As stocks continue to push higher into unprecedented territory, most investors are probably bracing for the eventual pullback, and it’s only natural to consider whether shorting the market is a strategy worth pursuing at some point. In this week’s interview with Toni Turner of TrendStar Trading Group, we discuss her thoughts on doing just that, and where she sees the market going from here.
EQ: The famous quote, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent,” seems to apply to this market, particularly for bears looking to short the eventual pullback of this exuberant market. What are your thoughts on establishing a short strategy here?
Turner: The market is in an uptrend, and it’s in a very strong uptrend. At current levels, I would not try a shorting strategy here unless you are a very experienced short seller. I would, however, take profits on overbought stocks at signs of weakness. But if I weren’t an experienced short seller, then I would stand aside because when the market makes an initial top and then retraces, typically a new wave of investors who missed the last move up will jump in. When that happens, those who are in short positions have to be very agile to avoid getting caught in a short squeeze, which could end up giving back any profits they made during the initial down move and then some. You have to be agile, quick, and know the signs if you’re going to sell short in a market as strong as this one.
EQ: Last time we spoke, you saw resistance at 1675 for the S&P 500 and 15,400 for the Dow. Do those levels still stand or have you made any adjustments based on how quickly the market has approached those levels?
Turner: Those levels still stand right now. As we know, the Dow made a high of 15,391 on Monday and closed at 15,335. If it can get up and best 15,400, then that’s a level I want to watch before establishing a new target. So I’m still holding there, and still holding at 1675 for the S&P 500, which hit 1672.84 on Monday. I know those are close, but I’m still curious to see if they can surpass those levels. The market is very overbought here—at least on a short-term basis. Therefore, I am going to wait and see if they can climb over those levels and close above them. If they do, then I’ll establish newer highs.
EQ: Earnings season for Q1 is just about finished, but there are some significant names in Retail still scheduled to report this week. Are there any names that you’re interested in?
Turner: I’ll be watching housing industry retailers Home Depot (HD) on Tuesday, and Lowe’s (LOW) on Wednesday. Both report before the open. I’m going to see if they can still hold strong here. Also this week, apparel retailers like Guess (GES), Pacific Sunwear (PSUN), Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF), and Foot Locker (FL) will be reporting. I’m interested to see how these clothes and shoes retailers are going to come out because that’s going to show us if the retail costumer is still strong or not.
Of course, Sears Holding Co. (SHLD) is announcing, and we can look at that for department stores. Wall Street expects a loss of 60 cents versus a loss of 31 cents for the last quarter. I’ll be interested to see how Sears reports , especially given what J.C. Penney (JCP) has done lately.
EQ: What sectors or industry groups are you watching this week?
Turner: I’m still watching the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL) for a potential entry at $22.25. Another ETF I’m watching across the pond is the iShares MSCI Austria Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EWO). I’m going to investigate that more, although I do like its technical pattern. If the fundamentals work out, then I’d consider purchasing shares above $18.40.