This week was a particularly slow one, as many took time off around Christmas and stepped back from the markets for a few days. The president and members of the senate meet Friday to discuss a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff, with many senators reporting that they are optimistic that a deal will be reached before the new year. Even though lawmakers are excited, consumer confidence fell to levels not seen since this summer. New housing contracts are on the rise, with many to begin construction as early as spring 2013. Reports coming out of Europe are pointing towards another market contraction, with growth declining 0.27%, but that is still better than last quarters decline of 0.30% [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Investor Should Learn].
As many on Wall Street took time off this week, there were no new launches or filings this week.
Below we outline the three best stories from around the ETF space this past week:
1.Key US ETFs Swoon Due To Apple, Not Politics at Wall Street Journal:
With a glance at the U.S. equity ETF returns over the last four weeks, it would appear that the gridlock in Washington has dampened the spirits of funds. The real culprit, however, is more likely oversized holdings in funds that have not met standards in December, like tech giant Apple. Murray Coleman shows us which funds have fallen victim to these underwhelming funds and how to prepare for this kind of exposure in the future.
2. Why Dividend ETFs Underpreformed in 2012 at ETF Trends:
Many income friendly ETPs fell short of the general market this year even though most dividend companies did very well. Many have blamed this lack of ETP return on sector allocation, but it also has a lot to do with the change in market trends over the last year of recovery. John Spence digs into this problem, uncovering the faults with dividend investing and which funds fell victim.
3. Favorite ETF Positions For 5 Super Investors at ETF Database:
ETFs have made it easier for part-time traders to get in the game and successfully manage their investments in a diversified way, but it has also allowed them to invest like the pros. Many funds have come out to copy major hedge funds and strategies that were inaccessible to many before. Aaron Levitt sheds some light on five investors that have made a name for themselves through well thought-out strategies, and how everyone can emulate these gurus.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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