Momentum Trading Around The World – Has Anyone Looked At The PIIGS?

Based on the media slaughter of the PIIGS since 2011, it seems unsurprising that that no one is interested in owning Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, or Spanish stocks.  Of course, with most of the PIIGS' stock indexes looking like the Spanish IBEX 35 Index, which was down 50% from January 2010 to  May 2012, I don't blame them.  However, since summer, the PIIGS have been on fire; not some much in a "Rome is burning" kind of way but more of a TSLA way.  For a perspective, take a look at the ETFs, GREK, EWP, EIRL, and EWI.  These ETFs follow, respectively, the Greek, Spanish, Irish, and Italian stock market.  See below for the two year charts.



What strong up trends!  Looking at the options for each of these ETFs, the prices for calls do not seem too bad.  EWI, which represents the Italian stock market, currently has the smallest bid-ask spread between option prices, so that one would probably be best for option trades.  Otherwise, the underlying stocks could still provide a pretty tempting momentum trade.

So, in conclusion, even though we mostly look at American stocks and are generally most comfortable trading them, better opportunities often exist abroad as well.  The PIIGS, even with how far they have run, look like tempting trades, especially if the debt ceiling debacle here in the US lingers on.


Metrotrader (D) is one of the few practicing CMTs (Chartered Market Technicians) in the United States . The CMT certifies his knowledge of market timing and risk management approaches. He tends to look for broad market moves and take advantage of them with index funds. The strategy he principally uses is mostly quantitative, and, tested, and has avoided or capitalized on every major recession since the 1940s. He says the best way to make money is to avoid losing it in the first place.

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