All ETF Daily News Articles

Index IQ is planning Another 15 hedge-fund ETFs

hedgefund1Less than a month after launching what it called the first U.S. ETF based on hedge fund strategies, Index IQ is planning to expand the category to 15 more indexes. The company has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking approval of the new exchange traded funds. Like the IQ Hedge Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF (QAI), which the firm announced March 25, the new products are apparently structured as "funds of funds" that are designed to mimic the performance of certain hedge fund strategies. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 3:08pm

Two Things Fueling Commodity ETFs

commoditiesAs with other parts of the market, certain commodities and their exchange traded funds (ETFs) have shown some signs of life and have started to recover. Part of this recovery can be attributed to President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, which is aimed to target the construction industry, the Federal Reserve’s actions to put more spending money in the hands of consumers and businesses and other similar stimulus packages and interest rate cuts seen around the globe. Granted crude oil is a far cry from its peak of $147/barrel seen in July, but the volatile commodity has gained about 40% since February of this year.  Take a look at United States Oil (USO), which is up 7.12% over the last month. Many analysts suggest that black gold will continue to be a “hot commodity” because of tensions in oil-producing regions and the rise in the middle class of Asian countries, especially China. Full Story:
NYSE:GLD April 15, 2009 11:02am

XShares Out Of Target-Date Series – retirement exchange-traded funds?

tdxTDX Independence Funds Inc., which is controlled by TD Ameritrade, is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to make Amerivest Investment Management the investment advisor to its series of five target-date retirement exchange-traded funds. Amerivest is perhaps best-known by ETF investors for its commission-free trading accounts. The TD Ameritrade unit charges its ETF customers set fees based on asset levels in exchange for asset allocation advice. In the request, dated April 10, current adviser XShares wouldn't be immediately removed as adviser to the TDX Independence funds. But the filing says that TDX believes "that is foreseeable that Amerivest may replace XShares as the investment adviser to TDX Funds." The filing states: "Applicants seek the relief so that, in the circumstance where XShares no longer serves as investment adviser to the funds, the TDX funds and Amerivest may rely on the order granted ... " Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 10:29am

Invesco PowerShares Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of PowerShares QQQ(TM)

happy-birthdayInvesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC, a leading provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), today announces the 10-year anniversary of the PowerShares QQQ(TM) Portfolio (NASDAQ: QQQQ). "Since trading began on March 10, 1999, the PowerShares QQQ(TM) has become one of the most actively traded securities in the world, fostering wide-scale acceptance of the ETF structure among institutions, traders and retail investors," said Bruce Bond, president and CEO of Invesco PowerShares. "Today we are proudly celebrating with the NASDAQ OMX Group the success of this landmark ETF." PowerShares QQQ(TM) has maintained an average daily trading volume of over 92 million shares, making it the most traded equity security in the world since its inception.(1) The PowerShares QQQ(TM), formerly known as "NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock®," is based on the NASDAQ-100 Index®. The Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization. The PowerShares QQQ(TM) represents companies across major industry groups such as information technology, healthcare, consumer discretionary and staples, industrials, materials and telecommunication services. The portfolio is rebalanced quarterly and reconstituted annually. Effective March 21, 2007, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. transferred sponsorship of QQQ to Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC, and the NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock® was renamed PowerShares QQQ(TM). Today, PowerShares QQQ(TM) continues to track 100 of the largest, most innovative non-financial companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. Full Story:\ACQINW200903100900MRKTWIREUSPR____0480526.htm
NASDAQ:QQQQ April 15, 2009 9:59am

OPEC: Global oil demand falls further

oil1The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries says demand will drop by 1.37 million barrels per day in 2009, a sharper decline than previously forecast. LONDON (Reuters) -- World oil demand is shrinking faster than previously thought as a slowing global economy erodes consumption, OPEC said on Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its Monthly Oil Market Report that demand would drop by 1.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2009 to average 84.2 million bpd. Its previous forecast was for demand to fall by 1.01 million bpd. Demand is falling fastest in the developed nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but the global downturn has also curbed previously rapid demand growth in developing countries like China and India. Demand growth in countries outside the OECD has fallen by 90% year-on year, OPEC said, and is now expected to increase by just 200,000 bpd in 2009. "Unlike last year, non-OECD oil demand growth has lost 90% of its strength this year," OPEC said in its report. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 9:57am

