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TheStreet Open House

TheStreet.com Ratings Initiates Coverage on 69 Funds

TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage of four closed-end funds and 65 exchange-traded funds that accrued a sufficient track record of risk and performance data by the end of January.

With yesterday's report of 4.3% consumer price index inflation, it's no wonder that the three funds winning A+ ratings did so with traditional inflation hedge investments in gold and silver. The PowerShares DB Gold Fund (DGL) tracks gold futures. PowerShares DB Silver Fund (DBS) follows silver. And, the PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) includes both gold and silver futures.

Excluding food and energy, the consumer price index would only have been up 2.5%. The commodity theme played out positively for PowerShares DB Energy Fund (DBE) with crude oil in the $100 range, earning an A- rating. The PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) did even better, scoring an A+ as food prices continue to rise.

Another major theme of the top-rated funds that began trading in January 2007 is fixed-income ETFs. Eight different iShares run the gamut of maturities for both government and corporate bonds. These iShares follow Lehman Brothers fixed income indexes, providing a safe haven during the recent flight to quality.

Small-capitalization stocks falling over the last year propelled ProShares Short Russell 2000 (RWM) and ProShares Short S&P Small Cap 600 (SBB) to initial A+ ratings. The leveraged, and therefore more volatile, ProShares Ultra Short Russell 2000 (TWM) and ProShares Ultra Short S&P Small Cap 600 (SDD) did nearly as well, starting with A ratings.

Small-cap stocks such as Triad Guaranty (TGIC), Standard-Pacific (SPF), Fremont General (FMT) and Finish Line (FINL) lost four-fifths of their value over the last year, aiding the performance of these funds.

The four closed-end funds all received "sell" ratings due to their negative performance for the year ending Jan. 31, 2008. The initial ratings are E+ for the Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD), E+ for the Gabelli Global Deal Fund (GDL), E for the Blackrock Pref and Equity Trust (BTZ), and E for the Nasdaq Premium Income & Growth Fund (QQQX).

Research Methodology

TheStreet.com Ratings condenses the available fund performance and risk data into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows the unbiased identification of those funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market. While there is no guarantee of future performance, these Investment Ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions.

The funds listed below have either reached their one-year anniversary.

Funds rated A or B are considered "Buy" rated based on a track record of higher than average risk-adjusted performance. Funds at the C level are rated as "Hold," while underperformers at the D and E levels our model ranks as "Sell."

To find out the detailed definitions of what each level of our rating levels mean, click here .

