Long-Term Bullish Trend is Intact for U.S. Equities, in spite of Increased Volatility; Gold Forms a Bullish Double-Bottom Chart Pattern; It is Still Early to Invest in the Energy Sector or in International Equities;

It is always good to take a look at long-term trends when short-term volatility increases, in order to have a better sense of the market direction. While the widely anticipated stock market correction remains a possibility, in our view, the long-term bullish trend for U.S. equities is still intact.

The chart shows that the multi-year uptrend for the benchmark Fidelity Spartan U.S. Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) has not yet been interrupted by the recent market volatility:

fusex

In a recent article (see Best Fidelity Mutual Funds for 2015) we highlighted the most attractive investments for 2015. The selected mutual funds have continued to perform well in the last few weeks of trading. Especially, conservative sectors, such as real estate, utilities, medical equipment and consumer staples have outperformed the S&P 500 index:

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fsutx

fsmex

fdfax

Perhaps, the most interesting new development in 2015 is the renewed interest in buying gold mining stocks. The chart of the Fidelity Select Gold Fund (FSAGX) below shows a short-term bullish double bottom pattern and increased buying activity during the first two weeks of the New Year. However, gold has a long way to go before it can establish a long-term uptrend.

While gold is traditionally viewed as an inflation hedge, in the current deflationary environment precious metals are looked at as an alternate asset class that can potentially serve as a volatility hedge. We’d like to caution investors, that while gold can provide returns that have low correlation with equities, this sector is highly speculative and is more appropriate for the purposes of short-term trading than long-term investing.

fsagx

As noted in earlier articles, we believe that it is still too early to diversify into the weakest sectors, such as natural resources (in particular energy), and into underperforming international markets.

The blue lines on the charts of the Fidelity Select Energy Fund (FSENX) and the Fidelity Latin America Fund (FLATX) indicate that the bearish downtrends that are still in place:

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flatx

Read more about investment strategies involving these funds at FidelitySignal.com

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The Best Fidelity Mutual Funds for 2015

Summary:

  • Economic conditions continue to favor real estate investments
  • Municipal income and mortgage securities can provide an alternate source of income for bond investors
  • Style rotation: value investing is likely to outperform growth stocks in 2015, just as small caps have the potential to outperform large caps
  • Gold has not yet emerged as a good choice for diversification
  • It is too early to invest in the energy sector or in international equities

The slowly improving U.S. economy and low interest rates have created a favorable environment for real estate investments. The Select Construction and Housing Fund (FSHOX) and the Real Estate Income Fund (FRIFX) are two excellent Fidelity funds, which allow investors to participate in this trend. The blue arrow in the top panel of the chart below shows that FSHOX has a positive relative strength compared to the S&P 500 index, because FSHOX has outperformed the S&P 500 index since August of 2014. Similarly, FRIFX has outperformed the benchmark Fidelity Spartan U.S. Bond Index Fund (FBIDX).

fshox

frifx

As the U.S. economy continues to improve, the Fed may start to increase interest rates in late 2015 or early 2016. In a rising interest rate environment bond investors may find it increasingly difficult to identify income funds that do not decline in value. As an example, the Fidelity High Income Fund (SPHIX) has already started to decline:

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Two income funds that can outperform in 2015 are the Fidelity Spartan Municipal Income Fund (FHIGX) and the Fidelity Mortgage Securities Fund (FMSFX). The current yield of FHIGX is 3.54%, while FMSFX yields 2.49%.

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fmsfx

Style rotation refers to the periodic over and under performance of different investment styles, such as growth vs. value, or large cap vs. small cap. For most of 2014 growth has outperformed value investing, and large caps have outperformed small caps. In 2015, we think that these relative trends can easily reverse. Two Fidelity funds, which can help investors to participate, are the Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX) and the Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund (FLPSX):

fdvlx

flpsx

Investing in gold mining stocks can provide an attractive opportunity for portfolio diversification. Of course, the best time to invest in the gold mining sector is when it is not declining. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now. However, should this trend reverse, the Fidelity Select Gold Fund (FSAGX) is an excellent mutual fund for investing in this sector.

fsagx

The history of the stock market shows that the weakest investments in one year can often become the best performing investments a year or two later. However, looking at natural resources and international stocks, the two weakest investments areas in 2014, we think that they likely to continue to decline in early 2015, therefore it is too early to accumulate an investment position.

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fsenx

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Read more about investment strategies involving these funds at FidelitySignal.com

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Large Price Drop of Multiple Fidelity Funds is due to Capital Gains Distribution

Investors may have been alarmed by the large price drops of several Fidelity funds at the end of the Friday trading session. The drop in the net asset value (NAV) of these funds was largely due to the distribution of capital gains, which happens periodically. For more details click below:

Here are a few examples of Fidelity funds with large price drops:

fsptx

fwrlx

fsmex

fshox

fsdpx

 

 

Real Estate Continues to Outperform the Market in 2014

In previous articles we highlighted the real estate sector as one of the most exciting investment areas for 2014. A large increase of home sales sent homebuilding stocks higher yesterday. As the result, the Fidelity Select Construction and Housing Fund (FSHOX) gained 1.87% and was the best performing Fidelity fund of the day. The blue line on the chart shows that the relative strength of FSHOX (the ratio of the price of the fund versus the S&P 500 index) continues to improve:

fshox

We also made a bullish call for the Fidelity Real Estate Income Fund (FRIFX) on the first trading day of January (see article) and the chart shows that FRIFX has indeed performed well so far this year. FRIFX is an excellent income fund that provides a respectable 4.72% yield (source: Morningstar) and the potential for price appreciation:

frifx

The Fidelity Real Estate Fund (FRESX) holds large cap stocks in the space. The chart pattern shows a bullish breakout that started in January:

fresx

The improving U.S. economy can continue to lift the real estate sector higher this year, but investments in this sector can also be highly volatile. That is why diversification across of different types of real estate investments is key (see the real estate model portfolio at FidelitySignal):

realestate

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Large Price Drop of Fidelity Select Sector Funds is due to Capital Gains Distribution

The large price drop of several Fidelity mutual funds may have alarmed investors today. But it turns out that there is no reason to panic. The drop in the net asset value (NAV) of these funds was due to the annual distribution of capital gains, and also to a smaller extent, dividends.

Looking on the bright side, large distributions are reflective of large gains in 2013. Indeed, 2013 has been an exceptionally strong year for equities. Unless we experience an unexpected sell-off in the last 11 days of the year, 2013 will become the best year in equities, since 1999. Of course, this makes many investors fearful of downside volatility in 2014. But for now, lets focus our attention on closing the year, especially if it involves mutual fund investments that have produced excellent gains for investors.

So, lets take a look at examples of Fidelity funds with large price drops that are due to capital gains distributions:

fsenx

fdfax

fsvlx

fsmex

fshox

More information:

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