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The democratization of asset classes has been one of the main driving forces behind the ever-expanding ETF universe. In fact, with the U.S. bull market recently turning five years old there has been a variety of funds crossing major milestones, both in terms of assets under management as well as age [see also How Markets React To Major World Events]. 
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Making the right call on whether we’re headed for a bull or bear market is only half the battle; knowing which sectors are poised to outperform, given the prevailing economic conditions, is how many professional money managers “beat the market.” Commonly referred to as sector rotation, this timeless investing approach revolves around picking market leaders at different turning points throughout the business cycle. [click to continue…]

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Since the depths of the financial crisis over five years ago, one of the most debated topics remains the efficacy of the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus program. Only hindsight will reveal whether or not the era of “free money” was a success or a great blunder, but whatever the case may be years from now, […]

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Last week, all eyes were on the Federal Reserve as Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the House and Senate. After Yellen stated that she expects a great deal of continuity in the Fed’s approach to monetary policy, the Dow snapped its four-day losing streak, rallying 193 points. In other economic news, […]

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All eyes were on the Federal Reserve last week, as the central bank announced it would cut back further on its stimulus measures, which consequently sent emerging market equities into a tailspin. On Thursday, however, a positive fourth quarter U.S. GDP report helped stabilize markets; data showed the economy expanding 3.2% in the last quarter […]

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U.S. equities ended on a sour note last week as worse-than-expected labor data weighed heavily on the markets. Nonfarm Payrolls were reported at 74,000 for December, coming in far below analysts’ expectations of 197,000. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 7%, largely as a result of people leaving the workforce. On the earnings front, […]

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Following a holiday-shortened trading week, Wall Street will close once again this Wednesday in celebration of the New Year. After a whirlwind of a year, investors will more than likely turn their attention once again to the Federal Reserve, as the central bank begins tapering its bond-buying program. In January, the Fed will purchase $40 billion worth […]

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Wall Street marked its second-straight weekly decline, as investors continued to weigh the possibility of the Federal Reserve tapering its bond buying purchases in the near future. Last week, investors paid close attention to speeches by Federal Reserve bank presidents James Bullard and Richard Fisher, which indicated that tapering could begin as early as this month. On […]

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Last week, Wall Street witnessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average pierce the 16,000 mark, closing above the level for the first time on Thursday. In economic news, the latest FOMC minutes showed that Fed policy makers will likely decide to begin tapering its bond buying purchases in the coming months. Also on the Fed front, the Senate Banking […]

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U.S. equities slipped into red territory for most of last week, as investors weighed the latest economic reports against the prospect of the Fed tapering its bond purchases soon. U.S. factory orders declined 0.1%, while ISM non-manufacturing PMI rose to 55.4 from 54.4 in October. U.S. GDP for the third quarter was reported to grow 2.8%, […]

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Wall Street was in for a mixed bag of earnings this week, with several bellwethers reporting third quarter results. 3M (MMM) and Ford Motor Company (F) topped analyst earnings and revenue expectations, while telecom giant AT&T (T) also beat earnings estimates, though revenues fell in line with expectations. Caterpillar (CAT)–one of the biggest manufacturers of construction and mining […]

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The seemingly endless tug of war between the bulls and bears on Wall Street can be frustrating for even the most patient investors, which is why arming yourself with knowledge about how previous economic recoveries have played out can give you an edge. Business cycle analysis can help ETF investors distinguish between different phases of […]

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