All ETF Daily News Articles

More Bang For Your Buck With Natural Gas “UNG”

natural-gas Natural gas is becoming the go to fuel and people are converting to it from oil.   It's a cleaner fuel than oil and the price gap between them is becoming larger.  The US has more control over natural gas than oil, making it still more favorable.  What would you rather have, clean natural gas or dirty crude oil?  Get some "UNG" while it's cheap. The investment "UNG" seeks to replicate the performance, net of expenses, of natural gas. The trust will invest in futures contracts on natural gas traded on the NYMEX that is the near month contract to expire. It is non diversified.
Natural Gas ETF Future Prospects (UNG, FCG) Clean energy from renewable sources like the wind, sun and ocean waves, while promising, are likely to take several years before they reach a critical mass. An alternative for investors to consider is natural gas. Yes, natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it does offer the advantage of having a cleaner reputation than oil. Let's look at how investors can take advantage of recent natural gas price declines to near seven-year lows. Why Have Natural Gas Prices Fallen? In 2008, analysts pointed to additional natural gas output from a combination of overseas production and an increase in unconventional gas from shale deposits in Texas and Louisiana. Paired with a decrease in demand from the industrial sector, investors can get a sense of why natural gas futures prices fell below $4 earlier this month. EIA Natural Gas Outlook The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects natural gas consumption to fall 1.3% this year and rise slightly by 0.4% in 2010. Likewise Henry Hub spot prices, which averaged $4.65 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in February, are expected to average $4.67 per Mcf in 2009 and $5.87 in 2010. Over the long term, the EIA expects Henry Hub spot prices (in 2007 dollars) to reach $9.25 per Mcf in 2030. (Find out how to stay on top of data reports that could cause volatility in these markets; see Become An Oil And Gas Futures Detective.) Supporting Factors Natural gas is not a renewable energy source, but it does offer the environmental benefits of producing less sulfur, carbon and nitrogen than coal or oil. The ability of hurricanes to disrupt natural gas production and a faster than expected recovery of the U.S. economy, which could lead to a surge in demand from industrials, are additional factors with the potential to drive prices upward. Natural Gas ETF Options The U.S. Natural Gas Fund ETF (NYSE:UNG) tracks the performance of natural gas prices in percentage terms. For example, when the natural gas April 2009 futures contract recorded a 13.74% increase at 5:14 p.m. on March 19, the UNG ETF followed suit, closing up 13.33% for the day. For investors more interested in investments tied to stocks, there's the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas ETF (NYSE:FCG). FCG consists of approximately 30 companies related to the natural gas industry. The largest holdings in FCG include Quicksilver Resources (NYSE:KWK), Linn Energy (Nasdaq:LINE) and Petrohawk Energy (NYSE:HK). Petrohawk and Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX) have been the best-performing stocks in the fund, rising approximately 30% and 25%, respectively, from the beginning of the year through March 19. Final Thoughts Renewables are expected to represent a larger portion of the U.S. energy portfolio over the next two decades. The good news for natural gas investors is that along with coal and oil, the three natural resources are still expected to meet 79% of U.S. energy supply needs, down from 85% in 2007. Natural gas should not be the only energy source investors consider, but with prices well below forecasted future price levels, it's one option to consider. Source: Gregory S. Davis www.investopedia.com
NYSE:UNG March 23, 2009 7:07pm

It’s Raining Bulls Today

bull That guy in the tan pants represents bears today.... Obviously, as is always the case, Wall Street loves when the government does everything in their power to steal from the middle class to give to the power players. Reverse Robin Hood - what's not to love? I'll have some posts in the coming days to explain what is really going on once I get a chance to read through some sources who will explain it much more elegantly than I would in my stupor. As for the day the S&P, once S&P 804 broke, we exploded higher. As expected, HAL9000 (quant funds/program trades) and friends jumped in once we cleared that level and *BOOM* - it was all bear entrails from there. Long only, 100% invested fund managers are feeling smug: "nailed it!" I had a nice short of Ultrashort Real Estate (SRS) I put on in the last 15 minutes Friday which some readers questioned - it would have behooved me to have kept it all day... see below. And once again this shows you, these 2x, 3x instruments are completely inappropriate long term hedges - if you hold them longer than 2-3 days, you are playing with fire. I learned the hard way in 2007 and 2008. Many commercial REITs are still 70-90%+ below highs reached even in early 2008, yet SRS is approaching all time lows. Laughable instruments for anyone outside of daytraders .... It is getting quite frothy indeed so we'll see what the rest of the week brings - the S&P is now up 23.5% in 11 sessions... Boo Yah. At this point, just as I had continued to lean bullish as long as we held S&P 741, I am of the same mindset and just am moving my "prices" up.... now 804 is the old 741. I let go long exposure into the froth the last 5 minutes, and am willing to sit on the sidelines for some rest... but would like to buy dips down to S&P 804 now. My intermediate target will be S&P 870; if you are buying tomorrow morning on any sort of gap up, or +2% open, I'll be taking the other side of your Kool Aid. The market is wickedly expensive on earnings, which again start rolling off the assembly line in size in about 2 weeks. Right now none of that matters because for every dollar in your pocket, the government is intending to create a new one. Our economy is $13-$14 Trillion and the stock market is about $8 Trillion. So for every $1 Trillion we create you can see that's nearly 5% "monetary inflation" (if you will) - and we now create $1 Trillion every other week. Gooooo Bubble Team. Until the cold splash of earnings arrives, it's all about technicals, as fundamental investors have had their clocks cleaned for 1.5 years. Machines rule. Source: www.seekingalpha.com
NYSE:SRS March 23, 2009 5:18pm

