The week began with markets across the board reacting to the normal doom and gloom of the ever-approaching fiscal cliff and European recovery woes, until Wednesday when a slew of better-than-expected economic reports came out of the United States. The U.S. economy added more jobs, non-manufacturing purchases rose, and factory orders beat all previous predictions. This allowed blue chip stocks to have rallied since, bringing all the major indexes with them and ending the week on a high note. On the other side of the world, stability in China’s banking system is being questioned by the citizens after a number of investments by a new style of investment bank, Huaxia, turned sour. The European Central Bank is also coming under attack, but because the multi-national bank is refusing to lower trading rates, even after lowering its predictions for eurozone growth and inflation [see also The 5 Most Important Chart Patterns For ETF Traders].
PowerShares was the first to launch in December, bringing the S&P 500 Downside Hedged Portfolio (PHDG) to market earlier this week. PHDG is designed to offer investors broad equity market exposure along with an implied volatility hedge using a quantitative, rules-based methodology to dynamically allocate its notional investments among three components: equity, volatility and cash.
Below we outline the three best stories from around the ETF space this past week:
1. Playing Higher Natural Gas Prices With ETFs at ETF Daily News:
With winter upon us it also looks like the six-and-half-year bear market in natural gas is finally coming to an end. This could mean bargain shopping for bull investors looking to get low prices for natural gas ETFs before the price goes back up. Tony Daltorio outlines were investors should look for great savings on this fickle commodity.
2. The Irrelevance Of Currency ETFs at IndexUniverse:
ETFs seem to have their hand in every area of the market, from general investing to niche sub categories, but some are only losing consumer interest. With fewer than 30 product options, currency ETFs have lost a huge chunk of their assets since last year, and so long as the global economic condition stays stagnant, investor interest falls. Paul Baiocchi explains why currency ETFs have fallen so far, and if they could ever recover this ground.
3. 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor at ETF Database:
With interest expected to stay at near-zero levels for the foreseeable future, many investors have found it challenging to secure meaningful yields from asset classes that were once the core of income strategies, like Treasuries and high quality corporate bonds. To fill this void, ETF issuers have built dozens of high-yielding ETPs that offer potential for large payouts. Michael Johnston has compiled a list of the top 101 high yielding ETFs that every current income investor should know about.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.