This Week In ETFs: January 22nd Edition

by on January 22, 2011

This week featured a shortened trading schedule as markets were closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But the four day trading week did not leave any shortage of major news events to move the markets. To start things off this past week, Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a medical leave of absence from Apple for an undisclosed period, worrying investors in the tech giant that his health may be in jeopardy. The week then continued with a slew of earnings reports although this did little to give the market direction. Stocks were buoyed by robust reports from major bellwethers like Google and General Electric who beat estimates, but concerns about some banks and a possible slowdown in China helped to weigh on the markets for much of the week after that. The ETF world was busy as well, with numerous filings, expense cuts, and other exciting industry news helping to keep the ETF industry buzzing heading into the home stretch of January.

Below, we highlight three of the best ETF stories from around the Web during the last week:

So where CAN you get some yield? at Money And Markets:

In a yield starved market, many investors are scrambling to find steady returns for their portfolios. In this article, Mike Larson outlines several ETF sectors to help investors find attractive yields in today’s sparse environment. Larson outlines several alternatives including “safer” sovereigns, higher-yielding stocks, and MLPs with ETF options and their respective yields to go along with each sector.

Ben Stein: In Love With ETFs—And Cash at Index Universe:

Ben Stein, famous actor and author, stopped by Index Universe to chat about one of his favorite investing tools; ETFs. Stein holds firm to the belief that an individual is unable to beat the markets, and that broad based ETFs, offer returns that investors simply cannot gain themselves. Stein chats about country-based funds, active ETFs, as well as some of the biggest mistakes he has made, and how he thinks investors can use ETFs to successfully play the market.

Will Toyota’s Plans Sink Rare Earth Metal ETFs? at ETF Database:

Rare earth metals and lithium make up a vital part of many of Toyota’s current hybrid automobile lineup, but there is an underlying issue that may soon rear its head and crush demand for these inputs in the near future. Many foreign nations control the vast quantities of these elusive metals, including China and numerous Andean countries in South America. Because Toyota, and other major firms, do not want to be at the mercy of foreign markets, they have begun to look for alternatives to using these rare metals in their vehicles. The article goes on to outline the possible issues that ETFs targeting the increasingly popular strategic metal market could face if rare earth metals are completely eliminated from the EV automobile industry, and why investors shouldn’t worry too much about this potential setback.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.