SKF Plunges As The Markets Have No Where To Go But Up!

surge Cash In With These 3 Powerful Bear Market Lessons Congratulations! You just graduated from a 18-month investment boot camp. Quite possibly against your will and without prior knowledge, your 401 (k), IRA or brokerage account signed you up for the boot camp. The boot camp - delivered by Dow Jones & Associates as of October 2007 - was without charge but most certainly came at a high price. It may not be your fondest memory, but when the boot camp started, the Dow Jones (AMEX: DIA - News) stood as high as 14,280, the S&P 500 (AMEX: SPY - News) as high as 1,599 and the Nasdaq (Nasdaq:  QQQQ) as high as 2,809. Certainly, the (mental and financial) pain experienced (50% plunge), makes you wonder whether the experience was worth it. Only time will tell whether you will put the lessons learned to good use. They don't deserve your time of day Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. How often has the main stream media or talking heads like Jim Cramer lead you down the wrong path? At the very least, the last year or so should have taught you who not to trust. Making or losing money is very serious, so you should ask yourself: Who deserves the right to exercise any authority over your investment decisions? Once again: Who deserves the right to exercise any authority over your investment decisions? The largest mutual fund tracker reported last December that the Dow is selling at a 30% discount with the implication of a November 21st market bottom. In the summer of 2008, Smart Money magazine shouted from their front page that now is the time to buy stocks and real estate. On March 11th, 2008, Jim Cramer told investors: 'Bear Stearns is fine, do not take your money out!' On June 5th, CNBC's Power Lunch pointed out that Lehman Brothers won't end up like Bear Stearns. On April 17th, CNBC's Squawk On The Street was quick to point out that Merrill Lynch won't need any extra capital. We all know what happened to Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. On October 4th, Jim Cramer exclaimed that 'Bank of America (NYSE: BAC - News) is now the cheapest and the best of the financial stocks and will be at $16 in a heartbeat.' BAC still trades below $8. Nevertheless, Jim Cramer has been discrediting short ETFs, the only class of funds that has protected investors against his nonsense advice. On March 9th, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled: 'Dow 5,000. There's a case for it.' The Dow bottomed that day and surged 1,100 points since. Guidance you can trust In stark contrast, ETFguide has been bearish on the market since late 2007. On October 2nd, when the initial $700 billion bailout was approved, we outlined in detail why it will fail. For 2008, we called a bottom below Dow 7,500 followed by a rally towards Dow 9,000 with a subsequent drop to new lows (available to subscribers of the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter). We further defined the target range for new lows on January 15th. Here's the warning our subscribers received: 'At this point, the best target for a temporary low is 6,700 for the Dow and 700 for the S&P 500. Extreme pessimistic sentiment may drive the indexes even towards Dow 6,000 and S&P 600.' What would happen thereafter? The January 15th update continued as follows: 'Once the new lows are reached, the markets should stage the biggest rally seen since October 2007. This rally should last several months and lift the major indexes by 30% or more.' In fact, our February 2nd article, '11 ETFs For The Dow 6,500 Portfolio ' was received with skepticism and mockery at the time. On March 9th however, the Dow closed at 6,547. The article outlined three different approaches to combat the bear: 1) ETFs that provide safety 2) ETFs that soften the blow 3) ETFs that make money in a down market.  All ETFs recommended accomplished their mission. The five ETFs recommended as profit centers were all up 20% and more, in a market that has lost nearly 30%. Those ETFs were: ProShares UltraShort Financials (NYSEArca: SKF - News), ProShares UltraShort Real Estate (NYSEArca: SRS - News), ProShares UltraShort Consumer Services (NYSEArca: SCC - News), ProShares UltraShort S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SDS - News) and the ProShares UltraShort Dow 30 (NYSEArca: DXD - News). On March 2nd, subscribers on record received the following Trend Change Alert: 'Once a bottom is found, a multi-month rally should lift the indexes by some 30%. Tuesday's 4% spike may be an indication of the initial intensity of the rally.' The tide has turned When Treasury Secretary Geithner released the blueprint of a bank rescue program on February 10th, the Dow Jones plunged 380 points. Today's actual announcement of the bank rescue plan on the other hand propelled the Dow more than 300 points. Investors have made it very clear that they want to own stocks again. Over the past week, investors have been picking up large cap stocks (NYSEArca: IWB - News) with the same enthusiasm as small cap stocks (NYSEArca: IWM - News). Value stocks (NYSEArca: IWD - News) are being purchased at the same pace as growth stocks (NYSEArca: IWF - News). After an 18% bounce investors are wondering if this is the start of a new bull market or if this is just another decoy rally which will ultimately lead to new lows. The March issue of the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter analyzes the four most trusted long-term indicators to answer this question. The results are truly astounding. Additionally it includes a truly contrarian outlook on gold (NYSEArca: GLD - News) and silver (NYSEArca: SLV - News). If this bear market taught you who can be trusted and who can't, there is a chance you may thrive in the years to come while many will continue to demolish their wealth. As Benjamin Franklin said, 'An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.' More than ever before, investors unaware of the bigger picture will continue to see their wealth evaporate. Source: Simon Maierhofer www.etfguide.com
NYSE:FAZ March 23, 2009 3:31pm

