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Real estate investment trusts and sector-related exchange traded funds have been among the most popular investments in an extended low-rate environment. However, after this year’s run, REITs may be starting to look pricey. The Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ) is the eighth most popular ETF of 2016, adding $4.6 billion in net inflows year-to-date, according […]

South African police reportedly ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to its offices, fueling speculation that the Treasury chief may be replaced and upending the South African rand currency and country-specific exchange traded fund. The iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (NYSEArca: EZA) plunged 2.9% Tuesday. South Africa has been one of the better performing emerging markets of […]

An Italy country-specific exchange traded fund, along with Italian banks, is rallying Tuesday as the chief executive of Poland’s biggest insurer flies to Milan for talks to acquire UniCredit’s Bank Pekao. On Tuesday, the iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWI) rose 2.0%. EWI, though, declined 17.0% year-to-date. PZU’s chief executive, Michal Krupinski, is going […]

Homebuilder stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds climbed Tuesday after new U.S. home sales unexpectedly rose to their highest level since 2007 on rising demand and shrinking inventories. On Tuesday, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) rose 2.0% and iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) gained 2.7%. Year-to-date, XHB increased 5.4% and ITB […]

Despite selling off at the end of last week in response to speculation that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates this year, U.S. Treasury bonds and related exchange traded funds pushed higher Monday as foreign demand may still support the relatively more attractive U.S. bond market. On Monday, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond […]

Emerging markets and related exchange traded funds faltered on increased speculation that the Federal Reserve may still hike interest rates later this year. Developing market stocks have been this year’s comeback kid, with the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the two largest emerging market […]

Natural gas prices and commodity-related exchange traded funds are perking up as forecasts for hotter weather ahead raise expectations for higher electricity consumption. The United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) rose 3.5% on Monday as Nymex natural gas futures were up 3.8% to $2.68 per million British thermal units. Despite recent gains, UNG has […]

Oil markets and related exchange traded funds are giving back some of their recent gains as China adds exports of refined products, U.S. rig count rises for an eighth straight week and production increases out of Nigeria and Iraq. After a swift turn from a bear into a bull market, crude oil and related ETFs […]

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced a $14 billion deal to acquire cancer drug developer Medivation (NasdaqGS: MDVN), propelling the broader biotechnology exchange traded funds higher on speculation of more deals in the sector. Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer will pay Medivation shareholders $81.5 per share in cash, or a 21% markup to Medivation’s closing price on Friday of […]

Workers investing their hard-earned money in recent years have increasingly turned to target-date funds in 401(k) plans to prepare for future retirement. Some may also be able to consider exchange traded fund options, like quickly growing ETF managed portfolios in the separate accounts space. Target-date funds currently dominate 401(k) plans, where $700 billion in assets […]

Investors are throwing money into developing country equity funds at their quickest pace in 58 weeks, with popular emerging market exchange traded funds among the most popular picks over the past week, as depressed rates around the world push people to riskier and higher yielding assets. Emerging market equity funds attracted $5.1 billion in inflows […]

Index exchange traded fund giant Vanguard Group is broadening its scope as the money manager files with the Securities Exchange Commission to launch active ETF options. According to a recent SEC exemptive relief filing, Vanguard is seeking to allow a group of its active funds to be permitted to issue ETF shares that will be actively […]

The dividend growth style has been a popular investment theme this year as volatility gripped U.S. Exchange traded fund investors, though, need not limit themselves to domestic markets as there are international dividend growth strategies as well. For example, the relatively new ProShares MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF (BATS: EMDV) is the sixth ETF […]

Many advisors and investors have utilized sector exchange traded funds to gain exposure to targeted areas of the market. However, maintaining the right mix of these various sectors is equally important. “Given the importance of a stock portfolio’s sector mix to its outcome, monitoring a portfolio’s sector mix may be one of the most important […]

Precious metals have been among best performers this year, but investors shouldn’t wait for conditions to be just right before looking into gold allocations. Gold should not be used as part of a market-timing trade, but rather as a core investment portfolio diversifier, Jerry C. Wagner, President and Founder of Flexible Plan Investments, said on […]

