearish enough on the short-term outlook. It is still my view that we could get a good buying opportunity in the latter part of the month, but keep your powder dry until we see some signs that the market is stabilizing.

The drop in the precious metals does appear to have been a buying opportunity, as the daily technical studies suggest the worst of the selling is over. This is the only asset class that I really like in the current environment.

There are some sectors that are holding up quite well, like the semiconductor sector, which typically bottoms at the end of October. However, the risk even in these sectors will be more manageable once the selling pressure subsides.

The sharp decline in the utility sector has taken us out of many of our higher-yielding stocks. I still think this will be a good place to be in early 2013, but it is best to wait on the sidelines until the dust settles.