Geopolitical uncertainty and gridlock in Washington could spark a pullback in the markets, but one strategist is recommending a way to beat the market regardless of what happens on the Hill.
On CNBC's "Futures Now" last week, CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall laid out his "winning investment approach" for trading equities year-round. As April winds down and markets head into the old "sell in May and go away" adage, Stovall advised that investors should actually rotate, rather than get out of, the market amid doubts about President Donald Trump's policy agenda.
"You are better off rotating than retreating," he said. "Basically, like whitewater rafting, you let the market take you where it needs to go and in the summertime, it traditionally wants to go defensive."
As an example, Stovall suggests that if an investor had been in the market from November through to the end of April, they could rotate into a 50 percent exposure to consumer staples and a 50 percent exposure in health care, which they would then hold until October.
This strategy would have investors coming out of the more cyclical sectors such as financials and materials, which investors could then go back into once the cycle begins again.
This "six month defensive, six month cyclical" approach could be especially useful for investors if the so-called Trump rally were to come to a halt.
"What we've been experiencing right now is the Trump hype, and I think what we're worried about is it morphing into the Trump gripe," said Stovall. "Investors are basically excited, but nothing is really coming through."
Stovall referred specifically to the failure of Trump's health care reform plans, taken off the table before even a House vote could occur, and the uncertainty facing the tax reform and infrastructure policies that he had campaigned on.
The strategist believes that if Trump's plans remain in limbo on the Hill into 2018, the standstill "could probably trigger a correction of 10 to 20 percent" in the market. But if that were to occur, a rotation into the defensive sectors could help investors during the pullback, as "it's the defensive sectors that tend to lose less when the market itself goes down."
Markets continued to hover near all-time highs on Friday, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average did recover from back to back triple digit losses during the week. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high on Thursday.
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