Gold turns lower after U.S. inflation data

imagesLONDON (Reuters) - Gold turned lower on Wednesday after U.S. inflation data showed a suprise drop in consumer prices, and as the dollar reached session highs versus the euro, denting the metal's appeal as an alternative investment.  Prices steadied, however, and remained rangebound amid conflicting signals on inflation and the outlook for equities.  Spot gold was bid at $889.05 an ounce at 1308 GMT (9:08 a.m. EDT) against $888.85 late in New York on Tuesday.  U.S. inflation data for March showed a dip of 0.1 percent in the consumer price index, against expectations for a rise of 0.1 percent. Consumer prices recorded their first annual drop since 1955.  "Short term, these figures are obviously not bullish for gold, but in the longer term you have to look past the current fall in inflation," said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet.  "With all the quantitative easing and low interest rates, inflation is going to head up again. That is why gold only moved a few dollars."  The precious metal is often bought as a hedge against rising inflation, and prices can be dented by deflationary signals.  On the foreign exchange markets, the dollar rose to session highs versus the euro in the wake of the numbers. A stronger dollar tends to weigh on gold, which is often bought as an alternative investment to the U.S. currency.  The euro earlier fell against the dollar after European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said the central bank will announce a package of "non-standard measures" in May Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 9:21am

South Korea due to be upgraded to “developed market,” Will Be dropped From EEM ETF

southkoreaSouth Korea is due to be upgraded from "emerging market" to "developed market," which means it will be removed from the iShares Emerging Markets ETF(EEM Quote), long a popular proxy for emerging market investing. South Korea has been one of the largest components of the fund, so its removal will make way for smaller countries and more volatility. Investors buy foreign stocks, including emerging markets, to diversify their portfolios. For most people, this means buying a broad-based fund like the iShares Emerging Markets ETF. However, broad-based funds can be a less efficient means of diversification because they blend countries with different attributes, nullifying some of the effect. A better solution is to invest at the country level, either with country funds or individual stocks. The pending change in iShares Emerging Markets ETF makes this a good time to reconsider how to access the space. Chile and Thailand make for an excellent compare-and-contrast. Chile is a commodity-based economy (copper), has a trade surplus, a stable government and privatized social security, which creates a constant source of demand for equities. In contrast, Thailand has a history of instability, both in its currency (it was ground zero for the Asian contagion in 1997) and its government (there have been ten coups since 1933). Thailand is making news today due to questions about the legitimacy of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which has caused the currency to wobble. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 8:24am

World Gold Council appoints new head of Exchange Traded Gold

gold1UAE. The World Gold Council (WGC) has today announced the appointment of Jason Toussaint as Managing Director of Exchange Traded Gold (ETG) Toussaint will be based in WGC's New York Office and joins the organisation from his position as Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Strategist at Northern Trust Global Investments. He has over 14 years experience in the global investment banking industry having also worked at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, and in the US, Asian, European and the Middle Eastern markets. Jason has extensive knowledge of the ETF market having developed investment solutions for institutional investors and contributed to strategy development in the pensions market whilst in previous roles. Commenting on his appointment, Jason Toussaint said: "It is exciting to be joining an organisation that is highly relevant and crucial to today's investment market - the demand for gold investment has soared in recent years, and gold ETFs have made a significant contribution to this growth. I look forward to the challenge of working in such a dynamic industry and with the very talented and experienced people at World Gold Council Aram Shishmanian, CEO, World Gold Council , said: "As the fall out from the global economic crisis continues to affect millions of investors around the world, many are wondering where it is safe to put their money.... .... Exchange Traded Funds are the newest way of investing in gold. The vehicle allows the metal to be traded in the form of a security on a stock exchange. By design, this form of securitised gold investment is expected to track the gold price almost perfectly. Unlike derivative products, the securities are 100% backed by physical gold held mainly in allocated form. Exchange traded gold provides retail and institutional investors with an efficient and cost-effective way to invest in gold. When introduced, the gold ETF overcame the previous barriers to gold as a practical asset and trading tool and revolutionised the market. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 15, 2009 6:59am

