The year started with notable relative strength in everything housing-related and it finished that way:
- Financials are the best performing sector in 2012
- Homebuilders are the best performing industry group
- Mortgage investment companies are the best performing IPOs
- Property insurance companies are among the best performing stocks for the year
- Building materials securities are trading near 3yr highs
For the week, the St50 Momentum index lost 1.36% and yet it managed to outperform all major benchmarks. Momentum stocks typically lead, so it is an encouraging sign to see relative strength there, but I don’t really want to draw any major conclusions based on a low-volume holiday week’s action dictated by headlines from Washington and rumors about a potential budget deal.
Weaker than expected holiday sales numbers surprised many, given the positive feedback from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general price action in most consumer discretionary stocks in 2012.
Emerging markets ($EEM) underperformed U.S. markets for the most part of the year, but they had a really strong December which helped them to outperform $SPY for 2012. Technically, $EEM is looking much healthier than any of the U.S. indexes. There aren’t too many ADRs on the St50 list at this point of time. Chinese $QIHU seems sound. It managed to successfully test its multi-month breakout from early December and now it is back near 52-week highs.
3D-printing stocks $DDD and $SSYS continue to hold near all-time highs. There is a third name from the industry that is likely to appear in the public consciousness soon: $PRLB. It is a recent IPO, not on the St50 list yet, but had decent earnings report last quarter and it is slowly building a healthy base.
I am always skeptical when an investment theme becomes overly popular and massively considered a sure thing as is the case with 3D-printing, but I never let personal opinion trump price action and discipline. There’s been a recent increase in volatility in $DDD and $SSYS, but their uptrends are still intact and they look good going into the first quarter of 2013.
You can easily follow any or all of the stocks in the ST50 on StockTwits by clicking here.
Happy and Prosperous New Year!