From the monthly archives:

September 2011

Global equity markets tanked to end the third quarter as worries over financials dragged down shares across the world. The Dow finished lower by about 2.2% while the broader indexes suffered more severe gains as the S&P 500 fell by 2.5% and the Nasdaq sank by 2.6% for the day. Losses were pretty much throughout all of the sectors although some big cap names in the services space such as Wal-Mart, and those in the health care sector, such as JNJ and Merck, managed to beat out the market on the day. Commodity trading was much more mixed as gold rose by about five dollars an ounce and oil plunged, sinking by about 4.2% to finish the quarter. Trading was also pretty brutal in the grains market as soybeans, corn, and wheat, all finished the day lower by at least 4% with corn and wheat sinking by over 6%. Copper also continued its recent slide as the red metal capped the third quarter by falling 12 cents a pound, leaving the product just 12 cents above the $3/lb. level.  [click to continue…]

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How To Find The Right ETF

by on September 30, 2011 | Updated July 8, 2014

With the ETF lineup as of 2014 at more than 1,600 products and growing quickly, investors and advisors have more choices than ever before. While many of the new products that have begun trading after the financial crisis in 2008 have been first-to-market ideas, there has been a fair amount of overlap in the ETF industry as well. Investors seeking exposure to the S&P 500 Index, for example, have three options from which to choose. Those looking for pharmaceutical exposure have the task of selecting from a lineup of four possible ETFs; even those looking for exposure to Indonesia or Poland have to make a decision between an iShares ETF and a Van Eck fund.

Almost every corner of the investable universe is now accessible with all the benefits of the exchange-traded structure–and in many cases there is more than one option for implementing the desired exposure.

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Over the past decade, China has become an incredible economic force, surging from an investment afterthought to one of the key nations for trade in the world today.  The country is currently the world’s second biggest economy from a GDP perspective and exports more products, in dollar terms, than any other nation on earth. Yet, with […]

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Investing in developed markets has been an extremely tough task as of late thanks to sluggish growth and debt woes in a variety of countries. In light of this, perceived ‘safe haven’ countries saw a great deal of inflows in this environment, leading to huge gains for markets such as Switzerland and other highly-rated nations. Yet, with […]

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Although huge questions remain over the European debt crisis, investors have seen, in recent days, more bullish data on the American economy. Real GDP came in slightly above expectations, showing a 1.3% annualized gain, while jobless claims plummeted, sinking below 400k for the first time in a long time, crushing estimates which called for claims […]

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In yet another see-saw session, equity markets started the day on a high note on hopes of an expanded EFSF, fell sharply during the mid part of the day, only to rally in the final hour in most major sectors. Thanks to this late rally, the Dow finished the day up by 1.3% while the […]

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State Street, the issuer behind the two largest U.S.-listed exchange-traded products, announced today the launch today of three new funds offering targeted exposure to key sub-sectors of the U.S. economy. The new funds will track narrow corners of the technology, health care, and industrials sector, giving investors new options for placing targeted bets on the […]

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As the economy has continued to weaken in recent months, investors have pushed towards safer choices in a number of sectors of their portfolios. Generally speaking, funds in a few select, defensive sectors tend to benefit in this environment, namely those in the health care, utilities, and consumer staples niches. Yet, while some sectors have held up pretty well […]

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As the European crisis continues to play out, investors are once again taking a closer look at the German economy. The central European country is the largest economy in Europe and is basically the backstop for weaker nations across the bloc so a strong, growing economy is vital for the health of the entire euro […]

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Markets Bear Down

by on September 28, 2011

Wall Street started the week with a rally as investors regained some optimism over the weekend, although the euro zone debt drama has by no means been resolved. Tuesday was a wild day, as equity indexes gapped much higher at the open, but failed to hold onto gains for the whole session and sold-off hard […]

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In yet another session plagued by European doubts, American equity markets slumped in Wednesday’s trading as more worries over a Greek default hit markets. The Dow finished the session down about 1.6% while the broader indexes saw worse days as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell by 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively. These heavy losses […]

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Few asset classes have delivered more impressive performances over the last several years than gold; investors seeking safe havens–or perhaps just fiat currency alternatives–have flocked to the yellow metal in droves in recent past, pushing asset prices sharply higher. And, not surprisingly, more and more investors seeking out precious metals exposure have elected to utilize […]

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