Drop in Oil and Gas Prices Masks Production Problems

oilMoody’s says the drop in oil and gas prices over the last year may have given some US oil and gas producers an opportunity to mask production problems — as opposed to uneconomical conditions — that may have contributed to downward revisions in their reserves. Amid the steep drop in commodity prices, the reserves considered economical to produce under SEC rules have dwindled and independent exploration and production (E&P) companies’ reported reserves have dropped accordingly, Moody’s says. Changes in pricing rules which come into effect on January 1, 2010, promise a far less volatile valuation for oil and natural gas reserves over the years. Full Story:
NYSE:UNG April 14, 2009 9:32pm

ETF Expert: Should You Be Buying What China Buys?

china3Historically speaking, U.S. Federal Reserve policy had a direct and sometimes predictable impact on investment direction. In the 20th century, lower overnight lending rates meant good things for stocks. And, if the Fed tightened its grip by raising target rates, you might cut back your equity exposure with great success. As we arrived in the 21st century, however, the results of "following the Fed's lead" has had mixed results. The Fed's rapid rate increases leading up to the dot-com collapse did little to deter Nasdaq euphoria... at least for several years. Then in March of 2000, the reality of the rate increases contributed to the quickness with which sentiment became bearish. (Only then did many exclaim, "See, you can't fight the Fed and win.") In 2004/2005/2006 the Fed raised rates consistently, albeit slowly.Yet stocks prospered throughout a rate raising environment. And even the dramatic rate cuts throughout 2008 did little to stop the 2nd worst bear in 100 years. In other words, you could easily have fought the Fed's rate cutting activity by deciding against the stock market... and won. Now the Fed is buying U.S. treasuries.  Most seem to think it would be a better idea to sell them. And the Fed is also buying mortgage-backed securities. Most seem to think this is actually a good investment. (See "Rethinking Mortgage-Debt ETFs.") Following the Fed in the 21st century, then... mixed results. Similarly, we might have been inclined to buy what the U.S. government wished to buy through its TARP program. Former Secretary Paulson infused capital into banks via preferred shares acquisitions. Even uber-bank-bear Meredith Whitney agreed that preferred shares were a good buy for investors. Yet nearly all preferred shares of the majors are trading at lower prices today than they were trading at when TARP 1.0 went into effect. In the end, one comes to the conclusion that there's no sure-fire thing. Just because your government's "doing it," does that mean you should jump on the same bandwagon? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It follows that another major economic force in the world has been making scores of investment decisions. One has to wonder, might we choose to buy the things that China is buying? Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 14, 2009 4:50pm

Tips for Investors Just Starting Out

new-investorNot so long ago, my newly employed friends and I applauded ourselves for being responsible and choosing to make high automatic contributions to our 401(k)s. A few years later, we've hardly been rewarded for taking the "prudent" route. Far from watching our savings grow, we've lost much of it.
NYSE:TMW April 14, 2009 2:34pm


dendreonNEW YORK (Reuters) - An experimental medicine from Dendreon Corp improved survival in men with advanced forms of prostate cancer, the company said on Tuesday, bolstering chances of it becoming the first approved therapeutic vaccine for any type of cancer. Shares of Dendreon (DNDN.O) more than tripled in heavy morning trading to as high as $22.10 as the study results suggested a revolutionary form of therapy is on the horizon for one of the most common cancers. Unlike traditional vaccines that prevent disease, the company's Provenge medicine treats it. "If you're in late stages of prostate cancer and your doctor says, 'You'll have no side effects with this drug and it will probably extend your life,' who's not going to take it?" said Sven Borho, an analyst with OrbiMed Advisors. The Phase III clinical trial met the main study goal of improving survival, prompting Dendreon to say it will seek U.S. regulatory approval of Provenge in the fourth quarter. "The successful outcome from the Phase 3 IMPACT study provides validation of the long-pursued goal of harnessing the human immune system against a patient's own cancer," Dendreon Chief Executive Mitchell Gold said in a statement. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men other than skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 14, 2009 2:08pm

