This Week In ETFs: February 19th Edition

by on February 19, 2012

Despite continuing euro-zone uncertainty and less than cheery U.S. economic data, domestic stock markets posted weekly gains with the Dow Jones finishing strong at its 52-week high. Although some investors remain tentative, euro-zone concerns subsided after European leaders signaled progress towards an agreement on a bailout for Greece. On the home front, U.S. economic data showed that consumer prices rose 0.2% in the month of January. The increase is for the most part attributed to the rise in gasoline prices, giving proof to the belief that high energy costs could slow down the economic recovery. Although the statistic came in slightly lower than expected, investors are still keeping a close eye on core inflation, a measure that excludes food and energy costs, which was reported to be at 2.3% for the last 12 months. On a more cheerful note, investors will be able to relax a bit more next week with the U.S. markets closed on Monday for Presidents Day.

February might just be another record-breaking month for the ETF industry as issuers continue to roll out a slew of new launches this week. First Trust introduced 9 new funds to their AlphaDEX line up, while iShares kept up with the rapid pace of the industry with their debut of 7 new bond products.

Below, we outline three of the best ETF stories from around the web this past week:

Best And Worse ETF Tickers at IndexUniverse: 

With the ETF industry expanding at an astonishing and rapid pace, issuers have been scrambling to keep up with the new brilliant and clever ticker trend. Although the trend is quite entertaining, many stress the importance of tickers, arguing that they help funds get noticed quicker and attract a higher volume of potential investors. In this article, author Dennis Hudachek explains this phenomena and lists the 10 silliest and 10 best tickers.

The New Bond Market at The Wall Street Journal:

As investors continue to experience rock bottom interest rate environments, many are turning to an asset class  that is considered to have both relatively low risk and the potential to provide juicy high yields; the corporate bond market. Although corporate bonds have proven to be far more stable than equities during the market turmoil of the past few years, many believe that these investments are not as safe as they are assumed to be. This article, by Ben Levisohn, explains how the change in the way corporate bonds are traded results in higher levels of risk and volatility.

Five ETFs For Doomsday Capitalism at ETF Database: 

According to some people, the world is coming to an end. Even investors, economists, and financial experts are getting on board the apocalyptic bandwagon, theorizing what would happen if our economy were to simply fall off a cliff, resulting in mass chaos and financial pandemonium. Although this theory holds little to no credibility, some financial experts have proposed several investment strategies that are poised to profit from a deterioration of our political and financial systems. In this article, author Michael Johnston outlines five ETFs that doomsday capitalists’ ought to consider for their portfolios.

Disclaimer: No positions at time of writing.