Although the U.S.dollar is weak, and the credit crunch has tightened the cash flow, European large-caps don’t seem to be feeling this.

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that hold European large-cap stocks include Vanguard European Stock (VGK) and the iShares S&P Europe 350 (IEV), both of which are down year-to-date, but have been ticking back up during the past four weeks.

VGK in the last month has risen 2.1%, but is down 3.1% year-to-date. IEV is up 1.7% in the last month, but down 3.4% year-to-date.

VGK is made up of bigger firms, while IEV is actually five years older. IEV holds 600 companies while VGK holds 348. The ETFs track different indexes, the MSCI Europe Index for IEV and the S&P Europe 350 Index for VGK.

Both ETFs give exposure to large, Western European companies and currencies, reports Joanne Von Alroth for Investor’s Business Daily. The large-caps that make up these funds have performed well recently.

But not all is rosy in Europe: the European Union is battling 3% inflation, a credit crisis and high food prices. Some retailers have seen sales fall. But there’s optimism, too, since in April both France and the United Kingdom saw their highest monthly benchmark index gains in nearly five years.


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.