Focused on the Hottest Sectors in the Market
January 12, 2018
Last Friday, for the first time since President Trump took office, I saw the market move on panic buying. The first sign that it could be a huge day was the initial pre-open reaction to the jobs report, which saw the Dow edge higher after it was reported that 148,000 jobs were created in December, even though that was 100,000 less than what most of Wall Street was expecting (forget the official estimate).
However, when the market opened stocks began to drift and it appeared we could be in for one of those sessions where investors would be thrilled with a solid first week as they headed home to hunker down against the arctic blast covering the nation.
Then it happened. At 2:21 p.m. ET, the Dow took out an intraday resistance point that rebuffed the rally several times in the process, and that triggered a series of buy signals. From there, buying beget buying, and the result of the frenzy was the best first week for stocks since 2006 and the 74th record high for the Dow under President Trump.
We saw more evidence of panic buying yesterday, which is a good thing, unless you’re one of those sitting out and waiting for the pullback. It is harder to find value in this market, so with records across the board in all the major indices, many investors are looking to the Russell 2000. Although it outperformed the Dow, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ yesterday, it still has trailed those largest indices over the last year.
The Russell 2000 is often considered the best proxy for the domestic economy. While it’s true that there are fewer multinationals, it’s also dominated by smaller biotech names that aren’t reflective of the economy. That being said, there are some stocks in hot industries with a ton of upside potential.
Right now, the hottest area for the market is the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE), as crude oil continues to take off from a combination of a dramatic decline in inventories, disciplined U.S. rig count and production and a stronger global economy. With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) breaking through $62 a barrel, there isn’t a lot of technical resistance up to $80.
There are a lot of names that I like within this space right now, and I recommend a few longer-term plays in my Smart Investing service. I’m also working on a report that highlights some other opportunities, so be sure to keep an eye on my Smart Talk site for that.
In the meantime, one small-cap name I like a lot is CARBO Ceramics (CRR), which is actually a technology service company that provides products and services to the oil and gas industry. This is definitely a higher-than-average risk idea, but it’s one that I’m keeping a close eye on for the right opportunity.
There are a lot of other sectors on my radar in the current environment, and the key is looking for the stocks that will make good money over time on all of the optimism out there driven by strong economic data, the return of the consumer and the tax relief. This is a fantastic time to be part owners of great American companies, and I look for 2018 to be a successful and profitable year for us.