SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.

S&P 500 Rallies As U.S. Dollar Pulls Back Towards Weekly Lows

Key Insights
The strong pullback in the U.S. dollar provided significant support to stocks.
Treasury yields have pulled back after touching new highs, which served as an additional positive catalyst for S&P 500.
A move above 3730 will push S&P 500 towards the resistance level at 3760.
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Pfizer Rallies After Announcing A Huge Price Hike For Its COVID-19 Vaccines
S&P 500 is currently trying to settle above 3730 as traders’ appetite for risk is growing. The U.S. dollar has recently gained strong downside momentum as the BoJ intervened to stop the rally in USD/JPY. Weaker U.S. dollar is bullish for stocks as it increases profits of multinational companies and makes U.S. equities cheaper for foreign investors.

The leading oil services company Schlumberger is up by 9% after beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Schlumberger’s peers Baker Hughes and Halliburton have also enjoyed strong support today.

Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna gained strong upside momentum after Pfizer announced that it will raise the price of its coronavirus vaccine to $110 – $130 per shot.

Biggest losers today include Verizon and Twitter. Verizon is down by 5% despite beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Subscriber numbers missed estimates, and traders pushed the stock to multi-year lows.

Twitter stock moved towards the $50 level as the U.S. may conduct a security review of Musk’s purchase of the company.

From a big picture point of view, today’s rebound is broad, and most market segments are moving higher. Treasury yields have started to move lower after testing new highs, providing additional support to S&P 500. It looks that some traders are ready to bet that Fed will be less hawkish than previously expected.

S&P 500 Tests Resistance At 3730

S&P 500 has recently managed to get above the 20 EMA and is trying to settle above the resistance at 3730. RSI is in the moderate territory, and there is plenty of room to gain additional upside momentum in case the right catalysts emerge.

If S&P 500 manages to settle above 3730, it will head towards the next resistance level at 3760. A successful test of this level will push S&P 500 towards the next resistance at October highs at 3805. The 50 EMA is located in the nearby, so S&P 500 will likely face strong resistance above the 3800 level.

On the support side, the previous resistance at 3700 will likely serve as the first support level for S&P 500. In case S&P 500 declines below this level, it will move towards the next support level at 3675. A move below 3675 will push S&P 500 towards the support at 3640.

