There’s a lot going on in the markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs).  Matt Hougan for Index Universe looks at 10 interesting market facts and we’ve added some ETF related information.

  1. The U.S. stock market is uneasy. Volatility is the best performing index this year, up 138.7% on the CBOE Volatility Index, compared to a year ago.
  2. Technical analysis aside, the Dow Theory says "If the train slows down, the economy soon follows." iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (IYT) is up 0.4% year-to-date.
  3. Utilities are going off, as you may know from those huge checks you write each month. Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) is up 15.7%.
  4. Some indexes following Europe aren’t as pretty as you may think, even with a strong currency.  Although we find the iShares S&P  Europe 350 Index (IEV) is up 14.7%. Isn’t the euro worth more than gold right now?
  5. European countries and their markets aren’t always in sync. Performance ranges up and down, depending which country you’re in. iShares MSCI Germany Index (EWG) is up 32% and iShares MSCI Belgium Index (EWK) is down 0.5%.
  6. The China/Japan dichotomy, with such proximity, what gives? iShares MSCI Japan(EWJ) is down 1.3% and iShares MSCI Xinhua/China 25 Index (FXI) is up 66.9%.
  7. Understanding contango in commodity investing is important.  It’s confusing and has investors angry.
  8. One of best domestic sector ETFs is Aerospace & DefensePowerShares Aerospace and Defense (PPA) is up 24.6%. The worst sector is homebuildingSPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) is down 53.4%.
  9. Small-cap growth is doing well, maybe not as well as in recent past, but they are holding their own. iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Growth (IJT) is up 5.4%, compared to the S&P 500 which is up 3.6%.
  10. Dividends aren’t offering the safe haven thought of through tough markets. iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index (DVY) is down 6.0%.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.