Bearish ETFs to hedge against recession risk
AAs the Federal Reserve begins to aggressively tighten monetary policy and potentially trigger a recession in the process, cautious investors may turn to alternative or bearish exchange-traded fund strategies to hedge potential downside risks.
Bank of America strategists say the macro picture is deteriorating rapidly and could push the U.S. economy into recession as the Fed raises interest rates and shrinks its balance sheets to rein in rising inflationary pressures, Reuters reports.
“The ‘inflation shock’ is getting worse, the ‘rate shock’ is just beginning, the ‘recession shock’ is coming,” BofA chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett said in a note to clients.
Deutsche Bank also echoed the sentiment, pointing to the sudden and aggressive shift in the Fed’s stance.
“We no longer see the Fed achieving a soft landing,” Deutsche Bank economists led by Matthew Luzzetti said in an analyst note, according to Fox Business. “Instead, we expect more aggressive monetary policy tightening to push the economy into a recession.”
The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it could start trimming assets from its balance sheet by $9 trillion at its next meeting in early May and could do so at nearly twice the pace of its previous fiscal year. “quantitative tightening” with the aim of containing inflation at a four-decade high.
Many market participants are also preparing for the Fed to raise interest rates by 50 basis points.
ETF traders looking to protect their portfolios against potential downsides ahead may consider some exposure to bearish or inverted ETFs to protect against further declines.
For example, the ProShares Short S&P500 (NYSEArca: SH) takes a simple inverse or -100% daily performance of the S&P 500 Index. Alternatively, for the more aggressive trader, leveraged options include the ProShares UltraShort S&P500 ETF (NYSEArca: SDS)which attempts to mirror -2x or -200% of the daily performance of the S&P 500, the Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: SPXS)which takes -3x or -300% of the daily performance of the S&P 500, and the ProShares UltraPro Short S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPXU)which also takes -300% from the daily performance of the S&P 500.
Those who want to hedge against the risk of the Dow Jones Industrial Average can use inverse ETFs to add to their long stock positions. the ProShares Short Dow 30 ETF (NYSEArca: DOG) tries to reflect -100% of the daily performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. For more aggressive traders, the ProShares UltraShort Dow 30 ETF (NYSEArca: DXD) takes the -200% of the Dow Jones, and the ProShares UltraPro Short Dow 30 (NYSEArca: SDOW) reflects the -300% of the Dow Jones.
Finally, investors can also hedge against a decline in the Nasdaq with bearish options. For example, the ProShares Short QQQ ETF (NYSEArca:PSQ) takes the inverse or -100% of the daily performance of the Nasdaq-100 index. For the aggressive trader, the ProShares UltraShort QQQ ETF (NYSEArca: QID) follows the double inverse or -200% performance of the Nasdaq-100, and the ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ETF (NasdaqGM: SQQQ) reflects the triple inverse or -300% of the Nasdaq-100.
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