Tips for Focusing Your Photographic Efforts on Your Garden

Why Take Garden Photos?Record Keeping
Taking pictures of your flower and vegetable gardens can help you keep records of what you grew and where you grew it. Many gardeners practice some form of crop rotation, being especially careful not to plant the same vegetables in the same location year after year. A photo or two can be a big help in keeping track of where you planted your tomatoes the previous season. Digital photos are especially helpful, since you can store them on your computer, label them, and click on the photo’s “properties” to see exactly when the photo was taken. A photo might also be a good reminder next year if you planted some things too close together this year.ID that Bug or Disease
The old cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words is certainly true when it comes to identifying pests, damage from pests, or disease symptoms in the garden. One or two good photos can be compared to photos online to identify the pest or disease.Send Photos to Friends
Serious gardeners enjoy sharing their garden experiences with their gardening friends and extended family. Today’s digital technology makes it easy to capture the wonder and beauty of your garden and email or text it to a special friend.Garden Photographs as Art
Photos help us preserve the beauty of our gardens. Roses will fade, sunflowers will wither, and the visiting monarch butterfly will fly away… but great photos from the garden can last a lifetime. Digital photography enables us to take lots of pictures, edit and crop them, and print them on our computers or have them printed by professionals… at a fraction of the cost than we used to spend when all cameras had film!Garden Photographs as Gifts
A great photo from your garden or from a friend’s garden can make a wonderful gift, too. Online companies can help you turn a photo into a wonderful print for framing, or your shot can be used to decorate a tee shirt or a coffee mug. With a little help from online companies, a collection of garden photos can be used to make a very personalized calendar. Personal computer software also makes it possible for you to make your own greeting cards from garden photos.Digital Slide Shows
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit one of the great public gardens in the USA, you probably took a lot of pictures. You can post them on one of the photo-sharing websites and invite others to see them, or you can make your own digital slide show by loading the images onto your personal computer, tablet, or onto a digital picture frame. With additional equipment, like Apple TV, you can play the slide show through your TV.How to Take Better Garden PhotosEquipment
By far, the two most convenient types of cameras for garden photography are compact digital cameras and smartphone cameras. They’re easy to have on hand for that spontaneous opportunity, and you can take multiple shots without worrying about wasting film. Digital photos are also relatively easy to edit and crop, and they’re very easy – and affordable – to share.If you have a digital camera with interchangeable lenses, you can be even more creative and can expand your garden photo opportunities considerably. Telephoto lenses allow you to get close-up photos of birds and bees without scaring them away. And, telephoto lenses will allow you to narrow the depth of field of your photograph so that a single bloom or piece of fruit will more clearly be highlighted.Composition
By far, composition is the most important consideration when taking a photograph for any artistic use. Composition – the design of your photo – determines how the subject is framed and how other elements can be reduced or eliminated to avoid any distraction. Many of us can improve the composition of our photos by merely moving in closer to the central subject.With a little practice, you can learn to compose interesting photos by focusing on smaller elements or interesting patterns that you may have overlooked in the past. Many people claim that a developing interest in photography has helped them see the world in different ways.Distractions
As mentioned above, good photo composition enables us to eliminate distractions that would otherwise make a photo less attractive. If the objective is to highlight the beauty of a single rose bloom, try to avoid including any foliage that might have black spots or insect damage that could distract from the beauty of the bloom.Similarly, background buildings, tools, and people can distract from the intended focus of your photo.Light
All photographers become more aware of light, and its effect on their photos, as they develop their skills. Almost all garden photos are taken outdoors, with natural light as the source. Early morning and early evening light tends to be a little warmer and softer, while a bright afternoon sun might be a little harsh. But, any light condition can be used to make interesting photos, so long as you are aware of the effect of the light on your subject.With experience, photographers see what the camera sees… good shadows or bad shadows, depending on the desired effect. Backlighting a photo, where the subject is between you and light source, can also create dramatic and lovely photos. And, certain lighting conditions can allow you to photograph a garden element as a silhouette, purposefully focusing on the shape rather than color or depth of the subject.Depth of Field
Depth of field is simply how much of the photograph is sharply focused, and it is determined by the size of the aperture (or opening) of the lens. Most automatic cameras will strive for as much depth as possible; but, you can override the camera’s settings to reduce the depth of field in order to create more artistic results. While your eyes may be focused on a single bloom, remember that the camera may very well see all of the surrounding foliage as equally important. Get to know your camera’s settings and options to create more interesting photos.Focus
While slightly blurry or “soft” images may be very artistic (especially when photographing people), most photographers usually strive for well focused central subjects. Great in-focus shots are achieved by having as fast a shutter speed as possible, and holding the camera still when shooting. If possible, it will help to have something to lean on, or against, to reduce your body’s movement when pressing the shutter. Professionals will often use tripods or other tools to help keep the camera steady while shooting.Tip:
Instead of pressing or “punching” the shoot button, hold the button down for a second or two, focus on the subject, and then release the button. Your smartphone photos will be sharper and perhaps better composed as well.Where to Get Help to Become an Even Better PhotographerOf course you can take online courses, or enroll in an adult education program. You may be motivated to subscribe to a photo magazine for a while to learn more about techniques and equipment. A simple Google search on “photographing your garden” will lead to hundreds of suggestions for books or articles to read online.If you are interested in buying a book or two to add to your library, Photographing Your Garden by David Bjurstrom is a beautifully written and lavishly illustrated book that will help you become a better garden photographer.Garden photography, like gardening itself, is a wonderful lifelong journey, with lessons and surprises, frustrations and delights, and opportunities to learn and improve. Enjoy the journey.