Crude Oil Slowly Creeps Up When No One Is Looking…….

crude ETF "USO" continues to climb from it's February low but is no where near it's bubble like high.  Commodities continue to advance as the economy tries to gain momentum.  The investment "USO" seeks to reflect the performance, less expenses, of the spot price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude oil. The fund will invest in futures contracts for WTI light, sweet crude oil, other types of crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, natural gas and other petroleum based-fuels that are traded on exchanges. It may also invest in other oil interests such as cash-settled options on oil futures contracts, forward contracts for oil, and OTC transactions that are based on the price of oil. The fund is nondiversified.
Commodities: Crude Oil Climbs, Gold Falls Energy and agricultural futures were heading higher Monday, but metals, including gold, were a bit more sluggish. More from Chris Nichols Dow Watch: Citigroup, Bank of America SoarDow Watch: GE, Bank of America DropCommodities: Crude Oil Slips, Gold RisesStocks in U.S. Hold Near Flat LineCommodities: Gold, Crude Oil SurgeDow Watch: GE Escapes DowndraftDow Watch: Citigroup, Bank of America RallyFed May Dedicate More Than $1 Trillion to Boost EconomyDow Watch: Citigroup, General Electric RiseMetals Winners and Losers: Alcoa Market Activity BHP Billiton Limited| BHP UPSPDR Gold| GLD DOWNPetro-Canada| PCZ UPRecently, newly benchmarked crude oil for May delivery was up $1.81 in New York at $53.88 a barrel, and reformulated gasoline was rising 6 cents to $1.52 a gallon. Heating oil was adding nearly 9 cents to $1.47 a gallon, and natural gas was increasing 10 cents to $4.32 per million British thermal units. Meanwhile, gold was down $5.50 at $950.70 an ounce, and silver was losing 2 cents to $13.83 an ounce. Copper was higher by 4 cents at $1.83 a pound. Agricultural contracts were stronger, with the exception of sugar. Soybeans, wheat, corn and cotton had the biggest percentage gains. Lean hogs declined, while cattle rose. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar was mixed. The greenback was climbing against the euro and the yen, but it lost ground to the pound and the Australian dollar. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index was edging ahead at 226.49. Among commodity-related stocks, Suncor Energy (SU Quote - Cramer on SU - Stock Picks) was unchanged at $25.29 after saying it would buy Petro-Canada (PCZ Quote - Cramer on PCZ - Stock Picks) in a deal worth more than $15 billion. Petro-Canada was up 25.5% at $30.12. Oil majors Exxon Mobil (XOM Quote - Cramer on XOM - Stock Picks) and Chevron (CVX Quote - Cramer on CVX - Stock Picks) had gains exceeding 4%, and ConocoPhillips (COP Quote - Cramer on COP - Stock Picks) was up 5.2%. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto (RTP Quote - Cramer on RTP - Stock Picks) was jumping 16.1% to $132.41, and fellow miner BHP Billiton (BHP Quote - Cramer on BHP - Stock Picks) was adding 6.5% to $47.38. As for exchange-traded funds, the Gold Shares (GLD Quote - Cramer on GLD - Stock Picks) was slipping 0.2% to $93.42, while the U.S. Oil (USO Quote - Cramer on USO - Stock Picks) was up 3.1% at $31.72. Source: Chris Nichols www.thestreet.com
NYSE:GLD March 23, 2009 1:42pm

XHB, URE UP AS HOME SALES BETTER THAN EXPECTED IN FEBRUARY

sale-pending

U.S. existing home sales up 5.1 pct

  The pace of sales of existing home in the U.S. rose 5.1 percent in February to a 4.72 million-unit annual rate, rebounding from the previous month's drop, while home prices fell again the National Association of Realtors said on Monday. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting home resales to slip to a 4.45 million-unit pace, from the 4.49 million rate initially reported for January, which was unrevised. February's sales increase was the largest since July 2003.   The inventory of existing homes for sale rose 5.2 percent to 3.80 million from the 3.61 million overstock reported in January. The median national home price declined 15.5 percent from a year ago to $165,400. That was the second biggest decline on record. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio) Source: www.reuters.com
NYSE:URE March 23, 2009 11:16am

