From the monthly archives:

September 2012

At the end of a busy week in the global markets, the ETFdb pop quiz returns with another round of questions about Norway, NRG Energy and National Munis.

As always, all answers can be found using the suite of free tools at ETFdb.com, including the ETFdb CategoriesETF screener,and the ETF Analyzer.

1. Which ETF has the highest exposure to Norway?

2. Which National Muni ETF has the highest YTD?

3. Which US Commodity Fund ETF has the highest 4 week return?

4. Which of the two ETFs that are invested in NRG Energy Inc has a lower expense ratio, First Trust’s FXU or Rydex’s RYU?

5. Which ETF has the lowest P/E ratio?

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

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Investors seemed to realize this week what another round of quantitative easing and refinancing in Europe really means to the global economy, and all of the markets contracted. Moody’s Investors is reassessing Spain’s government debt, which might be dropped down to junk status by the end of the week, while the Central European Bank performs a number of stress tests on Spain’s financial institutions. Many macro-economic indicators have pointed to a recession in Europe since the beginning of this summer, but the Central Bank’s efforts to keep the eurozone together have staved off these effects. Even with all of these prevention efforts, now more than ever investors are wary of a second recession in Europe on the horizon. The U.S. GDP report came out earlier this week, showing that economic growth was slower than expected this quarter, with consumer spending on the rise due to the rise in prices. All these signs point to an economic contraction and a difficult autumn for investors [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Investor Should Learn].

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Uptrend Holds, Correction Pressures Build

by on September 29, 2012

Our bearish suspicions from Monday’s Insider proved correct as major equity benchmarks drifted lower after a number of worrisome headlines gave investors plenty of reasons to take profits. Looming uncertainty in Europe remains a critical driver for stock markets on all fronts; worries over Spain encouraged selling  on Wednesday, only for the bulls to return […]

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Uncertainty clouded Wall Street once again today, as concerns over Spain and lackluster reports on U.S. wage gains and manufacturing had markets sputtering to the finish. As has been the trend in recent weeks, all eyes remained on Spain today after speculations over whether or not Moody’s Investors Service will downgrade the Spanish government debt to “junk” […]

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After a slow summer stretch, activity picked up a bit in September as ETF issuers pushed out new products and continued to produce new ideas. Not surprisingly, many of the new ETFs now coming to market continue to be innovative, first-of-their-kind offerings; September saw the debut of the first China dividend ETF, as well as […]

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Investors endured another slow trading week with mixed economic data releases on Wall Street, paving the way for another wave of profit-taking. As major equity indexes drifted sideways with a downward bias, several key developments took place on the ETF front; Charles Schwab cut expenses on all 15 of its ETFs while Global X announced […]

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The bulls finally returned to Wall Street after a prolonged stretch of profit taking throughout the week. Good news from all around the globe bolstered major equity indexes into bright green territory for the day; overseas, Spain unveiled a detailed austerity plan focused on massive spending cuts. At home, investors cheered on the latest employment […]

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Investors might be recovering from a case of whiplash today, as a surprising move from Spain and rising optimism surrounding possible Chinese stimulus measures brought momentum back to the markets. The Spanish government unveiled today a 2013 budget plan, which includes over $16 billion of spending cuts and tax increases aimed at persuading the European Union that […]

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ETFs have earned the respect of countless investors as viable financial instruments well suited as core building blocs for achieving diversified, cost-efficient exposure to virtually any asset class. Exchange-traded products have also become a favorite of many active traders who value their ease-of-use, liquidity and unparalleled transparency. As such, these vehicles can serve as tools […]

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ETF Insights: Q&A With Jon Stein

by on September 27, 2012 | Updated December 4, 2012

Managing an investment portfolio is no easy chore for individuals who are also juggling a career and taking care of their family. While ETFs have undeniably democratized the investment process over the last several years, the towering lineup of more than 1,400 funds is likely too intimidating for someone who is just getting their feet wet. After […]

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Major equity benchmarks logged another session in red territory as profit-taking remains a dominant theme on the week. Pessimism from Europe welcomed back the bears as lawmakers overseas said that Spain should bear the cost of problems as the recently proposed European Stability Mechanism would assume only part of the nation’s debt burden. At home, positive housing […]

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Investors remained on eggshells today as bearish sentiment swept across Wall Street. Despite the fact that the central banks of three global powerhouses – the U.S., Euro Zone, and Japan – will be pumping billion of dollars into their economies in an effort to prop up growth, speculations remain high as many have started to […]

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