Archive | US Markets and ETFs

New 52-Week Highs: Which Stock ETFs Are Shining The Brightest?

In spite of a stock market sell-off that nearly set the S&P 500 back 10%, some stock ETFs have already recovered. That’s right. A handful of funds barely trembled during last week’s frightful liquidation. Shortly thereafter, this intrepid group ascended to record heights. Here are the more notable stock ETFs on the latest 52-Week High list. [...] Continue Reading...


Is It Over? 3 ETF Signals You May Use For Confirmation

Is the global economic landscape healing? Far from it. Does that typically signal good things for the U.S. stock market? No… but the U.S. Federal Reserve is extremely likely to keep overnight lending rates near zero for years to come. That discourages saving, yet encourages borrowing for the purposes of consumption and investment. Zero percent [...] Continue Reading...


Why Did ETFs Become So Popular? Fewer Folks Are Buying The Hold-N-Hope Hype

Exactly how long should a buy-n-hold investor “hold?” For example, if you held the Dow Jones Industrials Average from 1916 through 1981, would you have made money in those 65 years? Not from inflation-adjusted price appreciation. Here are the returns: The above-mentioned data represent 65 years of buy-n-hold angst. Granted, naysayers might say that the dates have [...] Continue Reading...


Are All ETF Correlations Barreling Towards 1.0?

Since the S&P 500 hit 2011 on September 18, it has forfeited 4.1%. That may not represent a significant decline. Yet, the year-to-date damage across an array of 18 popular asset classes is a bit more vexing. Depreciation Across 18 Unique Asset Classes % Off 2014 High 200 Day MA Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX) 0.0% Above Vanguard [...] Continue Reading...


Jobs Data Great For ETFs, Grisly For The Economy

“Holy Moly!” exclaim the financial media. They marvel at a headline unemployment number of 5.9%. They celebrate year-to-date job growth that is averaging about 220,000 positions per month. “This economy is much better than people think!” However, the economic optimists are wrong. The labor market is uncommonly weak. So why did stocks rocket higher on the job [...] Continue Reading...


Is The S&P 500 Now Safer Than A Diversified Portfolio?

Both the media and a wide array of financial advisers preach owning a diversified portfolio. Below, I have created a hypothetical asset mix that a moderate growth investor might employ: 30% iShares S&P 500 (IVV) 25% Vanguard Total Bond (BND) 12.5% iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) 7.5% SPDR S&P Mid-Cap 400 (MDY) 5% SPDR High Yield (JNK) 5% Vanguard Short-Term Bond (BSV) 5% [...] Continue Reading...


When Canaries Stop Singing, Riskier ETFs Can Croak

In a recent article at WSJ.com, the author interviews Michael Hartnett, a primary investment guru at Merrill Lynch. The top strategist explains that commodities, emerging markets, high-yield bonds and small-cap U.S. stocks are the “four classic canaries” in the investment mines. Moreover, he warns, the archetypal canaries have stopped singing. Yet Hartnett simply views the absence [...] Continue Reading...


Preparing Your ETF Portfolio For Increased Volatility

HSBC’s most recent Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the Chinese economy rose to 50.5 from a final reading of 50.2 in August. The manufacturing sector may be expanding, but the growth is noticeably restrained. Meanwhile, German factories registered their slowest growth in 15 months and the French manufacturing segment continues to shrink. Equally disconcerting, the [...] Continue Reading...


What the Federal Reserve’s Policy Guidance Means For ETF Investors

The market supposedly climbs a “Wall of Worry,” at least until those concerns overwhelm participants. Yet the only apprehension that might send stock investors for the exit doors today relates to the timing and the pace of central bank rate hikes. When it comes to a number of the traditional alarms – geopolitical struggles, global [...] Continue Reading...


Bond ETFs: Selling the Rumor, Buying The News

The appetite for stock risk is softening, yet few people are talking about it. Take a look at the “Advance-Decline Line” – one of the more popular technical analysis tools for identifying potential trend reversals. It dropped below a short-term moving average (50 SMA) in early August; it is now below the key trendline in [...] Continue Reading...


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