New Coverage of Exchange-Traded Funds as of Jan. 31, 2008
Fund (Ticker) Initial Rating Inception Date Investment Style
PowerShares DB Gold Fund (DGL) A+ 1/5/2007 Precious Metals
PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) A+ 1/5/2007 Precious Metals
iShares Lehman 3-7 Year Treasury Bd (IEI) A+ 1/5/2007 Government Bond
iShares Lehman 10-20 Yr Treasury Bd (TLH) A+ 1/5/2007 Government Bond
iShares Lehman Govt/Credit Bond (GBF) A+ 1/5/2007 Government Bond
iShares Lehman Intrm Govt/Crdt Bond (GVI) A+ 1/5/2007 General Bd - Investment Grade
ProShares Short Russell 2000 (RWM) A+ 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
ProShares Short S&P Small Cap 600 (SBB) A+ 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) A+ 1/5/2007 Equity Income
iShares Lehman Intrm Credit Bond (CIU) A+ 1/5/2007 Corporate - Investment Grade
iShares Lehman Credit Bond Fund (CFT) A+ 1/5/2007 Corporate - Investment Grade
iShares Lehman 1-3 Year Credit Bond (CSJ) A+ 1/5/2007 Corporate - Investment Grade
HealthShares Enabling Technologies (HHV) A+ 1/23/2007 Health/Biotechnology
PowerShares DB Silver Fund (DBS) A+ 1/5/2007 Precious Metals
ProShares Ultra Short SmallCap 600 (SDD) A 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
ProShares Ultra Short Russell 2000 (TWM) A 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
HealthShares Diagnostic (HHD) A 1/23/2007 Health/Biotechnology
PowerShares DB Energy Fund (DBE) A- 1/5/2007 Energy/Natural Res
SPDR FTSE/Macquarie Glob Infr 100 (GII) B+ 1/26/2007 Global Equity
PowerShares Financial Preferred (PGF) B+ 12/1/2006 Financial Services
iShares Lehman Short Treasury Bond (SHV) B+ 1/5/2007 Government Bond
ProShares Ultra Short Semiconductor (SSG) B- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers (SCC) B- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas (DIG) C+ 1/30/2007 Energy/Natural Res
PowerShares DB Oil Fund (DBO) C+ 1/5/2007 Energy/Natural Res
ProShares Ultra Basic Materials (UYM) C 1/30/2007 Equity Income
iPath MSCI India Index ETN (INP) C 12/19/2006 Emerging Market Equity
SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF (CWI) C 1/10/2007 Global Equity
ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods (SZK) C 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Real Estate (SRS) C- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Financials (SKF) C- 1/30/2007 Financial Services
ProShares Ultra Short Technology (REW) C- 1/30/2007 Growth - Domestic
PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap (PJF) C- 12/1/2006 Growth - Domestic
HealthShares Patient Care Services (HHB) C- 1/23/2007 Health/Biotechnology
PowerShares Dynamic Deep Value Port (PVM) C- 12/20/2006 Equity Income
First Trust Value Line Equity Alloc (FVI) D+ 12/7/2006 Growth & Income
ProShares Ultra Short Industrials (SIJ) D+ 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Health Care (RXD) D 1/30/2007 Health/Biotechnology
PowerShares Dynamic Aggressive Gr (PGZ) D 12/20/2006 Growth - Domestic
PowerShares Dynamic Small Cap (PJM) D 12/1/2006 Growth - Domestic
PowerShares Buyback Achievers (PKW) D 12/20/2006 Equity Income
Claymore/Ocean Tomo Patent ETF (OTP) D 12/15/2006 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Utilities (UPW) D 1/30/2007 Utilities
PowerShares Dynamic Mid Cap (PJG) D- 12/1/2006 Growth - Domestic
Claymore/Sabrient Defender ETF (DEF) D- 12/15/2006 Equity Income
Claymore/Clear Spin Off ETF (CSD) D- 12/15/2006 Equity Income
Claymore/LGA Green ETF (GRN) D- 12/15/2006 Equity Income
PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund (DBB) D- 1/5/2007 Equity Income
HealthShares Cardio Devices (HHE) E+ 1/23/2007 Health/Biotechnology
ProShares Ultra SmallCap 600 (SAA) E+ 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
ProShares Ultra Industrials (UXI) E+ 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Consumer Goods (UGE) E+ 1/30/2007 Equity Income
HealthShares Emerging Cancer (HHJ) E+ 1/23/2007 Health/Biotechnology
PowerShares Value Line Ind Rotation (PYH) E 12/1/2006 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Health Care (RXL) E 1/30/2007 Health/Biotechnology
ProShares Ultra Russell 2000 (UWM) E 1/25/2007 Growth - Domestic
ProShares Ultra Consumer Services (UCC) E- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Technology (ROM) E- 1/30/2007 Growth - Domestic
SPDR DJ Wilshire Intl Real Estate (RWX) E- 12/18/2006 Non-US Equity
ProShares Ultra Financials (UYG) E- 1/30/2007 Financial Services
ProShares Ultra Sht Basic Materials (SMN) E- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Semiconductors (USD) E- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Oil & Gas (DUG) E- 1/30/2007 Energy/Natural Res
ProShares Ultra Real Estate (URE) E- 1/30/2007 Equity Income
ProShares Ultra Short Utilities (SDP) E- 1/30/2007 Utilities
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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