From the monthly archives:

March 2011

U.S. equity markets capped off the first quarter on a mixed note as surging oil prices and a lukewarm unemployment claims report left stocks on rocky footing heading into April. The Dow, which at one point was up about 30 points on the session, finished the day lower by 31 while the S&P 500 finished down 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to squeak by with a gain of 0.2%. Commodity markets, on the other hand, finished markedly higher in the session as gold gained $10/oz. and oil surged higher by $2.30/bbl. Grains were also extremely active on the day as the USDA released information regarding plantings for all of the major crops, sending prices higher across the board in the sector. However, most traders stayed out of Thursday trading, instead waiting for tomorrow’s key jobs report.“The employment picture is heading in the right direction, and the market is anticipating tomorrow’s employment report a great deal,” said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of the U.S. equity group at Deutsche Bank. “Let’s hope it’s 200,000 or a little better, but not too much or else we’ll start talking about raising interest rates.” [click to continue…]

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The new FocusShares ETFs have only been trading for two sessions, but have managed to attract attention for a number of different reasons already. The unit of Scottrade debuted 15 U.S. equity ETFs yesterday, making a splash in the ETF industry with rock bottom expense ratios that undercut many of the competitors. The new ETFs will also be available commission free in Scottrade accounts, helping to level the playing field with brokerages such as TD Ameritrade and Fidelity that have already rolled out commission free ETF trading [see FocusShares Debuts Bargain Basement ETFs]. [click to continue…]

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iShares announced the latest addition to its ETF lineup on Thursday, rolling out a fund that seeks to deliver exposure to U.S. companies that have consistently delivered relatively high dividend yields. The iShares High Dividend Equity Fund (HDV) will seek to replicate the performance of the Morningstar Dividend Yield Focus Index, a benchmark that includes […]

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Earlier this month, we sat down with Bruno del Ama, the CEO of Global X to talk about the dynamic Latin America market. Global X is one of the main providers of ETFs that target the Latin America market, with six South American funds in total including products tracking the individual economies of Colombia (GXG) […]

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FocusShares, the company acquired last year by Scottrade, has debuted 15 U.S. equity ETFs that are among the cheapest exchange-traded products available. The new products, which include both market cap-specific and sector-specific funds, are all linked to indexes developed and maintained by Morningstar. The new FocusShares ETFs include:

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Thanks to rising oil prices and poor harvests around the world related to extreme weather, food prices have been escalating for much of the past year. The trend hasn’t just impacted commodity crops such as sugar or cocoa either; staple foods such as corn, wheat, and rice are all soaring higher thanks to a confluence […]

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ProShares, the largest issuer of inverse and leveraged ETFs, continues to build out the portion of its product lineup offering opportunities to gain short exposure to fixed income securities. The new Short Investment Grade (IGS) will seek to deliver daily results that correspond to the inverse of the iBoxx $ Liquid Investment Grade Index, a […]

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American equity markets rose modestly across the board in Wednesday trading as a solid figure from the ADP employment report helped to buoy stocks. The Dow rose by 71 points on the day while the broader indexes– specifically, the Nasdaq and S&P 500– managed to post more robust gains of 0.7% each in the session. […]

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After seemingly losing interest in 2010, investors have resumed pouring money into commodity ETFs in 2011; both broad-based basket funds and resource specific products have grown as these products have come back into style. Precious metals have without a doubt been the hottest corner of the commodity ETF market, as investors have embraced the exchange-traded […]

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A few days after Global X filed details on a proposed Global Auto ETF, First Trust made an SEC filing that shed light on plans for a similar product. The First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund would be linked ot the NASDAQ OMX Global Auto Index, a benchmark designed to track the performance of […]

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Although markets dipped to start Tuesday trading, they soon erased their early losses and powered ahead to solid gains for the session. The Dow and the S&P 500 both finished ahead by 0.7% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared higher by just under 1% thanks to strength from AT&T, Qualcomm, and Oracle. Commodity markets also generally […]

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The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this month have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, as the fallout from the natural disaster continues and efforts to rebuild the country figure to take years to complete. The humanitarian crisis in Japan has been one of the most devastating in recent history; several thousand […]

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