All ETF Daily News Articles

Astor Asset Management named No. 4 Top ETF Manager for 2008

top-performerAstor Asset Management’s (aam123.com) Long Short Balanced Program was named the No. 4 Best Performing Program by Forbes.com, based on data compiled by Barclays Global Investors’ iShares. Astor’s program began trading in 2001 and has averaged over 6.5% a year since inception with only one down year. Astor uses a fundamental model to determine the direction of the economic cycles for multiple non-correlating assets and uses Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) to construct diversified, non-correlating portfolios including: S&P 500 Trust (SPY), PowerShares QQQQ Trust (QQQQ), iShares iBoxx Investment Grade Corporate Bond (LQD), PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA), and SPDR Gold Shares (GLD). Additionally, Astor uses inverse ETFs, such as Short S&P 500 ProShares (SH), Direxion Financial Bull 3X Shares (FAS), and UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury ProShares (TBT) to hedge exposure during adverse market conditions. “Although we do not like to highlight performance in any one year because we believe that is not productive or even relevant to our goals, we are honored to be among the top performing programs featured by Forbes.com,” stated Rob Stein, managing partner of Astor Asset Management and senior portfolio manager of the Long Short Balance Program. Full Story:  http://www.emailwire.com/release/21928-Astor-Asset-Management-named-No-4-Top-ETF-Manager-for-2008.html
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 3:46pm

Bond ETFs Benefit From Narrow Focus

bondsStock exchange-traded funds have been lambasted for slicing the market too narrowly. But with bonds, more precision is what financial advisers need. Investors turned to fixed-income holdings last year to offset plunging stock values. But while Treasurys held up, municipal and corporate bonds cratered alongside stocks. This exposed a problem with many basic fixed-income mutual funds: These are often designed as catch-alls, holding all kinds of bonds and making it difficult for investors to gauge risk. In fund researcher Morningstar Inc.'s "intermediate term" bond fund category, for instance, the 10 best performers had, on average, almost 40% of their holdings in Treasurys and returned about 8.6% in 2008. The 10 worst performers in same category, with only about 6% in Treasury holdings, were down about 30% on average. ETF firms are aiming to capitalize on that kind of discrepancy, hoping financial advisers are ready to replace all-purpose bond funds they previously bought for clients with a mix of several narrow-focus bond ETFs, an approach that may allow them to calibrate risks more carefully. "With iShares ETFs, there are no investment-style surprises," says Christine Hudacko, a spokeswoman for Barclays PLC's (BCS) recently sold iShares unit. "No one needs more surprises now." Investors seem to be responding to the ETF companies' pitch, having poured about $23 billion into bond ETFs in 2008 and another $10.9 billion in the first quarter of 2009, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley. Full Story:  http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090423-715420.html
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 3:37pm

WisdomTree Schedules Earnings Conference Call for Q1 On April 30, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. ET

phoneWisdomTree (Pink Sheets: WSDT), an industry leading index developer and ETF sponsor, today announced that it plans to release its first quarter results on April 29, 2009 after the market closes. A conference call to discuss the firm’s results will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. ET. Teleconference and Webcast Details The call and accompanying presentation will be accessible as a webcast on the Investor Relations section of WisdomTree’s web site at www.wisdomtree.com. A replay will be available on our web site shortly after the call. Those wishing to listen to the live conference via telephone should dial-in at least 10 minutes before the call begins at the following telephone numbers:

Live Dial-in Information:

United States: (888) 680-0878

International: (617) 213-4855

Passcode: 98210740

Full Story: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=BW&date=20090423&id=9831669
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 11:57am