After just a couple of weeks past a bear market fall off, crude oil futures moved backed into bullish territory Thursday. Meanwhile, some larger traders jumped into a smart-beta, energy sector exchange traded fund on the suddenly rosier outlook in the oil market. Crude oil futures are now trading 20% higher since spending a day […]

In a world awash of easy money and rising uncertainty, investors and advisors should consider allocating a portion of their portfolio to hard assets like gold to help stabilize their investments against swings in traditional assets. On the upcoming webcast this Thursday, What’s the Optimal Percent Allocation to Gold?, Jerry C. Wagner, President and Founder […]

Despite all the misgivings about riskier assets in a volatile year, speculative-grade debt related exchange traded funds have steadily strengthened as yields on junk bonds dip to levels not seen since last summer. Year-to-date, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) and the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK), […]

The Gavekal Knowledge Leaders Developed World ETF (NYSEArca: KLDW), the first exchange traded fund based on the so-called Knowledge Effect, has been an outperforming international play. Since its inception as of July 31, 2016, KLDW has outpaced the MSCI World Index by over 5.5 percentage points. Over the past year, KLDW increased 7.4% while the […]

Gold prices inched higher Tuesday, despite conflicting views from Federal Reserve officials. As the U.S. waits for the Fed announcement, traders may consider a bearish or inverse gold exchange traded funds to hedge against a more hawkish outlook. On Tuesday, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold […]

Crude oil prices and commodity-related exchange traded funds are pushing higher for the fourth straight day as traders speculate on the likelihood of production cuts to stabilize the market and a weakening U.S. dollar helped support prices. On Tuesday, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, 1.0% […]

As the market moves toward the late stages of the business cycle, consumer discretionary stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds could underperform other market segments. So far this earnings season, consumer discretionary stocks were one of two market sectors that were negative for the quarter, according to a Fidelity Investments note. Weighing on the consumer discretionary […]

The markets have grown overly complacent, with the CBOE Volatility Index and related exchange traded funds slipping to lower levels this year, as stocks continue on their eight-year bull run toward new record highs. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, is hovering around 11.8, its lowest level so far this year. For instance, with volatility […]

The three major U.S. stock indices and related exchange traded funds hit new intraday record highs as traders trimmed bets on a Federal Reserve rate hike and oil prices continued to recover. On Monday, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) was up 0.4%, PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, was […]

Mainland Chinese markets and related China A-shares exchange traded funds rallied Monday on hopes of a formal announcement to a Shenzhen-Hong Kong trading link. Leading the market surge on Monday, the VanEck Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (NYSEArca: PEK) rose 4.2%, VanEck Vectors ChinaAMC CSI 300 ETF (NYSEArca: CNXT) gained 3.8% and db X-trackers Harvest CSI […]

The Brexit vote in June sent United Kingdom stocks on a wild ride, and currency-hedged U.K. exchange traded funds have been a clear winner in the aftermath. Since the June 23 close, the day prior to the watershed United Kingdom referendum vote on European Union membership, currency-hedged U.K. ETFs have rebounded from their initial knee-jerk sell-off, […]

Active fund managers have been underperforming broad stock market benchmarks for the past decade, supporting the notion that investors may be better off with a passive strategy or index-based exchange traded fund. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data, over the 10-year period ending in 2015, an average of just 37% large-cap mutual funds […]

With global central banks pushing the limits of quantitative easing and traditional monetary policies, U.S. bond exchange traded funds are experiencing record inflows as investors search for dwindling sources of yield. U.S. fixed-income ETFs attracted over $60 billion in net inflows this year – that’s already more than the total for 2015, the Financial Times reports. […]

Global central bankers’ ever-looser monetary policies and increased uncertainties helped drive investment demand for gold bullion and related exchange traded funds to record highs for the first six months of the year. According to the World Gold Council, over the first-half of the year, investment demand for gold, which includes bars and coins and demand from […]

The U.S. dollar exchange traded fund slid below its short-term trend line, with the greenback depreciating to its lowest since June, as traders reduced bets on Federal Reserve action in light of weakening U.S. economic data. The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) fell 0.2% Friday and was testing its support at […]