The first week of the new year saw a much needed market rally, as the President and Congress finally reached an agreement on fiscal cliff discussions and signed a bill into effect earlier this week. Since Wednesday, investors have been a part of some of the best trading since the start of winter, as the United States also reported the addition of 155,000 jobs in December. While this number is not really that high and Fed discussions Thursday did lead some traders to panic, overall the United States has seen a strong start to the year. Europe and Asia also saw higher trading volumes as of Wednesday, with many global investors looking for economic condition reports due out of both regions next week [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Investor Should Learn].
Barclays was the first on the scene for 2013, launching the iPath S&P MLP ETN (IMLP) on Friday. With fiscal cliff talks over for now, issuers can finally breathe easily and plan around the compromise met earlier this week. State Street also wasted no time by filing for six active ETFS to add to its line up. Three of these funds will focus on a variety of equity strategies, while the other three will feature risk-aware strategies.
Below we outline the three best stories from around the ETF space this past week:
1. India Calls For Bids To Launch ETF To Invest in State Run Firms: at The Wall Street Journal:
The Indian government spent the end of the week starting an ad campaign, inviting bids from bankers and asset management companies to create and launch an ETF that would invest in the shares of state run companies. This is one of many plans the government has started to raise money, but none in the past have been very successful. Romit Guha discusses what impact an Indian government ETF could have on the country and the global market.
2. Another Dubious Solar ETF Rally at NASDAQ:
Both of the only two ETF devoted to solar stocks rallied hard on Thursday after investors jumped on the news that a unit of Berkshire Hathaway has started a bid to buy out SunPower solar projects. Neither of these ETFs have performed very well over the last few years, as alternative energy was pushed to the back burner since the start of the financial crisis. Benzinga discusses why Warren Buffet may have an interest in these solar energy funds and how investors can join in.
3. Fallen Angel Bonds: High Yield in Disguise at ETF Database:
Even as the U.S. government works to get its financial legs back underneath itself after the fiscal cliff compromise, it’s likely that many investors will have to continue to search through alternative styles of investing if they want any meaningful returns over the coming year. Earlier this week, Stoyan Bojinov talked with Fran Rodilosso, portfolio manager at Van Eck’s Market Vectors, to dig deeper into these fallen angel bonds and what potential they might hold for investors.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.