5 ETFs to buy this week

A long-short approach has beaten the market in recent weeks, and it continues this week.

By Jamie Dlugosch May 23, 2011 9:19AM

The market drifted lower last week. With earnings season winding down, investors are left to speculate on the economy. Earnings reports that were released failed to inspire the market.


On Friday, two large clothing retailers, Aeropostale and Gap reported results that disappointed investors. Shares of both companies lost more than 14% of their value. That is a big loss irrespective of the results.


The big move down in those individual names tells us much about where the market may be heading. Certainly the number of bears emerging from the woodwork is on the upswing. In some ways, the contrarian play here is to be bullish as the market often moves opposite the consensus view.


Whatever the direction from here one thing is certain: predicting the exact direction is difficult at best. As such I’m staying conservative with my picks here. On the long side I would consider the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA).


Large cap stocks are priced relatively cheaply compared to the rest of the market. Their sheer size also provides safety in a time of economic uncertainty. No need to get fancy this last week before Memorial Day.


If you are following along at home you are making some nice money with these picks. Since the start of the year you are way ahead of the game. Stay conservative and protect those gains would be my advice for the week ahead.


Here are the five ETFs to own this week:


ProShares Short Russell 2,000 (RWM) – If you want short exposure, the RWM is the place to be. Small cap stocks will do much worse than the rest of the market should stocks move lower from here. This fund made one half of a percent last week helping to keep the five picks here above water and that is the entire point of this exercise.


ProShares Ultra Short Technology (REW) – We had perfect timing here. Technology stocks sold off last week helping propel the REW to a big gain of 1.6% for the week. With this pick we are pretty much ensuring a zero return if stocks go higher as technology stocks typically outperform the rest of the market, but if stocks go down we will make money with our five picks here. I’m okay with that outcome for another week, how about you?


SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) – Dow stocks are priced reasonably. If stock move lower this ETF should lose less than the rest of the market based on valuations alone. You won’t get rich here, but you won’t get hurt.


PowerShares Dividend Achievers (PFM) – The PFM provided a fractional gain last week. Not bad with stocks down across the board. I expect more of the same from this dividend play next week.


SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) – The last pick of the litter is another long pick with broad exposure to larger cap stocks. Okay, I’m a sucker for value and large caps offer the best value at the moment. Stick with the SPY for long exposure this week.


We made another 25 basis points last week. Not bad given the condition of the rest of the market. Keep an equal weight in the five picks above.

May 23, 2011 1:35PM

So... we should SHORT tech and small cap, and buy large cap.


So your overall position is... "hopefully neutral!"


Why not just hold cash?


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