This Week In ETFs: March 19th Edition

by on March 19, 2011

This week, all investors were focused on Japan as last Friday’s historic quake shook the Japanese market to its very core. The Nikkei plunged by several thousand points in Monday and Tuesday trading as fears over a nuclear disaster weighed on the country’s benchmark. The situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant remained tense throughout the week as workers struggled to keep the hot cores in water and prevent them from overheating and spewing more radiation into the atmosphere. Markets then railed to close out the week as fears over a total meltdown subsided and investors focused in on solid earnings reports and rosy data from the U.S. to end the tumultuous period on a high note. Meanwhile, Middle East events, which were front and center last week, took a back seat through the early part of the week as investors focused on the Pacific Rim. However, events in Libya and Bahrain did manage to grab part of the spotlight as the UN approved a no-fly zone operation over the North African country and protests continued unabated in Manama, the capital of the island kingdom of Bahrain. As this week brought more turmoil to equities around the world, we outline the best ETF stories from across the web:

Playing The Transportation Space Through An ETF at Morningstar:

Thanks to surging oil prices, one sector of the economy has been especially in focus, the transportation sector. It is generally one of the leading sectors in a market recovery and as consumer confidence rises and the global recovery slowly continues, many are looking for transports to surge higher in the coming months. This article highlights several reasons why investors should be bullish on the broad industry, breaking down the transports into railroads, freight, shipping, and airlines, and giving selling points for each. The article also discusses five options that investors to have to play the transportation sector in ETF form.

Seven ETFs With The Biggest “Bounce-Back” Potential at ETF Expert:

In this article, Gary Gordon takes a look at the recent market pullback and how ETF investors can profit. He first highlights which sectors investors should look at in times of crisis while paying particular attention to firms that can alleviate uncertainties in the market. Gary believes that these companies are the most likely to bounce back as investors will scoop them up in order to calm their fears, possible leading to a sharp boost in these sectors. Among the funds that Gary looks at for their bounce back potential are several natural resource ETFs, with a tilt towards the oil & gas sector. Check out the article for the full list of names that bounced back the strongest once the market calmed down this past week.

When ETNs Are Better Than ETFs at ETF Database:

While the ETF world has surged over the past few years, the ETN marketplace has grown substantially as well. Unfortunately, these ETF cousins remain relatively misunderstood by investors who believe that these notes are generally inferior to ETFs. Our very own Michael Johnston dispels this myth by highlighting several ways in which ETNs can be a better choice for investors. Among the sectors in which ETNs can be a solid choice are in the commodity market, MLPs, and in the merger arbitrage space, just to name a few. See the article for the full list and an in-depth discussion of how and why ETNs can make for a better choice for some investors.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.