This Week In ETFs: October 9th Edition

by on October 9, 2010 | ETFs Mentioned:

The first full week of October brought stock markets a summer flashback; unstable, volatile and with little direction going forward. Though the Dow Jones Industrial Average did near 11,000, it has yet to break through and stay above the milestone for any meaningful period of time. Turbulent equity markets and renewed concerns about inflation paved the way for gold to hit record highs once again, as the yellow metal is now trading well above $1,340 an ounce.

The ETF world saw the introduction of several new funds, furthering the 1000+ options that investors have in the exchange traded world [see also JPMorgan Rolls Out Leveraged Treasury ETNs]. Below, we highlight three of the best ETF stories from around the Web during the last week:

Is Today’s Activity In The Natural Gas ETF Signaling A Bottom? (NYSE:UNG) at ETF Daily News:

Natural gas took a another plunge in markets this week, with the benchmark contract for futures trading at its lowest point since 2001. With natural gas dropping, and inventories steadily growing, ETF Daily News takes a look at the popular natural gas ETF UNG. “A total of 81,906 call and 31,385 put contracts were traded raising a three month record high call volume alert,” reports Market Intellisearch Reports. The article goes on to discuss if these low prices makes for an ideal time to buy the beaten down commodity fund, UNG.

Goldman Sachs: Cheaper Vanguard ETFs Undercutting iShares at The Wall Street Journal:

With ETF price wars raging all year, many are wondering if Vanguard‘s recent price cuts have worked to undercut iShares. Matt Phillips outlines a statement from Goldman Sachs that comments on the high growth and inflows that Vanguard ETFs have seen compared to similar iShares funds. In fact, Goldman believes that this issue is becoming so significant that the firm has now downgraded BlackRock to neutral from its conviction buy list, citing risks to iShares market share and fees thanks to increased competition in the ETF space. The article closes by comparing the prices of traditional index funds versus ETFs and how this has changed in recent years as well.

Closer Look At The “Third Generation” Commodity ETF at ETF Database:

Commodity ETFs have been under fire this year, as many warn about the dangers of contango and the nuances of futures based investment strategies. This article takes an in-depth look at a new commodity ETF, the United States Commodity Index Fund (USCI), and how it aims to limit the effects of contango and offer investors high levels of returns. The article features insights from the fund’s issuer as well as well-respected Yale professors who have spent years looking into what offers investors the best chance to outperform markets with commodities.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.