The Government Saves The Banks AGAIN!

piggy-bank If you  think the banks have bottomed and want to ride the wave up, then XLF is for you.  The investment includes companies from the following industries: banks, diversified financials, insurance and real estate. The fund will normally invest at least 95% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the relevant Select Sector Index.
Turning Toxic Assets into Gold All week you will probably hear about "toxic assets" and the government's plan to rid the banks of these "bad" assets on their balance sheets. But several astute readers have already alerted us all: Today's "toxic assets" are tomorrow's "hot buys." The next scandal is going to be stories on wealthy Wall Streeters making a fortune buying "toxic" assets financed by the government as the real estate market recovers. That just might be the case. Here is one scenario that weaves a silver lining into all those assets the government just might be buying on our behalf... Take the example of Mike. He bought a small condo in the burbs of DC for $200,000 several years ago. The market was hot; he could not go wrong his agent said. He put $20,000 down and took out a 7% note from Countrywide (now Chase (JPM)) for $180,000. Now conditions outside the beltway recently got bad for everyone. The housing market slumped. The condos in his complex are listed for $110,000 and not selling. To make matters worse, Mike lost his job in November and just missed the first loan payment ever in his life. Is this mortgage a toxic asset for Chase? You bet. Let's assume that under the new Treasury plan, a private investor fund and the government buy this asset at a discount. (And a whole bunch more just like them). Why? So Chase can show more cash and liquidity on it's books and restore confidence to it's depositors that it can cover any withdraw requests. The story continues. Mike finds a job three months from now. He starts making his payments again. Further, because of the discount paid for the note, the investors and the government have lowered his monthly payments, principal, and will forgive his past back payments. He now is paying on a $120,000 note at 5%. His job looks quite stable. Now let's look ahead 5 years from now. Mike has been current on his note ever since his new job. He has paid the investors and the government 5 years of interest at 5%. Condo values have recovered and several units in his building just sold for $230,000. Will anyone buy that note? You bet they will. You will no doubt hear more details on the Treasury's plans. There may be more outrage at the government assisting big banks in their new quest to become liquid and trustworthy again. Remember that just because those assets might look toxic today on the US government balance sheet, that doesn't mean they will be toxic forever. This just might be one of the better investments the government has made on our behalf. Source:  www.seekingalpha.com
NYSE:XLF March 23, 2009 10:09am

The potential tax advantages of buying an ETF

taxesWith April fast approaching we are all managing our tax obligations from last year. When preparing all the documentation for my accountant, I always tell myself that this year I will be smarter. I will make wise decisions with my money and take advantage of all of the legal tax loopholes available to me. We here at etfdailynews are not tax experts, so check with your accountant first, but see below for one more reason you might choose an ETF for your investment vehicle.
ETFs can be easily employed to help investors minimize their tax consequences. Year-end is prime time for investors to evaluate their portfolios’ tax exposure. Investors can structure tax-swap transactions using ETFs to harvest tax losses while avoiding the impact of wash-sale rules. A tax swap is defined as the sale of one security, followed by the simultaneous purchase of a similar investment. The sale of the security purchased at the higher price potentially triggers a loss, which can be used to offset gains realized elsewhere in the portfolio. This may help to reduce taxes due for the current year, or fund the purchase of additional positions in order to realize gains that could be offset by the loss. If there are no realized gains in the current year, losses can be carried forward and used to offset gains in future years. More importantly, tax swaps enable investors to maintain or alter their desired market exposure when they do take a loss.
Whether the objective is to harvest losses from mutual funds, concentrated stock positions or another ETF, the investor may choose to hold the ETF purchased in place of the sold position for its diversification benefit. Alternatively, the investor can sell the ETF after 31 days have passed, pursuant to the wash-sale rule, and then re-purchase the original position.
 
Sample Uses:
Harvest losses from a concentrated stock position
Sector ETFs may enable an investor to maintain exposure to a particular market segment while simultaneously harvesting the loss from a losing position. An investor with an underwater position in a biotech firm sells the stock to harvest the loss and then purchases an ETF with a high correlation to the sold position. By doing so, the investor maintains her exposure to, or conviction in, the sector while increasing the diversification of her portfolio.
 
Source: spdrs.com      
ETF BASIC NEWS March 22, 2009 10:03pm

Certain Commodity ProShares Affected by Shift to Daylight Saving Time on 3/8/2009

