Fundamentally, we don’t have much new to say on the disaster that Energy-sector equities have become. Mostly, we want to illustrate the danger of assuming that the stocks of commodity producers will necessarily follow the path of their underlying commodities.
The “robustness” of the “Cheapest Sector Strategy” concept is illustrated by strong results across all rebalancing frequencies.
We revisit commentary we published in 2015 regarding the late-2014 oil price crash and review why, at that time, we believed oil prices could stay at depressed levels for a longer period than most expected. Additionally, we advise avoiding two Energy sector segments: companies with high balance-sheet risk, and Energy Royalty Trusts.
Remember the special amplifiers used by the fictional rock group Spinal Tap that could be dialed up to eleven? S&P’s decision last year to designate Real Estate as a full-fledged sector means that our GS rankings can now be dialed down to eleven, and unfortunately the Energy sector has been a frequent occupant of that undesirable spot.
Last month we wrote that a big March gain would trigger a Very Long Term (VLT) Momentum BUY signal on the S&P 500 (Chart). The month’s 6.8% S&P 500 gain wasn’t quite enough to do the trick, but we’re intrigued that VLT did issue BUY signals for three of the market’s cyclical sectors, including Energy, Materials, and Industrials.
|Best Performing Industry Groups|
|Industry Group||1 Wk
|Trading Companies & Distributors||1.7%||0.7%||30.1%|
|Casinos & Gaming||1.7%||3.8%||65.3%|
We examine Emerging Markets from both the top-down and bottom-up perspectives as we try to identify where to move and what to expect. We check in on two successful EM thematic group ideas as well.
For more than two years we’ve discussed the supply-side risks to commodity producers stemming from capacity built during the manic “Third Act” of last decade’s Three Act Play in commodities. Commodity-oriented equities have indeed underperformed since 2011, but to date, most pundits have laid blame squarely on the demand side.