From the monthly archives:

May 2011

U.S. equities started the Holiday-shortened week on a high note as markets began the day sharply higher before trending lower only to finish the session near the highs for Tuesday trading. The Dow gained 128 points on the day while the S&P 500 posted a slightly better performance, percentage wise, gaining 1.1% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq led all three with a 1.4% surge on the day. This broad strength was largely due to optimism over a Greek bailout package and the flows out of the dollar and into the euro. This helped to send demand for dollars lower and boost stock market prospects as an alternative. Commodity markets were more mixed on the session as gold failed to hold onto its gains and finished the day down marginally to $1,537/oz. but oil did manage to post a very strong day in comparison, gaining more than 2% to finish above the $102.6/bbl. level. Meanwhile, other commodities also experienced very rocky trading as most livestock and industrial metal commodities rose but significant weakness was seen in the grains market as corn fell by close to 1.5% and wheat took the biggest hit sinking by 3.7% in Kansas City and close to 4.6% in Chicago trading. [click to continue…]

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Actively managed ETFs have been slow to gain traction so far among most investors for a variety of reasons. Higher than average fees, a boatload of academic evidence suggesting inability of active management to consistently generate alpha, and concerns about disclosure requirements leading to front-running opportunities have all contributed to the relatively slow adoption rate of active equity ETFs. However, while actively-managed ETFs have been slow to catch on in highly liquid and transparent markets–such as large cap U.S. stocks–they have seen a fair amount of interest from investors looking to access asset classes that are generally less efficient. That phenomenon shouldn’t be surprising; there is some evidence that active management may be able to add value in harder-to-price sectors, such as smaller emerging equity markets or corners of the fixed income market. One example of a successful active ETF is the WisdomTree Dreyfus Emerging Currency Fund; CEW, which offers exposure to a basket of emerging market currencies, has accumulated more than $500 million in AUM. Another active ETF that is beginning to turn heads among investors is the Peritus High Yield Bond ETF (HYLD) from AdvisorShares, which has begun gaining traction thanks to an impressive early performance record.  [click to continue…]

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Weak Dollar Creates Opportunities

by on May 31, 2011

Equities across the globe continued their sluggish performance for most of last week, and while broad indexes managed to climb into positive territory the last few trading sessions, the week as a whole was fairly turbulent with no real movement in either direction. Gold climbed higher amidst uncertainty in the financial markets, closing the week […]

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PowerShares, the Chicagoland ETF issuer behind the ultra-popular QQQ that has expanded its presence in the alternative weighting arena in recent years, has plans to significantly expand its partnership with Research Affiliates, the firm that developed the RAFI methodology. Next month, PowerShares will convert seven existing products from its “Dynamic” ETF suite to Fundamental Pure […]

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American equity markets finished the final full week of May on a relatively strong note, as most major benchmarks moved off of their lows from earlier in the week to finish Friday in the green. A similar trend was had in the commodity space, as concerns over the European debt situation helped to reignite demand […]

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This week seemed like deja vu for markets as fears of another euro crisis continue to heat up with Greece at the center of everyone’s attention. Many feel that Greece will not be able to get its head above water while still a member of the euro zone, leading to suggestions of it reinstating its […]

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Recapping A Wild Week

by on May 28, 2011 | Updated April 25, 2013

After concerns about Europe dominated trading in the early part of the week, U.S. and international markets staged a comeback in the final sessions of the week, putting most major benchmarks higher but not enough to break through into the green on the week. Though Friday was light on volume ahead of an extended holiday […]

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American markets finished the last full week of May on a high note as the major benchmarks ended solidly in positive territory thanks to a slumping U.S. dollar, which boosted demand for equities and commodities alike. The Dow finished Friday trading up 39 points while the broader benchmarks posted larger gains; the S&P 500 finished […]

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With more than 1,200 products in a lineup that adds dozens of new funds every month, navigating through the ETF universe has become an increasingly challenging task in recent years. Innovation in the space has given investors more options than ever before for accessing asset classes and investment strategies that may have previously been out […]

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Russell broadened its ETF footprint considerably on Friday, rolling out a suite of ten factor ETFs offering exposure to large cap and small cap domestic equities. The aggressive expansion comes just over a week after Russell made its long awaited debut in the ETF industry with the launch of six funds offering exposure to investment […]

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The latest addition to PowerShares’ ETF lineup is a fund focusing on convertible bonds, a unique asset class that maintains characteristics of both fixed income and equity securities. The new PowerShares Convertible Securities Portfolio (CVRT) will seek to replicate the performance of the BofA Merrill Lynch All U.S. Convertibles Index, which serves as the benchmark […]

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Investing in the tech sector has been especially rocky as of late as some tech firms– such as LinkedIn– have hit it big while others have faced significant market pressure.  One company that has been feeling the heat since its most recent move is Microsoft which bought Skype in a $8.5 billion deal a few […]

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