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1. High-Yield ETFs Still Have Room to Run
By Don Dion
6:55 a.m. EDT
High-yield bonds have had quite a run this year. Investors are regaining some appetite for risk and are allocating some of their low-yielding assets to junk bonds. As CDs and short-term Treasuries continue to pay investors 0 to 2%, high-yield bonds could continue to provide investors with high monthly income and capital appreciation through the end of the year. An ETF that offers diversified exposure to the high-yield bond market is
Barclays Capital High Yield Bond
. This fund is a satellite holding that I would consider buying now and selling at the beginning of 2010.
2. Consumer Pullback
By Robert Marcin
10:09 a.m. EDT
This consumer confidence number is a disaster. It must reflect the ugliness on Main Street, which is missing the party on Wall Street. This represents a key political risk to the equity class underappreciated by Wall Street types.
I expect a material problem with the consumer space, especially the most overbought retail sector. I can't believe that many retail ETFs are back to 2007 levels, as if the consumption decline never happened.
The terrible unemployment, job insecurity, housing slump and credit card mess is pressuring Joe Sixpack. The profits at
only add insult to injury. I don't think he can borrow and spend his way out of a slump this time.
3. Of Insults and Injuries
By Howard Simons
10:53 a.m. EDT
Bob, your mention of how the profits at certain Wall Street institutions are adding insult to injury may be more accurate than you realized.
The carry trade in recent months has shifted to an ever-shorter funding source as instruments such as the two-year Treasury have seen their yields run into resistance. If you map the incremental performance of various financial groups against the shortest-source yield curve, you find that free money has not helped the commercial banks that much.
Who has it helped? The groups called "asset management" and "investment banks and brokerages." The free money has not turned into commercial credit; it has helped Wall Street.
4. Buying on This Dip
By Christopher Grey
12:21 p.m. EDT
I have bought some
Market Vectors Gold Miners
on this dip. This feels more like a shakeout to me than a change of market direction. Although I do not believe we are in a self-sustaining recovery, I do not think that the overall bear trend will assert itself again until next year. In the short term, I am more bullish because of this selling and even some panic selling in certain areas. I also still have some of my position in
ProShares UltraShort Treasuries
. None of these are intended to be long term positions.
Long GDX, TBT, DRYS.
5. Who Isn't Long Gold?
By Jim Gulbrandsen
2:04 p.m. EDT
I believe in the inverse of central banker acuity thesis (a positive force for gold), but sorry, I'm no longer a bull and have taken recent action. Interest rates could be very low for an extended period of time and until they shoot back in reaction to excess liquidity, I can't see a monetary stimulus panic for some time.
Inflation will be back, but for now I'm in the no-flation camp. Not bearish gold ... just not sure that it can make a huge move for a reasonable period of time.
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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.