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ETF Insider: Euro Drama Far From Gone

Sat, Nov 12, 11:14 AM ET, by Michael Johnston

European debt woes dominated headlines all of last week yet again as investor worries over the debt burdened currency bloc continue to weigh down on the markets. Euphoria swept over the markets after Berlusconi’s resignation announcement earlier in the week, paving the way higher for European and U.S. equities alike. However, fear quickly returned the following day as yields on Italian bonds spiked, worrying many that the ECB would not be able to deal with a potentially full blow financial crisis. On the home front, the U.S. trade deficit shrank more than expected and new claims for unemployment benefits sank to a multi-month low, improving investors’ confidence in the domestic economic recovery. Gold inched a bit higher amidst all of the Euro zone drama last week, with the precious metal closing just underneath $1,800 an ounce.

Actionable ETF Trade Ideas

Last Week's Actionable ETF Ideas
Ticker Position Performance
JXI

Long


-2.3%
GUR

Long

-4.5%
WIP

Long

+0.5%

Our picks from Monday’s Insider didn’t fare too well this week as volatility in the markets stopped us out of two trade recommendations while our third pick was fairly directionless. Below, we highlight how our trade ideas fared during the week [sign up for a free trial of ETFdb Pro to get actionable ETF ideas every Monday, as well as access to more than 30 all-ETF model portfolios].

Trade #1 Long JXI: Down 2.3%

This recommendation got off to a strong start on Monday morning, and JXI even went onto extend gains into Tuesday. Euro zone fears dominated markets on Wednesday however, sparking a broad based sell-off and putting considerable pressure downward pressure on JXI. We stuck to our rules and sold our long position at $42 a share, incurring a 2.3% loss for the week.

Trade #2 Long GUR: Down 4.5%

This emerging Europe ETF got off to a solid start and inched higher into Tuesday, closing above key resistance at the $42.50 a share level. The minimal gains were quickly erased on Wednesday after Italian debt woes pushed European equity indexes desperately lower, likewise triggering our stop loss for GUR. Once again we stuck to our rules and cut our losses at $40 a share, incurring a 4.5% loss for the week.

Trade #3 Long WIP: Up 0.5%

This was our fundamentally defensive pick for the week and unfortunately WIP failed to take on safe haven appeal amidst all of the Euro zone uncertainty as we had hoped for. This ETF got off to a strong start early in the week, however the broad market sell-off on Wednesday brought it back down, eliminating the previous days gains. WIP drifted just above our stop loss at $58 a share for the remainder of the week, closing at $58.68 a share on Friday and tacking on a small 0.5% gain for the week.

ETFdb Portfolios

Retirement ETFdb Portfolios

Stock markets finished the week in positive territory, however, all of the volatility has taken its toll on our retirement portfolios. Our most conservative Ready To Retire portfolio continues to lead the way higher thanks to its hefty fixed income allocation. Likewise, our equity-heavy Aggressive portfolio sits at the bottom of the barrel in terms of year-to-date performances given all of the chaotic trading that has dominated stock markets since the beginning of August earlier this year.

ETFdb Portfolio YTD Return
Ready To Retire 4.55%
5 Years To Retirement 1.44%
Moderate 0.43%
10 Years To Retirement -0.15%
20 Years To Retirement -2.01%
30 Years To Retirement -3.28%
Aggressive -5.55%
Cheapskate n/a

Themed Portfolio

Our themed portfolios inched higher this week and from a year-to-date perspective half of them are in positive territory, with the remainder still struggling to clinch onto gains for the year. The Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven portfolio continues to dominate the top of the rankings list as uncertainty remains high in the markets. Likewise, the “riskier” Emerging & Frontier Markets portfolio remains very beat down, although surprisingly the RAFI portfolio sits at the bottom of the barrel in terms of year-to-date performances.

ETFdb Portfolio YTD Return
Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven 8.28%
The Sky Is Falling 7.32%
High Yield 2.74%
Black Swan Hyperinflation 1.59%
Ex-Europe 0.82%
High-Tax Bracket -1.57%
Alpha Seeker Portfolio 2.0 -1.94%
Ex-U.S -6.03%
Emerging & Frontier Markets -8.04%
RAFI -10.08%
Ben Graham 50/50 n/a
Small Cap n/a
Actively-Managed n/a
Easy-As-ABC n/a
AlphaDEX n/a
Africa-Centric n/a
Commodity Guru n/a
LatAm Centric n/a
Global Titans n/a
Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market n/a
Asia-Centric n/a
Africa-Centric n/a
Euro Free Europe Portfolio n/a

New ETF Highlights

The exchange-traded universe continues to expand as several issuers rolled out first-to-market products over the past week. Check out our ETF Launch Center for complete updates on all new ETFs.

ETF Launches

Canada Bond Index Fund (CAD)

PIMCO introduced their new Canada Bond Index Fund, CAD, which tracks the BofA Merrill Lynch Diversified Canada Government Bond Index. This index consists of Canadian dollar-denominated investment grade bonds and the debt securities include sovereign and quasi-government debt.

Germany Bond Index Fund (BUND)

PIMCO launched their Germany Bond Index Fund, BUND, which tracks the BofA Merrill Lynch Diversified Germany Bond Index. This fund seeks to offer exposure to euro-denominated investment grade bonds issued by German entities. The debt securities include sovereign, quasi-government, corporate, securitized, and collateralized debt.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.


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