Today, Lisle, Il-based Claymore Securities launched ETFs, and you can read all about them. There’s something contagious going on in the western suburbs of Chicago since ETF issuers First Trust and PowerShares are also based there. Maybe they belong to the same club and have made some bets on who can issue the most ETFs.
Claymore’s new offerings are, well, weird. Maybe they’ll be super popular “someday,” but like their “stealth” issue, they’ll be flying under my radar for a long time since these “created” track records need time to be evaluated.
(By the way, when I was in the service I was always impressed by the warning on the front of Claymore Mines, “Front Toward Enemy.” Well, our training group had some characters that needed to be kept at a distance when holding one whether behind you or not!)
The bottom line is that we’re happy to see all these ETFs come to market. Among the new issues will be a few we actually need -— commodity, currency and inverse issues to name a few. But, some will just languish -— even the good ones -- as most individual investors are still not in the markets given the negative flows to mutual funds. Despite what you see in the flow of funds to ETFs, most is going to big names like S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY), where program trading activities account for a hefty chunk of the volume.
An example of a needed ETF that’s getting little attention given the flood of new issues is the First Trust DJ Internet Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FDN). This should be a popular issue since it’s the only ETF in the popular Internet sector that includes Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a component. So, one would suspect that the previous standout, Internet HOLDRS (NYSE:HHH), a trust that can’t add new issues, would fade in popularity since it just contains the “old names” in the internet area. But no! FDN can’t buy a trade.
Okay, enough about that. What about the market action today? The big story was the “unexpected” contraction in manufacturing activity which was the first negative number since 2003. So the bull’s “Goldilocks scenario” of an economy with modest growth and low inflation is tested by this report. Growth could be much slower than expected, which is the flip-side of the coin.
Also today, tech investors were dealing with the soap opera that is Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ). Will the bulls be able to set that aside, as they’ve done with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) and Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)?
Some pundit noted today that the market usually reverses (um, “pauses”) the day after a Fed meeting. Okay, I’ll go along with that. But the news from the manufacturing sector was a warning to even the most liquidity-laden and determined bull.
Have a great weekend!