Wall Street was in for some volatile sessions this week as the U.S. government shutdown weighed heavily on U.S. equities. Investors seemed somewhat relieved after House Republicans announced they will unveil a a six-week debt-ceiling increase, which would act as a temporary fix to the nation’s looming debt deadline. On the economic front, the White House announced that Janet Yellen–the current vice chairman and a supporter of easy-money policies–would be nominated as the next Federal Reserve Chairman [see 5 Big ETFs That Still Aren't Back To Pre-Crisis Levels].
The ETF industry also saw plenty of activity this week, as ETF issuers continue to fill the product pipelines:
Denver-based ALPS, known for its popular Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP, A-), launched a new actively-managed income fund:
- RiversideFront Strategic Income Fund (RIGS): This fund is designed to give investors a global portfolio of fixed income securities of various maturities, ratings, and currency denominations. The fund will invest in corporate bonds, U.S. and foreign government debt, as well as other government securities such as the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
Flexshares also rolled out a “global” ETF, though this one focuses on a unique segment of the equities market:
- STOXX Global Broad Infrastructure Index Fund (NFRA): This fund tracks the STOXX Global Broad Infrastructure Index, which measures the performance of companies that generate a least half of their revenues from one of the following sectors defined as infrastructure-specific: communication, energy, government outsourcing/social, transportation, and utilities. Top holdings include AT&T (T), Vodafone (VOD), and Union Pacific (UNP) [see The Best (And Worst) Performing ETFs For Every Quarter].
PowerShares added to its impressive lineup with the launch of a new actively managed China ETF:
- China A-Share Portfolio (CHNA): This actively managed ETF provides exposure to the China A-Share market, and seeks to deliver long-term capital appreciation using a quantitative, rules-based investment strategy designed to provide returns that correspond to the performance of the FTSE China A50 Index.
ProShares, issuer of the popular Ultra and UltraShort leveraged ETFs, debuted its new dividend-focused ETF:
- S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF (NOBL): This cleverly-named fund tracks the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which consists of companies from the S&P 500 that have increased dividend payments each year for at least 25 years, and meet certain market capitalization and liquidity requirements. In terms of sector allocations, NOBL offers exposure to a wide array of industries, including consumer staples, industrials, materials, health care, consumer discretionary, and financials.
State Street added to its popular list of ETFs, introducing its new money market ETF:
- SPDR SSgA Ultra Short Term Bond ETF (ULST): This fund is designed to track the Barclays Capital U.S. 3-Month Treasury Bellwether Index, giving investors exposure to short duration, high quality U.S. Treasuries. ULST’s expense ratio comes in at 0.20%, slightly below the average expense ratio for the Money Market ETF category.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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