Wall Street was fairly tame these last few trading days of the year as light volume trading and an uncertain economic backdrop gave way to a less-than-spectacular finale to one of the most volatile years in financial history. Amongst the major domestic equity indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the only one to finish 2011 in positive territory; both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted minor losses on the year. Developed and emerging market equity indexes have endured a tougher year as risk-aversion has played a key role in funneling capital towards “safer” U.S. stocks. Despite recent headwinds, gold still came out on top in the end, clinching gains of 10% amidst a volatile trading year abundant with uncertainty.
Actionable ETF Trade Ideas
Our picks from Monday’s Insider posted a mixed performance during the final trading week of the year. Below, we highlight how our trade ideas fared during the week [sign up for a free trial of ETFdb Pro to get actionable ETF ideas every Monday, as well as access to more than 30 all-ETF model portfolios].
Trade #1 Long ECH: Down 0.8%
ECH opened lower than we had expected on Tuesday morning, creating a major technical roadblock for this long recommendation right from the start. Broad-based selling pressures prevailed on Wednesday, pushing this ETF lower towards $56.75 a share, where relatively high volume buying stabilized the price from sinking further. ECH regained its momentum on Thursday and Friday, although it wasn’t enough to carry this long recommendation into positive territory for the week.
Trade #2 Long EWJ: Up 1.2%
EWJ got off to a flat start on Tuesday, and selling pressures the next day beat it down all the way to $8.85 a share, missing our outlined stop-loss by just a few pennies. The bulls recharged and came back strong on Thursday as this ETF regained all lost ground from the previous two days. Buying euphoria in Japanese stocks spilled over into Friday and this trade recommendation turned in a solid 1.2% gain on the week.
Trade #3 Long GUR : Down 1.9%
This ETF drifted lower as the opening bell rang on Tuesday morning, setting the tone for the remainder of the shortened trading week.GUR dipped back down to $35.50 a share on Wednesday alongside tumbling equity indexes. Bullish momentum fought back on Thursday and Friday, although it wans’t enough to “fill” the gap from Wednesday’s sell-off. This trade recommendation turned in a 1.9% loss on the week.
Retirement ETFdb Portfolios
The Cheapskate portfolio came out on top in the final trading week of 2011, followed by our less conservative retirement portfolios. Surprisingly, our bond-heavy Ready To Retire portfolio lagged behind alongside the Low Volatility portfolio. However, from a year-to-date perspective, the Ready To Retire portfolio is at the top of the list with a respectable 5% gain on the year [see All Portfolio Returns].
|30 Years Til Retirement||0.14%|
|20 Years Til Retirement||0.13%|
|5 Years Til Retirement||0.10%|
|10 Years Til Retirement||0.10%|
|Ready To Retire||-0.04%|
Regional ETFdb Portfolios
The Global Titans portfolio led the regional pack this week, while the Euro Free Europe and Ex-Europe portfolios also fared relatively well thanks to their lack of direct exposure to the debt burdened currency bloc. The regional portfolios have endured a tough 2011 as broad risk-aversion has been more favorable for “safer” U.S. equities.
|Euro Free Europe||0.05%|
|Emerging & Frontier Markets||-0.39%|
Themed ETFdb Portfolios
A handful of our themed portfolios clinched gains during an otherwise rocky week for stock markets, with our High Tech and High Yield portfolios leading the way higher. Our commodity-centric portfolios were some of the worst performers for the week, right alongside the Black Swan portfolio which sits at the bottom of the barrel. From a year-to-date perspective, the top two performers in green territory are the Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven and High Yield portfolio.
|Alpha Seeker 2.0||0.24%|
|Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market||0.17%|
|The Sky Is Falling||0.08%|
|Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven||-0.07%|
|Ben Graham 50/50||-0.09%|
|Cheapskate Hedge Fund||-0.34%|
|Futures Free Commodity||-1.19%|
|Black Swan Hyperinflation||-1.26%|
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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