daylight Since daylight saving time is effective on different dates in London and New York, we need to temporarily change NAV calculation times and cutoff times for Authorized Participants (AP) to create/redeem shares for ProShares ETFs tied to three benchmarks: Silver, Gold, and the Dow Jones-AIG Commodity IndexSM.1 From March 8 through March 28, 2009, most NAV calculation times and AP cutoff times will move forward one hour. On March 29, 2009 when London also “springs” forward one hour our standard times will resume.
 ProShares ETF Ticker Symbol AP Create/Redeem Cutoff Time NAV Calculation Time
Standard 3/8–3/28/2009 Standard 3/8–3/28/2009
Ultra Silver
AGQ
6:00 a.m. ET 7:00 a.m. ET 7:00 a.m. ET 8:00 a.m. ET
UltraShort Silver
ZSL
Ultra Gold
UGL
9:00 a.m. ET 10:00 a.m. ET 10:00 a.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET
UltraShort Gold
GLL
Ultra DJ-AIG Commodity
UCD
10:45 a.m. ET 11:45 a.m. ET 2:30 p.m. ET 2:30 p.m. ET
UltraShort DJ-AIG Commodity
CMD
NOTE: There will be another adjustment on October 25, 2009,  when London “falls back” to standard time one week before New York changes on November 1, 2009. For that one week, times will again shift one hour later than our standard times. A chart with the specific times will be posted in October.

1 Silver and Gold ETFs are based on pricing set in London. The DJ-AIG Commodity Index includes items traded on the London Metals Exchange (Aluminum, Nickel, Zinc).

Source: proshares.com

NYSE:GLD March 22, 2009 9:43pm

ISHARES SOLD FOR $5 BILLION – Sunday, March 22, 2009

sold1 Hellman & Friedman May Offer $5 Billion for Barclays’ iShares Hellman & Friedman LLC is putting together a group of private-equity groups that may bid for Barclays Plc’s iShares unit in a transaction valued at as much as $5 billion, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Barclays, the U.K.’s third-largest bank, has set a deadline for offers for the end of this week, said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The lender may finance as much as 80 percent of the sale price of the iShares unit, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Barclays is exploring the sale of iShares, a unit of its fund management arm, as it tries to bolster capital without turning over a stake to the British government. The London-based company said March 16 that it had begun talks with the Treasury about taking part in an insurance program capping losses on toxic assets. “The sale gives Barclays scope to take part in the asset protection scheme,” said Simon Willis, an analyst at NCB Stockbrokers Ltd. in London who has a “reduce” rating on the stock. “In more normal circumstances it would be viewed as a strategically important asset, but this is a pragmatic decision to raise money.” San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman raised $8.4 billion for its latest fund, which closed in April 2007. The firm already owns U.K. fund manager Gartmore Investment Management Ltd. With Bain Capital LLC, it jointly bid for bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s asset-management unit, only to be topped in December by an offer from the unit’s executives. Asset Insurance A New York-based Hellman & Friedman spokesman declined to comment on the possible bid. Nicola Hankey, a Barclays’ spokeswoman, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today. IShares is the biggest manager of exchange-traded funds. Barclays Global Investors had 1.04 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) of funds under management at the end of 2008, including 226 billion pounds at iShares. Exchange-traded funds are mutual funds that trade on stock exchanges and don’t have a fixed number of shares. The U.K. government has offered to insure the distressed assets of banks to spur lending and jumpstart the economy. Banks have until March 31 to enter the asset protection program. Barclays has fallen 32 percent this year on concern it may need to raise more capital to cushion against further credit losses as the recession deepens. The bank has been hurt by speculation it hasn’t marked down toxic assets to the same extent as its peers. Participation in the government’s insurance program will be based on the “economic merits” for shareholders, Barclays said. It will only enter the program if it can pay the fees in cash and avoid giving a stake to the government, Willis said. Source:   Edward Evans and Andrew MacAskill   www.bloomberg.com
ETF BASIC NEWS March 22, 2009 5:37pm

