Editor's note: Don Dion is the president and chief investment officer of Dion Money Management and the publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters. He provides commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on exchange-traded funds and mutual funds to his clients and subscribers. He welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's a look at my ETF winners and losers for the week.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers ( IHF) +5.67% PowerShares Dynamic Healthcare Services ( PTJ) +5.10% Barack Obama's health care proposals hit against the reality of a deep recession, high costs and reduced investor (and taxpayer) appetite for government debt. Senate plans with even higher costs put the agenda on the defensive, thanks to the estimates out of the Congressional Budget Office. Federal intervention in the health care sector is a weight on health care stocks due to their uncertainty, even if higher spending should lead to higher profits for many firms. Nonetheless, the companies in IHF and PTJ are expected to be among those facing cuts, rather than spending increases. I covered the rest of the health care sector on Friday. U.S. Natural Gas ( UNG) +3.34% UNG garnered a lot of coverage this week. I wrote about it several times on Real Money, and Jim Cramer commented as well. There's also this article about the drawbacks of UNG, but regardless of its flawed nature, it rallied this week along with natural gas. Also see Cramer's take on this fund. Natural gas was a winner while oil was a loser. The PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN ( DTO) gained 9.28% for the week. CurrencyShares Japanese Yen ( FXY) +2.22% The Japanese yen resumed its inverse correlation with the S&P 500 index last week, as it gained vs. a 2.67% drop in iShares S&P 500 IndexTICKER TYPE="EQUITY" SYMBOL="IVV" EXCHANGE="NYSE" PRIMARY="NO"/>. Investors poured into the yen, or rather, poured out of their yen short positions in 2008, as it was one of only a handful of assets to rally during the financial panic.
Looking today at week-over-week shares outstanding changes among the universe of ETFs covered at ETF Channel, one standout is the iShares US Healthcare Providers ETF where we have detected an approximate $29.2 million dollar outflow -- that's a 4.9% decrease week over week (from 5,100,000 to 4,850,000). Among the largest underlying components of IHF, in trading today Anthem Inc is up about 1.4%, Aetna Inc.