Why the Mutual Fund Fee Debate Is Heating Up

mutual-fund-feesThe mutual fund industry is facing much criticism over their fee structure, and the debate just got heavier with The Supreme Court involved in possible consequences. This could set the stage for exchange traded funds (ETFs) to take off with the market share mutual funds are going to lose. The latest development helping to bring the issue to the surface comes from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and which ever way the ruling goes, it will have definite consequences. It decided to reopen a case against RiverSource which had been turned down by a lower court. Hannah Glover for Ignites explains that the case centers on complaints from shareholders in 11 RiverSource funds who claim that Ameriprise breached its fiduciary duty by charging more for mutual funds than for similar institutional accounts. Full Story:  http://www.etftrends.com/2009/04/why-mutual-fund-fee-debate-is-heating-up.html
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 10:38am

Apple, QQQ & Technology

apple1Why? Because due to the QQQ's unusual weighting methodology, Apple accounts for 12.6% of the fund's assets. For comparison, Microsoft makes up only 4.8% of the ETF, despite having a significantly larger market cap than Apple: $166 billion vs. $108 billion. The market-cap oddities don't end there. Google counts for just 4.7% of the fund, despite having a market cap of $120 billion, almost identical to Apple. And Google's weight is just a shade above Gilead Sciences, a biotech company that accounts for 3.5% of the fund, despite having one-third of the market-cap of Google. Confused? The oddities trace back to the Nasdaq-100's methodology. The index is officially a "modified market-cap-weighted index." New companies entering the index are weighted essentially based on their market cap. But once they're in the index, the weight of companies rises and falls based on that company's stock price, with no real rebalancing as other components are added and subtracted from the index. Apple was added to the index long ago, and the stock has been one of the better-performing equities over the past decade. As a result, its weight in the index has grown and grown and grown. It's a potential weak point for the fund. If Apple stumbles, the QQQs will suffer. Full Story: http://www.indexuniverse.com/component/content/article/31/5744.html?Itemid=19
NASDAQ:QQQ April 23, 2009 10:16am

Financial worries spark bearish option trades in ETFs

wall-streetMany options traders on Wednesday appeared to be taking a protective stance and employed bearish strategies in several exchange-traded funds on concerns the stock market's recent gains are overdone. The bearish activity comes on a day of choppy trade in the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI and the Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX finished the session lower after disappointing results at Morgan Stanley reignited worries about the banking sector.  The market has been sensitive to the outlook for banks before the release of the federal government's "stress test," expected as early as Friday.  Option trading was heavy in the Direxion 3X Financial Bear Fund FAZ.P, or FAZ, a leveraged exchange-traded fund designed to move inversely to the financial sector. Its shares hit a low of $8.58, but bounced back as financials lagged late in the session. It closed at $9.90, up 7.73 percent. The ETF's option volume rose to double the normal levels, with 92,000 calls and 17,000 puts traded, according to option analytics firm Trade Alert. Full Story:  http://uk.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/idUKN2218972320090422
NYSE:FAZ April 23, 2009 10:02am

ProShares Raises Eyebrows by Filing for 94 3x Leveraged ETFs

eyebrowsIn a move that is raising eyebrows across the ETF industry, ProShares recently filed for approval of 94 different 3x ETFs with the SEC. The move follows competitor Rydex's filing of approval for its own line of 3x leveraged and inverse ETFs. Though it's unclear when the funds will actually launch, ProShares hopes to ultimately bring to market bullish and bearish 3x ETFs breaking down as follows:
  • Some 25 different domestic equity ETFs
  • Another 62 international equity ETFs
  • And seven bond ETFs
Full Story:  http://seekingalpha.com/article/132634-proshares-raises-eyebrows-by-filing-for-94-3x-leveraged-etfs
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 9:56am

