Missing the real action?

By Duru

March 23, 2002

Reading Barron's as is my regular Saturday routine. This week's technical analysis shows that despite the bearish backdrop, the market's trend is still up for now.


What really got my attention is the way the Commodities index has been ramping up. More than being a harbinger for inflation, I was even more interested in finding out what stocks I could get in early to play the rebound in commodities prices and work as an inflation hedge.

I couldn't find any ETFs or index funds that trade like the commodities index (if you know of any, please tell me!). The closest I came to was the IYM iShare index which tracks basic materials. Its volume is pretty erratic, but I was shocked to see that it is ALREADY banging at 52-week highs. Action in recent days suggests it is failing the test once again.

Anyway, even MORE interesting to me was looking at what stocks are in this index fund: http://www.ishares.com/fund_info/holdings.jhtml?Ticker=IYM. There are a lot, but a quick sample showed stock after stock that has run like a raging bull since September 11th with only a few stops on the way for dip-buying. Some, like OMG, have been on long, multi-year tears. Some are now at the top of clear trading ranges. (Not all these stocks have great volume though). Technicals suggest that a lot are at precarious highs and will face a serious test in the coming weeks. You also have to wonder about some of the gold stocks in the index. But after I missed the general run-up in coal shares last year, I wondered how in the world did I miss this CLEAR upward trend?!? And is it too late now? Can I hope for another good dip to get on the train?

Still thinking on that, but suffice to say that a lot of companies in this index are much better ways to play an economic recovery than volatile tech stocks.

Just a thought!