This Week in ETFs: January 8th Edition

by on January 8, 2010 | ETFs Mentioned:

After a record-breaking 2009, the ETF industry is off to a fast start in 2010, as the first week of the year has already seen a handful of new fund launches. After a holiday slowdown, trading activity picked up this week as well, and key data releases were carefully analyzed. Below, we offer our picks for the week’s most important and interesting ETF stories from around the Web:

The 2009 ETF Surprise Award at Index Universe:

Discussed in this article are a few trends that became apparent in the ETF world for 2009.  Arguably the most surprising statistic is that the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), which saw outflows of nearly $20 billion in 2009, saw inflows of nearly $11.5 billion in December alone. Other notable trends included the lack of inflows to domestic funds and the rise of international and fixed income ETFs which both saw massive gains in assets under management in 2009.

Ten ETF Stats That Will Shock You at ETF Database:

We discuss 10 ETF statistics from the end of 2009 that might be surprising to investors. Among the biggest winners of 2009 were fixed income ETFs which pulled in more than $42 billion in assets and UNG which took in $5.6 billion. Despite the banner year for many ETFs, some disturbing trends began to materialize in the ETF industry, such as the heavy concentration of money in only a few funds: 15 ETFs accounted for more than 45% of the total ETF assets. Moreover, many funds are struggling to gain traction, and more than 250 ETFs have less than $20 million in assets.

Steel: China Vs. U.S. at Hard Assets Investor:

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are mounting following a recent ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission concluding that the domestic steel pipe industry has been materially injured by the importation of certain subsidized steel products from China. This ruling looks to put steel ETFs in focus, especially the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX) which consists of U.S. based steel companies that stand to benefit the most from this decision.

Will Stock-Picking Managers Be the Next Big Thing for ETFs? at The Wall Street Journal:

A closely-watched development in the ETF industry has been the growth of actively managed funds. Many firms that had historically focused exclusively on mutual funds have begun to enter into the ETF space, including financial giants T. Rowe Price and John Hancock, both of whom have announced plans to develop actively managed ETFs. This trend to active management could also help the ETF industry finally break into the massive 401(k) market, where they are currently lagging far behind mutual funds.

That’s it for This Week in ETFs: happy reading. Have a great weekend!

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.