13 December 2011

Why I’d Steer Clear of Emerging Markets

Why I’d Steer Clear of Emerging Markets… For Now

While stocks continue to float on ether and pipedreams, the commodities, credit, and bond markets are all forecasting another round of deflation. Whether it arrives now or in the near future remains to be seen. But he fact remains that at some point we’re going to have another 2008 event. The most likely cause will be Europe, but with the Middle East heating up, and Bernanke’s loose money policies becoming more and more politically toxic in the US, who knows?

On that note, I expect emerging markets to underperform US indexes going forward. One chart I use to view how these two assets perform relative to one another is to price the Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) via the S&P 500. When this chart rallies, Emerging Markets outperform the S&P 500. When this chart falls, the S&P 500 outperforms Emerging Markets.

As you can see, since August, the S&P 500 has outperformed Emerging Markets with the exception of a few brief periods. I expect this trend to continue with US markets holding up better than their Emerging Market counterparts as we’ve recently broken major support.

Indeed, the long-term chart of EEM relative to the S&P 500 shows that the love affair with Emerging Markets may indeed be ending:

As you can see, we’ve broken below MAJOR support here and have since failed to reclaim this line (indicating that former support is now resistance). This is a VERY bearish chart which indicates that we are very likely entering a prolonged period in which Emerging Markets will underperform US indexes dramatically.

Prepare accordingly.


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