Throw out your typical August playbook – do this instead: Technician

August tends to be a tough month for the market. But even those who fear a late-summer slide might want to reconsider their typical defensive strategy, according to Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald.

The typical play would be to rotate out of more cyclical stocks and overweight the consumer staples, Wald points out, given that the defensive sector has been the best-performing sector in the average August to October period.

However, the hunt for yield has sent investors flying into the high-dividend-paying staples stocks, which may substantially weaken the investment case.

"We think investors are going to have less incentive to rotate out of cyclicals," Wald said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." The typical August trade "is going to be muted this year."

On top of that, wide market breadth suggests that stocks could continue their recent rally, according to the technical analyst.

"Don't time the pullback — buy it," Wald wrote in an email to CNBC. "You want to be invested in this market. We like the breakout in equities."

Others say that the market's run-up to record highs has been overbaked.

"The fundamentals are sort of heading south. We had another lousy quarter in terms of earnings growth, and yet the bid was there, big-time," said Max Wolff, chief economist of Manhattan Venture Partners, Monday on "Trading Nation."

Similar bearish calls have also come from bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach and a Goldman Sachs strategy team.

"Until the growth situation improves, we are not that constructive on equities, particularly after this type of rally," Goldman's Christian Mueller-Glissmann wrote.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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