The Global X Guru ETF (NYSEARCA:GURU) - which tracks hedge funds' top holdings via 13F filings - is lower by 10% since the start of August, nearly 900 basis points worse than the S&P 500.
The AlphaClone Alternative Alpha ETF (NYSEARCA:ALFA) - which tracks performance of U.S. stocks to which hedge funds and institutional investors have disclosed "significant" exposure - is down a whopping 19% over the same period.
It's the "hedge fund hotel" effect, and those names popular with the Greenwich crowd - think Valeant, Community Health Systems, Ally Financial - are among those which have been especially punished in the last four months.
Goldman tracks these favorites, and they outperformed the market from 2012 to 2014, but this year they've trailed the S&P 500 by 500 basis points.
The UBS ETRACS S&P 500 VEQTOR Switch ETN (NYSEARCA:VQTS), launched Wednesday, provides exposure to the S&P 500 Index, but pivots around a market volatility target of 10 percent.
After reaching that target, "the Index shifts a portion of its allocation to the S&P 500 VIX Futures Long/Short Switch Index, representing volatility, and reduces its exposure to the S&P 500 Index such that the equity component of the Index maintains its 10% volatility target," as stated in the prospectus.
Traditionally a mutual fund issuer, Compass EMP is striking out into the ETF industry with the creation of 3 smart beta funds, each tracking an index made by Compass EMP.
The Compass EMP U.S. EQ Income 100 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Fund (CDC), Compass EMP U.S. 500 Volatility Weighted Index ETF (CFA), and Compass EMP U.S. 500 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF (CFO) will all begin trading on July 2nd.
These funds all feature a focus on volatility management and will charge an expense ratio between 58 and 68 basis points.
The CBOE: Where fear never sleeps. Beginning June 22, futures action in the VIX will be available nearly around the clock, with trading beginning on Sunday evenings and not shutting down until Miller Time on Fridays.
The calculation of the actual VIX, however, will only take place during regular U.S. trading hours, says the exchange.
Call option bets on the VIX this week soared to a record high 8.4M contracts at the CBOE. "A lot are buying in size," says Mike Palmer, who sits at the center of the VIX pit. With volatility so low, speculators "can get a lot of bang for their buck." About 81% of VIX options trading yesterday was in call options.
After a 7.2% jump Thursday, the VIX is up another 14% today, but - at 15.67 - still well below the 20-year average of 20.50.
The PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (BKLN) was honored with the William F. Sharpe Award for ETF Product of the Year this morning.
Since opening in March 2011 and becoming the first floating-rate senior loan ETF, this Invesco (IVZ) fund has amassed over $6.2 billion in assets under management, making it easily the largest player in the space.
Also receiving honors this morning is the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged Portfolio (PHDG), which was named the ETF Innovation of the Year, along with its underlying index: the S&P 500 Dynamic VEQTOR Index.
Higher again today, the Volatility Index has gained for six straight sessions and is now at a 7-week high. Taper fear makes for a good excuse, but Baird's Bruce Bittles says the stock market - after notching its longest string of weekly advances in nearly a decade - simply needs a break.
MKM's Jim Strugger says a number of potential negative catalysts lie ahead - notably Fed meetings in mid-December and late January, the January 1 deadline to sign up for Obamacare, and January 15 end of the current government spending authority (don't forget Friday's employment report).
"If the market was too confident about September tapering six weeks ago, it may be too confident about March tapering now," write the strategists at BAML, suggesting traders position themselves for a big payroll number on Friday - short 10-year Treasurys (TLT), long dollars (UUP), particularly vs. the yen (FXY), and long volatility (VXX).
"The balance of risks going into Friday is unusually asymmetric," writes the team, noting a weak number will be discounted as a temporary shock from the shutdown, but a strong print will have the market pricing in a December or January taper.