Ukraine In Turmoil, But U.S. Economy Still Looking Good

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[Chart courtesy of]

1. Moving The Markets

The crisis in Ukraine seems to have investors a bit jittery as the major indexes gave back some of last week’s gains. As escalating military tensions in Ukraine dominated news today, the better-than-expected economic reports we received did little to soften selling across the markets. The Ukraine worries brought about a market sentiment that we haven’t really seen since emerging market worries of Turkey and China more than a month ago.

In economic news, consumers spent more in January, but apparently a good portion of money spent was on utility bills because of the unusually cold winter. We also heard today that the final reading of Markit’s U.S. purchasing managers index accelerated in February and that this final reading for February was the highest level in almost four years. The report basically shows that output and new business picked up sharply. Also, U.S. manufacturers expanded at a faster pace in February and business would have been even better if not for severe winter weather, according to a survey of executives.

Of course, there was a small flight to gold today because of the Ukraine news. Gold futures surged by more than 2% on Monday, lifting prices to their highest level since late October. Gold closed last week in the red as a rise in U.S. consumer sentiment and strength in Chicago’s business barometer helped boost demand for U.S. equities.

Our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight slipped but 6 of them have now turned positive for the year.

2. ETFs in the Spotlight

In case you missed the announcement and description of this section, you can read it here again.

It features 10 broadly diversified ETFs from my HighVolume list as posted every Monday. Furthermore, they are screened for the lowest MaxDD% number meaning they have been showing better resistance to temporary sell offs than all others over the past year.

In other words, none of them ever triggered their 7.5% sell stop level during this time period, which included a variety of severe market pullbacks but no move into outright bear market territory.

Here are the 10 candidates:


All of them are in “buy” mode meaning their prices are above their respective long term trend lines by the percentage indicated (%M/A).

Year to date, here’s how the above candidates have fared so far:


To be clear, the first table above shows the position of the various ETFs in relation to their respective long term trend lines (%M/A), while the second one tracks their trailing sell stops in the “Off High” column.

3. Domestic Trend Tracking Indexes (TTIs)

Our Trend Tracking Indexes (TTIs) slipped with the International one getting hit the hardest as European equities got spanked today as a result of the Ukraine crisis:

Domestic TTI: +4.03% (last close +4.34%)

International TTI: +4.87% (last close +6.39%)

Disclosure: I am obliged to inform you that I, as well as advisory clients of mine, own some of these listed ETFs. Furthermore, they do not represent a specific investment recommendation for you, they merely show which ETFs from the universe I track are falling within the guidelines specified.

About Ulli Niemann

Ulli Niemann is the publisher of "The ETF Bully" and is a Registered Investment Advisor. Learn more
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