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The Death Cross Is Calling for These ETFs


In a weak market environment, the death cross victim list looks like it will get longer.


The death cross, the technical scenario in which a security's 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day line, has claimed plenty of ETF victims in recent months.

In a weak market environment, the list is bound to get longer, and that is exactly what is happening now. While the number of ETFs and ETNs sporting the death cross condition is not yet alarmingly high (less than 10% of the total exchange-traded products universe fits the death cross criteria), many current death cross funds share something in common.

That trait is a global flair, meaning the vast majority of death cross ETFs are country-specific and multicountry funds. And no, the death cross does not play favorites, as the list currently is littered with developed and emerging markets ETFs. Here are a few to be aware of.

Global X Brazil Mid Cap ETF
The iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ) is not the only Brazil ETF with a gloomy technical outlook. The Global X Brazil Mid Cap ETF (BRAZ) has seen increased selling pressure in recent weeks and a death cross took shape just a few days ago.

The Global X fund needs to hold support in the $14.30 area or risk a return to $13 and then to the October lows around $12.25. In defense of this ETF, it has outperformed its iShares rival by a wide margin this year.

WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity ETF
The WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity ETF (CCXE) has not even been in death cross territory for a week, but it is not a surprise addition to this infamous club. "Commodity" being in the name of this ETF is one point that illustrates the tough road this fund has traveled.

The ETF's country breakdown is another black mark. It offers exposure to eight countries known for a producing an array of commodities from copper to gold to oil. That lineup includes Russia, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. Look at the country ETFs for those nations and it is easy to see why WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity ETF is being taken to the woodshed. If it falls below $27, $25 could be the next stopping point.

iShares MSCI Belgium Investable Market Index Fund
It is not surprising that iShares MSCI Belgium Investable Market Index Fund (EWK) found its way to death cross territory. Perhaps the real question is, what took so long?

The ratings agencies have beaten up on Belgium, and if $10 gives out, bearish traders will take their turn adding to this ETF's pain. Below $10, $8 is a reasonable downside target. In fairness to this fund, it has not officially joined the death cross club, but it is very close to doing so.

iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund
Like previous fund, iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY) is not officially a death cross ETF, but it is getting pretty close, as analysis courtesy of indicates. On the daily chart, Korea fund's 50- and 200-day moving averages both meet just pennies above $55. So should the ETF notch consecutive closes below that price point, the death cross probably would be right around the corner.

This ETF is clinging to a year-to-date gain, making it seem impressive compared to the 6.4% loss by the iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI). Then again, it has been outperformed by a true emerging markets laggard, the iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund (EWT). Translation: The death cross could mean big problems for iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund.

Editor's Note: This content was originally published on by The ETF Professor.

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