A few weeks ago I wrote about the two newest Claymore Macroshares: Macroshares Oil Up ( UCR) and Macroshares Oil Down ( DCR). These products are proxies for the price of crude oil, without either instrument actually owning crude oil futures. Not so simply, the Oil Up tracks the price of crude while the Oil Down captures the inverse.

There is a balance between the two. According to Claymore, the net asset values of the two issues should add up to $120, because oil was around $60 when the products first listed in December. It's as if both funds shared the same asset pool. The price of one goes up at the expense of the other, due to the transfer of assets back and forth between the two funds.

The basic idea was that because this structure is without futures contracts, the consequences of contango and backwardation are removed from the product. That should make it easier (or so the theory goes) for individual investors to invest in the crude oil market without having to be an expert on the dynamics of the futures market.

Recently, a few readers emailed that both Macroshares funds had strayed far from their net asset values. As of Jan. 12, the Oil Up traded at an 11.60% premium, and the Oil Down traded at a 5.06% discount. ETFs generally are structured in such a way that they do not stray from their NAV by any meaningful amount.

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