World Economic Forum Puts Global and U.S. ETFs in Focus

by: Tom Lydon

In Davos, Switzerland, international officials are attending the World Economic Forum to promote free market principles and collaborate in righting our economic course. While global exchange traded fund (ETF) investors may be happy in the emerging markets, the U.S. economy is making a case for itself, too.

A record number of emerging market dignitaries are among the attendees this year, more notably those from China. Their presence is largely to remind others of their country’s economic prowess, reports Stephen Beard for MarketPlace. Conversely, fewer American officials will be attending since it wouldn’t look too good to have people partying on the taxpayer’s money in our economic state.

Nevertheless, the forum is a great place for world leaders and top business people, intellectuals, academics and others to mingle and espouse new business models.

The panel for the “New Economic Reality” did not have representatives from eurozone states, but those on the panel, including China, India, America, Israel and Great Britain, were all concerned about the E.U. sovereign debt problem, reports Katrin Bennhold for The New York Times.

Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at New York University commented that “the eurozone is certainly one of the biggest risks to the global economy.”

As the conversation take place, Europe ETFs are seemingly resisting any big moves. Funds like iShares SP& Europe 350 (NYSEArca: IEV) and WisdomTree Europe High-Yielding Equity (NYSEArca: DEW) are up less than 1% in the last two days.

Zhu Min, the former deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China and a special adviser to the International Monetary Fund, believes that “this year, we’ll have a three-speed” recovery as the U.S. pulls ahead of the European Union at an estimated 3% growth rate and the the emerging markets taking the lead at more than 7%.

If that proves to be the case, some of the best-performing U.S. only ETFs in the three months include:

  • PowerShares Dynamic S&P SmallCap Energy (NYSEArca: XLES), up 30.3%
  • SPDR S&P Semiconductor (NYSEArca: XSD), up 26.5%
  • PowerShares S&P Dynamic Energy (NYSEArca: PXE), up 25.4%
  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production (NYSEArca: IEZ), up 24.1%

This performance illustrates that you can not only play domestic economic growth, but you can use ETFs to get exposure to the hottest sectors in that economy. If the United States does become one of the developed-market leaders in economic growth, these and other U.S. ETFs could see even better days ahead.

Disclosure: No positions