Wall Street’s Last Hope for Profits

penniesUntil recently, investors had more than enough money for financial firms on and off Wall Street to earn monster profits. In the midst of this major recession, however, money managers have started fighting for every penny they can get. The latest evidence of how the fight for assets continues to intensify comes from recent announcements from Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW) and the Pimco unit of Allianz (NYSE: AZ) that they both intend to offer exchange-traded funds. Schwab's offering will use the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index as its benchmark, while the Pimco fund will track an index of Treasury bonds. The move may seem relatively innocuous, especially since both firms have only registered a single fund with the SEC. Yet the decisions could have ripple effects throughout the industry. ETF domination Currently, a few firms dominate the ETF scene. Barclays (NYSE: BCS) has its iShares line of ETFs, with $254.7 billion under management as of Dec. 31, 2008. State Street (NYSE: STT), meanwhile, has its well-known SPDR offerings, which make up $159.5 billion. Those two firms make up more than three-quarters of the ETF universe. Smaller competitors, such as Vanguard, ProShares, and Invesco's (NYSE: IVZ) PowerShares, have found niches of their own to fill. Vanguard focuses on low-cost offerings, while PowerShares has tried to use less traditional indexes to track. ProShares has had great success from its leveraged funds, especially on the bear-market side. Where Schwab and Pimco will fit into the picture remains unclear. Of course, a single ETF is unlikely to do any lasting damage to their competitors. But the move could represent an opening salvo in a much larger war. Full Story:
ETF BASIC NEWS April 14, 2009 1:48pm

Stem Cell Index: YTD Analysis, Banking on NeoStem

biotechThe ETF Innovators Global Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Index tracks the performance of 40 stem cell and regenerative medicine companies on a global basis with market caps of less than $1 billion at the inception of the index. The total market value of the index will be tracked as a gauge of investor and trader sentiment toward stem cell companies from a starting value of 3,928 on 2/22/09. The accompanying table includes statistics for the 40 companies in the ETF Innovators Global Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Index, which is down 10% at a composite market value of 3,533 from 3,928 at the index inception on 2/22/09. The index is down by 23.7% over the past year on an equal-weight basis, compared to losses of 24.5% for the Healthcare Sector SPDR (XLV), 16.2% for iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB), 18.5% for SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI), 28.5% for PowerShares Biotech & Genome (PBE), and 36.9% for the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY). On a year-to-date basis (YTD), the stem cell index is up 28.8% on an equal-weight basis, thanks to major gains in many of the smallest companies in the index with the companies listed in the table in descending order by their YTD stock price changes. The stem cell index performance on a YTD basis compares favorably to losses of 9.1% for the Healthcare Sector SPDR (XLV), 6.8% for iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB), 13.5% for SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI), 6.6% for PowerShares Biotech & Genome (PBE), and 4.9% for the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY). Integra LifeSciences (IART) regained its position as the market cap leader in the index at $634M since I last wrote about the index one month ago. Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR) has lost over one-third of its market value so far this year after halting a Phase 3 clinical trial in late March for what the Company termed a flawed trial design resulting in higher than expected placebo response rates. The most widely followed and traded proxy included in the index is StemCells (STEM), which has gained about 15% YTD and 8% over the past year. One of the top 10 stock price gainers YTD (registering a gain of nearly 100%) is NeoStem (NBS), which is a leader in the pre-disease collection, processing and long-term storage of adult stem cells for future medical applications. Click here for a link to NeoStem's five minute adult stem cell documentary video, which is hosted at their website. Full Story:
NASDAQ:IBB April 14, 2009 1:27pm

Midday Market Update: Markets In Red Despite Better Than Expected Earnings

down-arrowU.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are in the red in morning trading on unexpected declines in retail sales and producer prices, putting a halt in hopes that the economy has bottomed out.

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales declined 1.1% in March, making it the biggest decline in the last three months and a far cry from the 0.3% increase that analysts had forecast. The decline was lead by a slump in auto sales, restaurant, furniture and clothing stores and electronics sales, states the Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press.

On a positive note, the Labor Department reported that wholesale prices plunged a whopping 1.2% in March as a result of a sharp decline in the cost of gasoline, other energy products and food. This snapped a two-month stretch of price gains, which indicates that the recession is keeping inflation under control. Additionally, business inventories fell for a sixth straight month, posting a 1.3% decline and right on target with analysts’ expectations.

The retail industry is crucial to the overall state of the nation’s economy and is generally a great indicator of consumer confidence. The aforementioned decline in retail sales sent the SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) down about 1.3% in intraday trading, despite being up 26% year to date.

Full Story:

NYSE:XRT April 14, 2009 1:12pm

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