Think The US Dollar Is Going To ZERO? – Sunday, March 22, 2009

money-treetThe US Treasury is printing money like it grows on trees.  If you think your morning coffee will cost you $1,000 in the near future, short the US Dollar using UDN. The investment UDN seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Deutsche Bank Short US Dollar Futures index. The index is comprised solely of short futures contracts. The futures contract is designed to replicate the performance of being short the US Dollar against the Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.
Will The Fed's $1.2 Trillion Resurrect The Economy? So far it seemes like the Fed and Treasury have been playing whack-a-mole with each financial crisis that pops its head up. Will the Fed's plan to buy some $1.2 Trillion worth of bonds resurrect the economy or is it a last resort type move similar to jabbing an adrenaline shot into someone's stopped heart? What happened? On Wednesday the Federal Reserve declared that it would buy some $300 billion worth of long-term U.S. Treasuries as well as up to $1.25 trillion of government agency debt such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Before we talk about the effects of this adrenaline shot, let's consider how much $1 trillion really is: The Washington Post reports that If counted out in $1,000 bills, one million dollars would be a stack 4 inches high. To reach a billion dollars, that same stack would have to be 358 feet high. To reach a trillion dollars, the stack would stand 67.9 miles high. In other words, if you spent a million dollars a day, every single day since Jesus was born, you would still be several hundred billion dollars short of having spent one trillion. What does the Fed want to get accomplished? The rationale behind Mr. Bernanke's move is that long-term borrowing rates benchmarked to Treasury bonds will fall based on the Fed's actions. This would affect loans such as student loans, car loans, mortgages and corporate debt. The Fed has tried this approach once before. Operation Twist took place in 1961 and was designed to lower long term borrowing rates (buying long term bonds), in an effort to encourage investment and grow the economy, while simultaneously raising short-term rates to reduce pressure on the dollar. According to research published by the Fed itself, Operation Twist in the 60s did not work. What are the risks? There is the risk that this move (as the previous ones) won't work or even backfire. Fear of inflation may take hold as investors grow weary of the governments soaring budget deficit. Fear of inflation could actually send Treasury yields higher. What was the effect? The Fed's announcement had far reaching effects on different asset classes, at least for the day. The U.S. dollar recorded its biggest drop against the euro. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bearish ETF (NYSEArca: UDN - News) dropped as much as 3.69% while its bullish cousin, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (NYSEArca: UUP - News) gained as much as 3.89%. Even though this doesn't sound like much, for currencies those are monster moves. Gold (NYSEArca: GLD - News) was down as much as 5% on Wednesday but reversed course and gained about 9% since. Silver (NYSEarca: SLV - News) staged a 14.30% trend reversal since the announcement. Investors, concerned about devaluation of the U.S. dollar are seeking safety in precious metals. Long-term U.S. Treasury bonds spiked as much as 6%. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury ETF (NYSEArca: TLT - News) and SPDR Barclays Capital Long Term Treasury ETF (NYSEArca: TLO - News) provide exposure to long-term Treasuries. The reaction of equities was subdued compared to other asset classes. The Dow Jones (AMEX: DIA - News), S&P 500 (AMEX: SPY - News) and Nasdaq (Nasdaq: QQQQ) gained some 3% before retracing to 'pre-announcement' levels. The Financials Select Sector SPDRs (NYSEArca: XLF - News) and SPDR KBW Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE - News) rallied some 10% before giving up most of their gains. Will it work? The Fed's announcement and the market's recent behavior fits exactly within ETFguide's big picture outlook. In February we forecasted the following (available to subscribers of the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter): 'The best target for a temporary low is 6,700 for the Dow and 700 for the S&P 500. Extreme pessimistic sentiment may drive the indexes even towards Dow 6,000 and S&P 600'. The Dow bottomed at 6,440, right within our 6,000 to 6,700 target range. On March 1st, we sent out the following Trend Change Alert notice to subscribers on record: 'While the Dow Jones and S&P have dropped to multi-decade lows, the Nasdaq remains above the 2008 low. Ideally, we would like to see lower lows for all indexes brought about by a final phase of capitulation. One more up-down sequence over the next 1-2 weeks concluded by a huge down-day on high volume would be ideal. Once a bottom is found, a multi-month rally should lift the indexes by some 30%. Tuesday's 4% spike may be an indication of the initial intensity of the rally.' At that time we recommended to lighten up on short ETFs and start accumulating broad sector ETFs as the iShares Russell 1000 (NYSEArca: IWB) and Vanguard Total Stock Market (NYSEArca: VTI - News). For more aggressive investors we highlighted the Ultra S&P 500 ProShares (NYSEArca: SSO - News) and Ultra Financial ProShares (NYSEArca: UYG - News). The market bottomed eight days later. The ensuing rally propelled the market 16% within less than two weeks. The market was already in rally mode before the Fed announced its plan. Quite frankly, a rally was overdue (and foretold by the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter) to relieve an extremely oversold condition. As this rally continues, credit may be given to Mr. Bernanke and his crew for saving the U.S. economy from collapsing. What's next? Over the next months the market will be giving you a chance to cash out at levels you would have signed off on not too long ago. Don't blow this chance. While it will be important to identify the rally's end, even more important is to know how much the market will have to drop before reaching the ultimate low. The ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter has correctly foretold every unwinding turn of this financial crisis. The March issue exams the long-term outlook in detail. This long-term outlook is based on indicators with a track record of pinpointing major market bottoms. These indicators include: dividend yields, P/E ratios and investor sentiment reflected in fund manager's cash holdings. A look at history shows that the market does not bottom for real, until the above indicators reach certain levels. Indicative if its implications, we've dubbed them the 'Four Horsemen.' Similar to the October 2007 and January 2009 high, at a time where investors will begin to feel comfortable with their portfolios again, the revenge of the four horsemen will deliver the next knock-out punch. The next leg down is likely to be more powerful than what we've seen over the past year. At times like these, an investment in knowledge will pay the best dividends. Source:  By Simon Maierhofer www.ETFguide.com
NYSE:UDN March 22, 2009 2:13pm

