Investors had plenty to celebrate this holiday weekend, as the S&P 500 pushed back into positive territory for 2011 after the index’s three-day winning streak. Despite the announcement of several dreary and unimpressive U.S. economic reports, stock markets continued to gain steam throughout the week, finishing off strong at the end of Friday’s trading session. Investors also cheered the break in the latest Congressional deadlock, which resulted in the temporary extension of the payroll tax cut. Although 2011 is likely to be a year many will be eager to forget, there might still be hope for investors to see at least some numbers in the green during the last few trading days of the year.
The ETF industry slowed down its pace this week with no new product launches before the Christmas break. Despite the temporary slow down, the industry has already set a new record with nearly 300 new funds hitting the markets this year.
Below, we outline the best ETF stories from around the web this past week:
The Commodity Investor: Cautious Outlook For Agriculture In 2012 at Hard Assets Investor:
Commodities experienced a wild roller coaster ride this year with volatile environments hurling this asset class into some major swings. One segment of the commodity market that has been getting more and more attention is the agricultural sector. Some experts warn investors to have a cautious outlook for this sector in the coming year, as agriculture is expected to experience significant volatility in the near future. In this article, author Amine Bouchentouf take a closer look at agribusiness, analyzing both the positive and negative prospects for the industry.
ETFs That Pay Up to 7% — Then Mature at Smart Money:
With the ETF industry’s rapid expansion and development, investors have seen some intriguing products hit the market. One innovation that has caught investors’ attention is a new class of fixed income exchange-traded funds that will do something highly unusual: they will mature. Guggenheim’s Bullet Shares 2011 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCB) is one of these new products, offering investors exposure to a diversified basket of bonds that will mature in the same year. This article, by Jack Hough, outlines how exactly these new maturing, fixed-income ETFs work.
ETFs To Invest Like Ron Paul at ETF Database:
Presidential candidates are used to being in the spotlight, with voters and opponents scrutinizing every aspect of their personal lives. Although the public generally focuses on the more “juicy” stories, the financial records of each candidate can often generate a lot of buzz as voters get a clearer picture of how candidates choose to handle their money. A recent analysis revealed the unusual composition of the portfolio held by Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate known for his strong anti-Fed views. In this article, author Michael Johnston outlines several ETFs that are consistent with the candidate’s curious investment strategies.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.