3 ETFs for Turbulent Times

Includes: EWJ, KRE, UUP
by: Tom Lydon

China is curbing lending, President Barack Obama is going after the Wall Street giants and Greece’s sovereign debt has a lot of people feeling concerned. Using ETFs, you can find a few areas that may prevail despite the bears.

Inverse ETFs can help hedge against bear markets, but if you’re a little shy of risk, there are also plainer ETFs out there that you can use to cope with the market’s wild zigs and zags, says Todd Shriber for Investopedia.

In any market, you can look for opportunities beyond these funds by following a simple strategy. One we recommend is watching the 200-day moving average; when a position is above, it’s a buy signal. When it’s below the trend line, it’s a sell signal.

  • PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP): In 2009, you couldn’t turn around without hearing about how weak the dollar was. Enter 2010, where a renewed risk appetite has benefited the dollar, which has climbed to eight-month highs. And if gold continues to fall out of favor as a safe haven, the dollar may become even more appealing.
  • iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSEArca: EWJ): This country has lagged the broad market for decades, and for this reason many investors skip over it. Japanese stocks are trading at an above average historical discount to the S&P 500 and, while EWJ is barely positive on the year, it has sharply outperformed many of its emerging markets counterparts, says Shriber.
  • SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE): Regional banks are coming out ahead this year, especially as the Obama administration puts the restrictions and regulations upon bigger banks. Plus, many regional banks withstood the mortgage crisis better than the large institutions.