1-Gold-backed ETF inflows at 456 T in Q1-WGC

goldLONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Gold-backed exchange-traded funds saw inflows of 456 tonnes worldwide in the first quarter of 2009, against a total 321 tonnes for the whole of the previous year, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.  Marcus Grubb, managing director of investment research and marketing at the WGC, said he expected investment as a proportion of total demand to reach a new high in the quarter.  "You are seeing a shift in the dynamic of the gold market," he said.  "ETF investment is in its infancy, and so is gold investment," he said. "Most allocations of gold are zero."  "You would only need a small shift in allocations to gold in segments of private and institutional wealth where they're not currently invested to have a major impact, when mining supply is only 2,400 tonnes a year."  He said gold supply was likely to be supported by scrap inflows, which he said will probably head above 1,500 tonnes this year, offsetting flat or slightly declining mine supply.  "The growth in investment is extremely strong," he said. "It is being led to some extent by ETFs." Full Story:  http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSLN67868120090423
NYSE:GLD April 23, 2009 9:50am

How a Changing Global Economy Affects ETF Investing

global1As many developed countries are stagnating, and may remain so for the time being, exchange traded fund (ETF) investors are looking overseas for new opportunities. Take the denizens of the United Kingdom, for example. It is likely that the United Kingdom’s growth may come to a crawl in the coming couple of years as a result of large debt and high taxes, writes Stephen Womack for Mail Online. Investors are becoming increasingly worried about a long-term decline. That’s why at a recent trade meeting, investors and savers wanted to know how to structure their savings for a changing world. The International Monetary Fund projects Britain’s recession will continue into 2010, longer than any other developed nation. It is also estimated that the government borrowings will increase to 11% of GDP by 2010, or two times the average of G20 nations. The sterling pound is down around 25 cents against the dollar and 12 cents against the euro. The long-term aspects don’t look all that appealing either with exports down and the country’s North Sea oil drying up. Full Story: http://www.nasdaq.com/newscontent/20090422/how-a-changing-global-economy-affects-etf-investing.aspx?storyid=8893
ETF BASIC NEWS April 23, 2009 9:19am

To invest or not to invest in OIL and GOLD with ETF’s right now?

ETF BASIC NEWS April 22, 2009 5:40pm

Sell Gold, Buy Oil

gold-or-oilGold is selling at a historic premium to black gold. Sell the former and buy the latter to ride the likely correction to come.

Gold futures made a rebound on April 20 as the volatile stock market triggered investors to dive into the precious metal. But they may be diving in at the high end of gold's run, at least for now. "The stock market got beat up pretty bad and anytime there is that kind of uncertainty, people turn to gold. Gold is, and has always been, the save haven investment." said Patrick Lafferty, commodity trading adviser with MF Global. At $885 an ounce, the price for gold is historically high, particularly in comparison to oil prices. Typically, it takes 10 to 15 barrels of oil to buy an ounce of gold; currently, it would take close to 20 barrels. On the flipside, an ounce of gold traded at just 4.5 barrels of oil last summer when the former was at $666 an ounce and the latter was at $147 per barrel. We all know what happened next: Oil fell sharply from its historic highs and gold rose by over $200 per ounce. Still, oil fell farther and faster than gold rose, meaning it was more overpriced than gold was underpriced........ ........Those looking to invest here might want to consider exchange-traded funds, which track indexes but trade like stocks. For gold you could consider the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD - news - people ), which owns actual gold vs. shares in gold-related firms. Its been in operation since November 2004 and has a market capitalization of $24.4 billion, which is quite large for an ETF. For those looking to invest in oil there are a few different options. One is the PowerShares DB Oil Fund ( DBO - news - people ), an ETF that seeks to directly track the performance of crude oil. Downsides here include the ETFs small size--its market cap is just $46.3 million--and its short track record. Or you could consider the iShares S&P Global Energy Sector ETF ( IXC - news - people ), which tracks firms engaged in oil equipment and services, oil exploration and production, and oil refineries. Its been in business since November 2001 and has $524.1 million in market cap. Full Story:  http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/22/gold-oil-commodities-intelligent-investing-inflation.html
NYSE:DBO April 22, 2009 5:15pm

