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Utilities stocks (and ETFs) have generally fared quite well in the last few years, thanks to an interest in low volatility and high dividends among cautious and concerned investors. But there is perhaps reason to now be cautious looking forward; electricity use is declining, threatening the stability of one of the most stable sectors and forcing major utilities to seek out new revenue sources [for other investing and money management tips, check out the Money Management Tips Center over at].

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Over the past month, small cap stocks have been broadly underperforming their large cap counterparts. These pint-sized securities are often more volatile than their larger brethren and have been hard hit by fears of a sharp downturn in the domestic economy. With that being said, some of the safer corners of the small cap market, namely utilities, have managed to skirt by much of this disaster with minimal losses. These firms have been unscathed thanks to high dividend yields and the non-cyclical nature of the businesses; everyone needs electricity and water. Yet, unfortunately for the sector, the recent relative strength of utilities could be put to the test later today when one of the most important companies in the small cap utility universe reports earnings, Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY).  [click to continue…]

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ETF Sector Rotation Strategies: Beyond The SPDRs

by on August 10, 2011 | Updated July 9, 2014

ETFs may have originally been designed for investors interested in implementing long-term, buy-and-hold strategies, but the numerous advantages of the exchange traded structure, such as intraday liquidity and enhanced transparency, have attracted all types–including a much more active crowd. It’s no secret that ETFs have become popular among traders that measure holding periods not in […]


Equity markets have continued their volatility this week as weakness in Monday trading gave way to a rocky Tuesday session. With the exception of Bernanke’s speech yesterday, the week is pretty much devoid of additional news, suggesting that we could see a pretty flat market for the rest of the period, assuming that no further […]

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Sector rotation techniques have been around for decades, a relatively simple strategy often used by investors seeking to capitalize on short-term mispricings in order to generate alpha. In its most basic form, sector rotation involves segmenting the equity universe by industry, and moving into and out of various sectors depending on relative attractiveness from a […]

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The month of May was a generally disappointing stretch for investors, as both international and domestic equity markets struggled to overcome obstacles new and old. Commodities, which had been a nice source of absolute returns for much of the last year, fell on hard times as well; precious metals went into a brief freefall, and […]

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