PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV)
Defense fell out of favor last week as upward market action drove investors back into growth-correlated assets. This risk-on mentality was not ideal for the SPLV. Despite seeing gains, the low-volatility ETF lagged against the broader S&P-tracking SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
SPLV's underperformance may be discouraging. However, investors should think twice before writing off this and other safe haven equity ETFs in the near future. As I explained last week, there are still plenty of headwinds facing the global marketplace at this time. SPLV and iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund (DVY) can ease the nerves when attempting to navigate rough waters.
iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI)The decision by China's central bank to slash reserve ratios was one factor that led last week's impressive gains. As I noted last Wednesday, this move will allow Chinese banks to increase lending. The central bank's move helped to push FXI higher. However, given the disappointing manufacturing data points released late last week, caution is still warranted when turning to this emerging market giant. On Thursday, Chinese economic reports including industrial production, retail sales and CPI are slated to be released. This data should provide additional clues as to the current state and future prospects for the nation's markets. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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