Investors Betting On Gaming ETF – Saturday March 21, 2009

casino Political maneuvers in Washington, D.C., and Beijing are driving renewed interest in the gaming industry. And that's translating into a surge in assets for the Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSE:BJK - News). The exchange-traded fund's assets have jumped from just $2 million on March 6 to $15 million today. But trading volume has been even more impressive:While activity limped along at 1,000-3,000 shares per day in January and February, it exploded to the upside starting on March 9. Such an upturn comes following a series of corporate and political moves that could leave casinos and related gaming firms poised to reap significant rewards, according to portfolio managers and analysts. "Something's definitely happening," said Adam Phillips, managing director of Van Eck Global's Market Vectors unit. "It could be an early-stage U.S. economic recovery play or simply renewed strength in the gaming sector based on specific company fundamental outlooks." Movements are taking place on both fronts. Interest in the gaming sector started picking up on March 4, when the chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS - News) said the casino operator wouldn't have to default on its debt obligations. In a Reuters report late the day before, Sheldon Adelson credited a combination of cost-cutting moves and increased business in Macau, China's booming casino mecca. The company has two casinos in the Chinese city. The CEO, speaking at a Reuters-sponsored conference, was bullish on an upturn in travel to Macau. Adelson felt confident about a pickup in business "based on recent Chinese media reports suggesting that the governments of Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong province have decided to lift the restrictions," the article added. Shares of LVS have jumped from a closing price of $2.19 on March 2 to end at $2.57 on Thursday. Around the same time, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) held a press conference in which he complained that the three-year-old ban on Internet trading was hurting trading activities between the U.S. and Europe. At that time, he also laid out plans to start working towards presenting legislation to overturn those restrictions. Broad-Based Rally? Robert Stein, chief investment officer at Astor Financial, has been watching the ETF's recent climb. The adviser and portfolio manager, who was trained as an economist and takes a top-down approach to analyzing sectors as well as macroeconomic conditions, believes BJK's rising fortunes are broad-based. He said that while the gaming industry has been battered by the recession, it has actually held up relatively well compared with many other sectors. "As a result, some analysts are starting to speculate that more discretionary income will go into the sector in the future," said Stein. "If that plays out, BJK could definitely benefit from a broader-based economic recovery." In fact, he notes that stock markets in the U.S. started showing signs of improvement around March 6, when the major indexes seemed to bottom out in terms of intraday lows. "A lot of other areas in the market besides gaming have picked up some traction since that point," added Stein. "So this move into BJK probably isn't just short-term traders." But not everyone is eager to rush into the sector yet. That includes managers at the Financial Enhancement Group. "We have been avoiding the gaming stocks and will for some time," said Adam Harter, one of the firm's analysts. "Demographically speaking, we feel the business model had some flaws given the spending patterns and age composition of our country at this time." Jerry Slusiewicz, president of Pacific Financial Planners, says BJK nonetheless looks attractive from a technical standpoint. "It looks like this ETF has really formed a truer double bottom than the rest of the market," he said. A so-called double bottom formation is viewed as a very positive signal in technical analysis. "There's a lot of support around $13.20 for BJK (which closed up on Friday at $15.97)," said Slusiewicz. "So the downside could be around 16% from this point. I would definitely use stop losses around there to limit risks if you're interested in jumping into this ETF." He warns that the ETF's top four holdings comprise nearly a third of its portfolio. But a plus for the portfolio is that more than 70% of its assets are in foreign stocks. "That could be another catalyst for BJK since emerging markets stand to outperform in any prolonged global economic rebound," said Slusiewicz. Slusiewicz notes that, as an institutional investor who blocks trades for high net worth clients, the recent uptick in volume for BJK isn't great enough to ease his liquidity concerns. "If I were to take a position in this ETF, we'd wind up owning several days worth of shares based on current trading volume. It would still just be too difficult to get out of that position if we had to for any reason," he said. But for smaller investors, Slusiewicz likes the prospects for BJK going forward. He says that various sets of other data besides volume and asset numbers indicate institutions are jumping into the gaming sector through the Market Vectors ETF. "It's like watching an elephant jump into a relatively small pond," he said. "It's making a big splash, and you can see that through exploding trading volume and rising assets." The sector is also still undervalued, adds Slusiewicz. "The whole industry is very cheap. Look at Las Vegas Sands. It was trading at $106 a share at one point in 2008. Now that's down to less than $3 a share," he said. "And it's a big company with a market cap of $1.7 billion right now. So we're not talking about chump change." Source:  www.yahoo.com
NYSE:BJK March 21, 2009 5:28pm

ETF WEEK IN REVIEW Friday March 20, 2009

bearbull21 (smartmoney.com) Winners

As crude oil stayed above $51 a barrel, the United States Oil fund (USO: 30.76, +0.40, +1.31%) picked up 14.1% for the week. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production fund (XOP: 27.59, -1.33, -4.59%) gained 9.4%.

Losers

Investors fled risky housing-related and real estate funds after signs this week those industries still have a ways to go on the road to recovery. The SPDR DJ Wilshire REIT fund (RWR: 24.60, -2.28, -8.48%) shed 13% over the week, while the iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index (ICF: 26.81, -2.57, -8.74%) fund lost 11.5%.

