This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Fear, Risk ETFs Both Hit 52-Week Highs

Stocks in this article: QQQ PXI IEZ JKE GLD FXY FXF SGOL

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- How confident should you be about Democrats and Republicans reaching an accord on raising the debt ceiling? Confident enough.

Don’t get me wrong. I always have my stop-limit orders protecting key ETF positions. It’s just that the bond market as well as the stock market both agree … a deal will get done.

Ten-year Treasury yields are still offering a historically paltry 3%. What’s more, bond ETF investors still cherish low-yielding income positions. Even lower-than-average summertime volume is suggesting that few are ready to sell in panic. (At least not yet.)

Perhaps the most remarkable thing that is occurring? Simultaneously, cyclical ETFs and fear-based ”risk off” ETFs are hitting new 52-week highs.

The optimists see strong corporate earnings, particularly from technology bellwethers, and they’re not selling. They like the earnings prospects for components of the Nasdaq 100 QQQ (QQQ) as well as components of energy service providers in iShares DJ Oil Equipment and Services (IEZ).

>> Keep the stock market at your fingertips with TheStreet's iPad app.

At the very same time, there are investors who feel threatened by the European sovereign debt crisis, emerging market inflation, the U.S. debt ceiling debate as well as a tired U.S. economy. They’re seeking safety in funds like CurrencyShares Swiss Franc (FXF) and Physical Swiss Gold (SGOL).

For all the talk about “risk on” vs. “risk off,” the new 52-week highs paint a slightly different portrait. Specifically, the current environment may be more of a barbell approach, coupling ETFs with the least perceived risk and ETFs with the most perceived risk.

ETFs Hitting New 52-Week Highs On 7/25/2011
Approx YTD %
Cyclical “Risk On”
PowerShares NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) 9.6%
PowerShares Dynamic Energy (PXI) 21.9%
iShares DJ U.S. Oil Equip and Services (IEZ) 22.2%
iShares Morningstar Large Growth (JKE) 8.9%
Fear-Based “Risk-Off”
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) 13.4%
CurrencyShares Japanese Trust (FXY) 3.5%
CurrencyShares Swiss Franc (FXF) 15.6%
ETFS Physical Swiss Gold (SGOL) 13.4%

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs