Wall Street was in for several lackluster days of trading this week, with most Asian markets closed on Monday and Tuesday for holiday. After both the Dow and S&P 500 rallied to five-year highs last week, the bulls and bears seemingly reached a stalemate as a lack of significant market catalysts had stocks struggling to find a definitive direction [see Visual History Of The S&P 500].
Meanwhile, investors kept their focus on President Obama as he delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Though the President expressed his desire for Washington to come to a bipartisan agreement on spending, many believe the speech will do little to rally together the deeply divided Congress. On the economic front, however, U.S. retail sales came in slightly higher in January, while the National Federation of Independent Business’s small-business optimism index rose less than expected for the month of January. In a separate report, the Labor Department stated that the number of U.S. job openings came in lower than a month earlier [see 3 Economic Charts Bears Love To Ignore].
Below we outline seven insightful articles circulating around the financial space this week:
- The All Weather Portfolio – How Ray Dalio’s Strategy Works at LearnBonds
As investors, we all know that the future is impossible to predict, and in this article Marc Prosser discusses the “All-Weather Portfolio” investment philosophy created by hedge fund manager Ray Dalio.
- Is 2013 the Year of Actively Manged ETFs? at AdvisorOne
As the ETF landscape continues to grow and evolve, investors can now choose from a wide array of products that offer exposure to nearly every corner of the investable universe. In this article, Gil Weinreich discusses how actively-managed ETFs are becoming a hot ticket item in 2013.
- Traders Start Playing Defense at Barron’s
Though equity markets may be reaching levels not seen in over five years, some investors remain understandably leery of the future. Steven M. Sears discusses how traders are starting to use options on ETFs for defensive positions.
- Dude Where’s My Cheap Gas? at Econbrowser
While the headlines keep boasting that oil production is booming, many are wondering why the prices of oil and gasoline are on the rise once again. University of California Professor James D. Hamilton discusses his thoughts on the issues, and tries to demystify the oil boom conundrum.
- The Battle of the Bond Benchmarks at Project Syndicate
Harvard Professor Jeffrey Frankel delves into the world of bond benchmarks, highlighting some of the issues found in traditional debt-to-GDP weighted indexes.
- Currency War? Here’s How to Hedge It With Gold at CNBC
With several world leaders throwing their hat into the latest competitive currency devaluations trend, Matt Clinch discusses how investors can hedge their portfolios against the “currency war” with gold.
- Thoughts on the Great Rotation at Marc to Market
As investors continue to recover from the unprecedented crash of 2008, many are slowly parking their cash in equity markets once again as risk appetites become larger. In this article, Marc Chandler points out an intriguing asset allocation trend seen in recent years.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.