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TheStreet Open House

Currency ETFs Hold Their Own

Stocks in this article: SPY FXY FXA

NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- The mainstream financial media may have caught a break in 2011. Neither the S&P 500 nor the Dow fell more than 20% from respective highs, meaning that nobody ran with the "Bear Is Back" headline. It follows that the March 2, 2009 lows still represent the start of a bull market uptrend.

Not surprisingly, many have chosen to wistfully recollect the 90%-plus, since-inception gains for U.S. stocks. Meanwhile, others wisely remind us that substantial corrections of 10% to 20% occurred in each of the 3 years -- 2009, 2010, 2011.

Interestingly enough, there have been a number of cat-skinning ways to achieve admirable profits in the period. The Australian dollar via the CurrencyShares Australian Dollar (FXA) picked up three-fourths of the SPDR S&P 500 Trust's (SPY) upside for roughly three-fifths the beta risk. That's a pretty good deal for highly correlated assets in the currency "carry trade."

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