This Week In ETFs: December 18th Edition

by on December 18, 2010

This week saw a wealth of economic activity in both the U.S. and abroad, as numerous events pushed markets back and forth throughout the week. Perhaps the biggest news this week came from the U.S. federal government, which proceeded to extend the Bush-era tax cuts in an effort to spur additional consumer spending that will further add to an already massive debt burden. In addition, major earnings reports came in this week, as big name firms like FedEx reported results and gave closely watched projections for 2011. Overseas, both Spain and Belgium were issued credit warnings, as it seems increasingly likely that they will be forced to turn to the EU and IMF for financial aid.

Here are the ETF Database staff picks of the week’s most important and interesting stories from around the Web:

FocusShares, Now A Scottrade Unit, Returns at Index Universe:

FocusShares was an ETF issuer that abandoned its post after the market tanked in 2008 and interest in its hyper-targeted equity funds failed to materialize (remember the Homeland Security ETF?). Now, the firm has re-emerged as a unit of Scottrade, which the issuer acquired in June of this year. This article goes on to list all of the ETFs that FocusShares will bring to market in 2011, and the possible strategy for this firm in the new year. The thought that many seem to share is that Scottrade made this acquisition in order to compete with companies like TD Ameritrade and Schwab, which already offer commission free trading on numerous funds.

Consumers on a Shopping Spree…Five ETFs to Help You Profit! at Money and Markets:

For the majority of the nation, December marks a big spending month as the holiday season draws near. This article, written by Ron Rowland, outlines some of the obvious–and not so obvious choices–for playing a solid holiday shopping season. Among some of the more interesting recommendations are the gaming ETF BJK and the China consumer fund CHIQ, as Rowland explains why he believes these funds could post a strong holiday season thanks to improving consumer sentiment and a final decision on tax rates.

Commodity ETF Investing: Four Strategies For Fighting Contango at ETF Database:

Commodity ETFs got a bad wrap in mid 2010, as investors grew weary of contango and other issues that weighed down futures-based funds. While ETFs do their best to fight contango, beating this nasty value-killer is left up to investors in some cases. In this article, Michael Johnston outlines four strategies to help battle contango, including maintaining spot exposure, spreading out exposure across maturity levels, optimum yields, and even a contango killing ETF.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.