This Week In ETFs: January 22nd Edition

by on January 22, 2012

Broad equity markets got off to a rocky start this week as investors struggled to digest the latest news from overseas. Last week, Standard and Poor’s announced their downgrade of nine euro-zone countries, stripping the coveted triple-A ratings from France and Austria. Although this news was somewhat expected, markets struggled to find a definitive direction until the end of this week. The volatile swings flattened out by Friday’s trading session with the Dow Jones even managing to clear the red with blue chip gains pushing the index slightly higher. In the commodities space, natural gas hit its decade low while silver rose to its highest level in six weeks. The euro-zone drama will likely take center stage again next week as investors wait to hear the outcome of Greece’s debt negotiations [see also German Bond ETF: Plenty Of Risk, Not Much Return].  

After several issuers rolled out a slew of new launches last week, the ETF industry slowed down its pace with only three new products hitting the markets. Investors were introduced to a new emerging Asia Pacific ETF that focuses on small caps, and a pair of low volatility ETFs from PowerShares

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

Which ETFs Could Suffer From Latest Euro-Zone Downgrades? at Money and Markets:

Last week, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the sovereign debt of nine European nations. The downgrade solidified the notion that the sovereign-debt crisis has contaminated the region, spilling over into the seemingly “stronger” euro economies. In this article, author Ron Rowland outlines which ETFs could suffer from the latest euro-zone downgrades.

Cook Up Some Gains With These 4 Natural Gas Plays at Uncommon Wisdom: 

Natural gas has taken some hard hits recently with its volatile swings and price movements; many have even dubbed the commodity as one of last year’s worst performing assets. Some investors, however, believe that 2012 is looking to be the year for natural gas’s potential upside. This article, by Kevin Kerr, outlines 4 ways investors can play natural gas in a way that best fits your investment objectives.

Five Juicy High Yield Bond ETFs For 2012 at ETF Database: 

With the increasingly alarming spread of the euro-zone crisis, investors have remained cautious despite equity markets having got off to a solid start in the new year.  Amidst ongoing uncertainty, many investors have gravitated towards dividend-paying securities, particularly in the fixed income corner of the market, to gain some sort of stability. In this article, author Stoyan Bojinov outlines 5 ETFs that may provide juicy high yields in 2012.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.