NEW YORK ( ETF Digest) -- The following analysis features our top selections of small-cap ETFs. We'll stick with the "blend" category since they should satisfy most investor needs. We believe these constitute the best index-based offerings individuals and financial advisors may utilize. These ETFs are based on indexes tied to well-known index providers including Russell, S&P, Barclays, MSCI, Dow Jones and so forth. Uniquely, investors should remember, small cap issues usually carry higher beta (volatility or higher risk levels) than their large cap peers. This means during times of higher economic growth combined with accommodative Fed monetary policies returns in this sector will outperform larger cap issues. But, the opposite situation does occur should conditions reverse. Remaining aware of these benefits and risks should be important to every investor. One thing you'll note with charts posted is the similarities in trends and performance. This isn't a coincidence given overall index constituent similarities. We rank the top 10 ETF by our proprietary stars system as outlined below. However, given that we're sorting these by both short and intermediate issues we have split the rankings as we move from one classification to another. Strong established linked index Excellent consistent performance and index tracking Low fee structure Strong portfolio suitability Excellent liquidity Established linked index even if "enhanced" Good performance or more volatile if "enhanced" index Average to higher fee structure Good portfolio suitability or more active management if "enhanced" index Decent liquidity Enhanced or seasoned index Less consistent performance and more volatile Fees higher than average Portfolio suitability would need more active trading Average to below average liquidity Index is new Issue is new and needs seasoning Fees are high Portfolio suitability also needs seasoning Liquidity below averageWe feature a technical view of conditions from monthly chart views. Simplistically, we recommend longer-term investors stay on the right side of the 12 month simple moving average. When prices are above the moving average, stay long, and when below remain in cash or short. Some more interested in a fundamental approach may not care so much about technical issues preferring instead to buy when prices are perceived as low and sell for other reasons when high; but, this is not our approach. Premium members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions. For traders and investors wishing to hedge, leveraged and inverse issues are available to utilize from ProShares and Direxion and where available these are noted.
Looking today at week-over-week shares outstanding changes among the universe of ETFs covered at ETF Channel, one standout is the iShares Micro-Cap ETF where we have detected an approximate $33.1 million dollar outflow -- that's a 3.6% decrease week over week (from 12,500,000 to 12,050,000). Among the largest underlying components of IWC, in trading today Receptos, Inc.