The Hyperinflation Scam

zero-dollarThere is a lot of skepticism about the plans of the Federal Government and the FED to defrost the credit markets through its many stimulus plans. One of the biggest fears for some investors is that pumping too much money in the system would lead to hyperinflation and a complete devaluation of the US dollar against hard assets such as gold, oil, land and others, which would eventually lead to everyone living in caves hunting for food. There are even several ETF tracking Gold (GLD, IAU) and Crude Oil (USO, OIL). I disagree with those fears. First of all I do expect average inflation of 3% annually for the next 3-4 decades to continue. The best way to hedge against that is to buy common stocks, which are not just pieces of paper, but rights to ownership of real businesses which would be able to pass any price increases on to their consumers. At the same time these businesses would share a portion of their profits with shareholders, by paying out dividends. Over the past 80 years dividend growth in the Dow Jones Industrials Index has more than compensated for the eroding forces of inflation. Dividend Growth for the 1920-2005 period was 4.9%, which was almost 2% higher than the 3% average inflation rate. The best ETF to track Dow Jones Index is Dow Jones Diamonds (DIA). Over the past few decades the wealth of US households has been primarily comprised of Real Estate, stocks and fixed income. The real estate has been the primary residence of families; stock ownership was through owning mutual funds or owning stocks directly, while the fixed income portion consisted of deposits, bonds and cash on hand. As the value of stocks and real estate rose steadily, consumers felt richer and spent more, which in turn stimulated the economy. The past 2 years however have brought low stock prices, and declining real estate values. Full Story:  http://caps.fool.com/blogs/viewpost.aspxbpid=184210&t=01002863924178546020
NYSE:GLD April 22, 2009 2:54pm

Hate for Leveraged ETFs is Unwarranted

hateThere is an awful lot of hate out there for leveraged ETFs. Microcap Speculator identified the Direxion 3X ETFs as "Wealth Destroyers." Jim Cramer called the Ultrashort Financials ProShares (SKF) the "ETF of mass banking destruction." But the fact is that leveraged ETFs are nothing but a financial tool, which like any other, can be used either responsibly or recklessly. The best known and most-criticized leveraged ETFs are Direxion's Russell 1000 Financials Bullish 3X ETF (FAS) and Russell 1000 Financials Bearish 3X ETF (FAZ), which aim to return triple the daily return of the Russell 1000 Financials Index in either a positive or negative direction. Investors who play with these are 100% aware that they are playing with fire and have nothing to complain about when they lose money with them. Full Story:  http://seekingalpha.com/article/132185-hate-for-leveraged-etfs-is-unwarranted
NYSE:FAS April 22, 2009 12:45pm

ProShares Files For 3X Leverage On 94 New ETFs

3x1Despite warnings that speed can kill, another leading alternative exchange-traded funds sponsor is preparing to jump into the super-leveraged exchange-traded funds race. ProShares is requesting that the Securities and Exchange Commission allow it to provide up to 300% leverage and 300% inverse exposure to 37 different indexes. Although it's seeking so-called 3x approval for a list of some 94 new ETFs, it's highly unlikely the leading leveraged and inverse provider will launch all in the near future.  But even if only a handful on the new list are brought to market, the filing opens the door for ProShares to at least enter the most juiced-up leverage game in ETFs at the moment. And that has proved to be quite a lucrative undertaking for the lone sponsor to make the leap from 200% coverage—the previous high among leveraged ETFs.  Rival Direxion upped the ante late last year by becoming the first to offer ETFs that aim at taking 300% leverage and inverse positions. (See story here.) The other major player in the leverage ETF field, Rydex, also is awaiting government approval for its 3X proposals. Meanwhile, as ProShares and Rydex sit on the sidelines, Direxion is gaining significant first-mover status in the field. Full Story:  http://www.indexuniverse.com/sections/newsinfocus/5742-proshares-files-for-3x-leverage-on-97-new-etfs.html
ETF BASIC NEWS April 22, 2009 12:37pm

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