This Week In ETFs: January 15th Edition

by on January 15, 2012

Once again investors saw the seemingly never ending Euro drama take center stage this week, overshadowing all the strong U.S. employment data that was announced last week. Stock markets tumbled during Friday’s trading session after several news reports announced that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the coveted triple-A ratings of France with speculation that Austria will also receive a downgrade. These credit cuts show the extent to which the sovereign-debt crisis has contaminated the region, leaving many to wonder if other “stronger” euro economies are also at risk of potential downgrades. Investors will most likely continue to remain cautious as they weigh the impacts of Standard and Poor’s decision on the markets. 

After a slow stretch, the ETF industry picked up the pace with 9 new launches this week. Markets were introduced to a suite of Direxion volatility ETFs and three new funds from iShares which offer exposure to Hong Kong, Singapore, and global equity markets. Also in this week’s lineup, ProShares rolled out a pair of the first inflation breakeven ETFs [see ProShares Rolls Out First Inflation Breakeven ETFs (RINF,FINF)].

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

Where Best To Compare ETFs at Barrons:

When it comes to the exchange-traded fund industry, many investors feel overwhelmed with the wide array of products to choose from. The sheer magnitude of the industry makes it difficult to sift through and cherry pick the funds that best meet your investment objective. In this article, author Mike Hogan points out two websites that can help investors compare ETFs: XTF and ETF Database.

iShares To Be 1st ETF Firm To List On BATS at IndexUniverse:

What makes ETFs so appealing is that they can be accessed by millions of people worldwide on a number of different exchanges. Recently,  iShares announced that they will now begin listing on BATS Global Markets, making them the first ETF-issuing firm to be listed on this exchange. This article, by Alex Ulam, outlines which iShares funds will be listed on BATS.

ETFs To Play AAA Europe at ETF Database:

The European debt crisis has been plaguing both the markets and investor’s portfolios alike for over a year now. A number of European markets have seen their sovereign debt credit ratings slashed to well below the coveted AAA status. Despite these downgrades, there are some large Euro markets that maintain AAA ratings from S&P. In this article, author Michael Johnston outlines several ETFs that offer investors access the  AAA-rated European debt market.

 Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.