From the desk of Willie Delwiche.
Two weeks into 2022 and EEM (Emerging Markets) has a 500 basis point YTD lead over SPY (S&P 500). Emerging markets are up more than 2% and the S&P 500 is down more than 2%. Short-term charts can make this look like a significant shift in leadership. While it may turn into that, at this point it looks like a premature conclusion. My guess is that we are in the early stages of a shift away from the US and toward global equity market leadership, including emerging markets. But two weeks of outperformance after a decade of relative weakness is not much of a signal.
If we look at the history, all of the net gains in EEM over the past nearly two decades have come when the ratio between EEM and SPY has been above its 200-day average. The ratio is rising and the 200-day average is falling, so there is convergence. But there has not yet been a crossover. That’s the signal I want to see before getting too excited about the strength we are seeing from EEM.
It’s certainly something to watch, but we want to watch with a bit of perspective.