This week saw a much needed rebound in major equities as the S&P 500 ended its losing streak to pull out five straight winning days. Despite the strong markets this week, June had been an overall disappointment as major indexes have finished down for the month, thanks to worries over debt in Greece and fears over a global slowdown. Perhaps the biggest news, and the most likely reason for optimistic markets in the final week of the period, was the Greek austerity package which showed the nation taking positive steps towards avoiding yet another default scare. The ETF world was relatively tame after a wild month that saw 43 new funds brought to market. This week did feature one launch with the new S&P 500 Crude Oil Linked ETN (BARL) hitting markets on Wednesday [see Morgan Stanley Rolls Out Oil-Linked S&P 500 ETN (BARL)].
Below, we outline the best ETF stories from around the web this week:
International ETFs’ Europe Woes at ETF Zone
As the years have gone on, investors have seen the benefits of international exposure in a diversified portfolio, so much so that a portfolio would now be considered lacking if it was missing international developed markets. Yet, with the global financial crisis in 2008, equities all around the world sank by a significant amount and they have spent the past three years battling back from dismal economic situations. While the U.S. progress has been sluggish, international economies have been moving even slower thanks to concerns over a debt crisis in Greece and a few other peripheral euro zone member nations. This article outlines the progress of U.S. and international developed ETFs, some of the options available in the space, as well as the possible reasons for the lag between the two important regions.
Extreme Tax Frustration at The Wall Street Journal
Commodities have been a hot topic for the past year, as prices soared for the majority of 2010, only to see a nasty pullback when 2011 rolled around. One of the most popular ways to gain commodity exposure is now through ETFs, which have expanded their lineup to offer the opportunity to invest in numerous commodities with varying strategies for every kind of investor. But while these products offer exposure that can be hard to find anywhere else, some of them can cause a major headache come tax season. This article, by Laura Saunders and Jason Zweig, outlines the tax details of these products, and what investors should expect come April 15th.
Five ETFs To Watch If Meredith Whitney Is Right at ETF Database
Meredith Whitney, a banking analyst, caught the public eye when she famously issued a pessimistic report on Citigroup in late 2007 that later proved to be very accurate. Now that she has our attention, Whitney has made yet another prediction which depicts the municipal bond sector enduring a crash similar to the housing markets of late 2007. While this forecast has yet to materialize, investors have been keeping a close eye on the sector as a whole, waiting to see how it all plays out. This article, by Michael Johnston, outlines five ETFs investors should consider if Whitney is right in forecasting yet another gloomy scenario.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.