This Week’s Industry News

Closings Six MarketGrader ETFs will be shut down, sponsor SPA ETFs announced Monday. Three exchange-traded notes issued by Credit Suisse Securities will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange by April 3 because of insufficient trading volumes. The Elements MLCX Gold Index ETN (GOE: 58.00, -2.15, -3.57%), Elements MLCX Livestock Index ETN (LSO: 7.99, +0.05, +0.62%) and Elements MLCX Precious Metals Plus Index (PMY: 8.00, -0.32, -3.84%) will close, but Credit Suisse said it will continue to list its Elements Credit Suisse Global Warming ETN (GWO: 4.40, +0.00, +0.00%).

ETF BASIC NEWS March 20, 2009 10:44pm

Short ETF’s Soar As The Bulls Crawl Back Into A Hole

stocks-plungeStocks gave up gains before the weekend as the bears send the bulls hiding.  ETF Short "FAZ" soared today gaining 15% making me believe the bear attack is back.  My prediction of DOW 5000 is becoming a reality and the bear market rally has ceased for now!
  Despite Rally, Short ETFs Still Lead Wall Street Being short continues to be all the rage, based upon Forbes’ Short Term PowerRatings. Despite a significant rally in equities, short ETFs still hold their place as the leader in today’s stock market. The Short Term PowerRatings attempts to find stocks that are performing well against the market as a whole. After closing in on a near two week rally, short ETFs are still dominating long ETFs and stocks as the best investment on Wall Street. Writing for Forbes, David Penn, senior editor of TradingMarkets, found very few stocks that could be substituted for some of the high-flying short ETFs on the Short Term PowerRatings list. “The fear of losing gains to a sudden reversal is what will eventually lead to the profit-taking that will bring stocks lower and short ETFs higher,” he said. Eighteen funds from the PowerRatings list posted gains of greater than 30% in the past year, with all of them being short or inversed investments.  By:  March 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm by ETF.com
NYSE:FAZ March 20, 2009 4:29pm

How Can Jim Cramer Blame The Financial Crisis On An ETF?

jim-cramer Jim Cramer has been consistently saying that "SKF" is the reason for the run on the banks.  These short ETF's have been very popular during the bear market raids!  Could these short ETF's including the 3X short "FAZ" be the reason for the run on the banks? -Administrator
Friday, 6 Mar 2009  www.cnbc.com Cramer’s Outrage: Short Sellers, the SKF and the SEC Cramer is directing the same level of energy toward eliminating ultra-short ETFs as he did in demanding the Federal Reserve open the discount window back in August 2007. (You all remember “They know nothing!” right? ) Regular Mad Money viewers have heard his calls to the SEC before. He wants the UltraShort Financials ProShares [SKF 125.35 6.25 (+5.25%) ] fund shut down because short traders are using it to hammer down financials stocks virtually unchecked. This is the fund that turns a $1 investment into $3 – an SEC-approved skirting of its own margin rules – putting even more pressure on the banks than the credit crisis has. That, of course, is why the shorts like the SKF so much. They’re kicking the sector when it’s already down, making a hefty profit in process. Watch the video for Cramer’s in-depth analysis. He puts the importance of short-selling rules in historical context – as in, lessons learned from the Great Depression – debunks the reasoning that former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox used to get rid of them, and explains how the SKF is aiding in the destruction of Citigroup [C 2.65 0.05 (+1.92%) ], Bank of America [BAC 6.2099 -0.7201 (-10.39%) ], Wells Fargo [WFC 14.40 -1.02 (-6.61%) ], US Bancorp [USB 13.76 -0.50 (-3.51%) ] and many other banks.     Videos: http://www.cnbc.com/id/29553202
NYSE:SKF March 20, 2009 10:20am

XLF down as the bears bite back at financial stocks!

black-bear
By MarketWatch www.marketwatch.com
BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. financial sector couldn't hold on to early gains Thursday and fell into the red as the rally in banking stocks fizzled even in the wake of news the Federal Reserve would pump trillions of dollars into the mortgage and bond markets to jumpstart the economy.
Citigroup Inc.  C shares rose early in the session but reversed course and were off about 6% in afternoon trade. The company announced a plan to convert preferred shares into common stock to boost its capital.
In the broader financial sector, the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund  XLF was down about 4% in recent action.
Citi in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday said that it has reached definitive agreements with private preferred shareholders to convert $12.5 billion of the securities into common shares.
Citi was also making headlines Thursday that could further inflame public anger over how financial institutions are spending bailout money they have received from the government. Citigroup plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for senior executives, according to a published report Thursday. Citigroup has also reportedly canceled orders for private jets for top executives.
Insurance stocks were weak Thursday after Moody's cut Prudential Financial Services Inc.'s PRU  credit rating.
"The financial profile of Prudential continues to be hurt by its very substantial exposure to the variable annuity business with guarantees, as well as by the increased losses from its investment portfolio," Moody's said in a statement.
Prudential shares were off more than 15%. Lincoln National Corp.  LNC fell 9% and MetLife Inc MET shed 8%.
In earnings news, Discover Financial Services  DFS  said it was profitable in the first quarter, but the firm slashed its dividend. See complete coverage. End of Story
 
NYSE:XLF March 19, 2009 3:34pm

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