The stock market ended the week eking out slight gains. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed higher by 0.6%, the Nasdaq (chart) barely closed in the green on the week, the S&P 500 (chart) closed up 0.7% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the week up one half of one percent. I guess this could be viewed as a big win for the key indices considering how light crude oil (chart) has plummeted recently which directly correlates to the energy industry as a whole. Energy stocks have also gotten crushed along with oil which is why I think it’s rather impressive that aforementioned indexes were able to end the week in positive territory. However, volatility (chart) is continuing to spike and the 200-day moving average on the S&P 500 (chart) continues to get challenged. Some pundits believe that it’s only a matter of time that the 200-day on the S&P (chart) will not hold much longer, however, if you look back, no one can deny how this technical metric has been a pillar of support for this most watched index.
So what does an investor or trader do in this historically weak month for stocks and with volatility spiking now weekly? For me personally, I am not as active in the markets due the volatility spikes and typically lower volumes associated with the summer month of August. I prefer to spend my time in research identifying opportunities in the marketplace. For instance, watching the oil markets unravel the way that they have, without question opportunities are forthcoming in this space. The majority of individual energy stocks do indeed trade with the price of oil (chart) and to predict when the price of oil will stabilize is almost impossible. However, at some point in time oil will indeed stabilize and a plethora of opportunity will surface. If you do not want to take the risk on individual names, you can always consider the most popular ETF that tracks the energy space (symbol: XLE). This equity energy fund has an approximate $11.69 billion in net assets with holdings in some of the largest and most respected energy companies in the world. Of course and as I always recommend, it is always best practice to consult with a certified financial planner(s) that you feel comfortable and confident with before making any investment decisions. Good luck to all 🙂