Disappointing economic data, stalled Greek debt negotiations, and a slew of new S&P downgrades took center stage this week, dragging U.S. stock markets down and leaving investors concerned about the condition of the economy. Two U.S. economic statistics fell short of expectations: the U.S. trade deficit was reported at $48.8 billion, slightly wider than what economists had predicted and the University of Michigan’s consumer-sentiment survey came in weaker than expected. To add to the dismal forecasts, Standard & Poor’s announced the downgrade of 34 Italian banks’ credit ratings, showing the extent to which the sovereign-debt crisis has contaminated the region. Lastly, investors are still waiting for the infamous Greek debt deal to pass and are skeptic if and when the Greek Parliament will approve the austerity measures presented by the EU [see also Doomsday Special: 7 Hard Asset Investments You Can Hold in Your Hand].
Despite market turmoil, the ETF world has continued to stay strong, rolling out a slew of new launches this week. iShares introduced yet another India ETF, which offers investors access to small cap stocks from the Indian equities market. VelocityShares significantly increased the leveraged ETP lineup with the launch of 8 new leveraged commodity ETNs.
Below, we outline three of the best ETF stories from around the web this past week:
Defend Yourself From The Fed With These New Inflation ETFs at Money And Markets:
Considering how the Federal Reserve and other central banks are printing out money at an alarmingly fast rate, many are concerned with investor’s number one enemy: inflation. Inflation reduces an investment’s real asset value, even if the nominal worth might seem higher. In this article, author Ron Rowland outlines four different ETFs that can help investors hedge themselves against inflation.
As ETFs Multiply, Companies Scramble To Concoct Memorable Ticker Symbols at The Wall Street Journal:
With the ETF universe pumping out multiple new products every week, many issuers are scrambling to stay ahead of the game with new marketing techniques to attract more buyers. One strategy many have adopted is to concoct the most memorable and eye-catching ticker symbols that are designed to pique investor’s interests. This article, by Rachel Louise Ensign, analyzes this marketing trend and tries to examine whether or not this strategy actually works.
The Truth About Alternative Weighting Methodologies (And ETFs) at ETF Database:
In the ETF universe, there is a significant amount of debate on the advantages of different weighting methodologies, which all claim to provide favorable returns and diversification benefits. Some of these methodologies include: equal weight, dividend weight, revenue weight, and RAFI weight. In this article, author Michael Johnston explains what each of these methodologies do and reveals the truth behind each strategy.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.