ETF/No Load Fund Tracker Newsletter For Friday, March 30, 2012

Ulli ETF Tracker Contact

ETF/No Load Fund Tracker StatSheet




Market Commentary

Friday, March 30, 2012

US Equity ETFs End Best First Quarter Since 1998; JJG Surges, VXX Tanks

US stocks closed mixed Friday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 notching their biggest first quarter gains in more than a decade after better-than-expected consumer confidence and spending data boosted investor confidence.

Also a consensus over a bigger European rescue fund among the EU finance ministers in Copenhagen enhanced sentiments on the last trading day of Q1. If this turns into another pipedream remains to be seen.

Domestically, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 0.5 percent to close at 13,212, capping a stellar three-month performance that also marked its best ever first-quarter point gain in its history. The Dow has advanced 8.1 percent in the first three months of 2012.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) climbed 0.4 percent to end the week at 1408.47, with energy, healthcare and consumer staples gaining the most.

The tech-laden NASDAQ Composite (COMP) shed 0.1 percent to close at 3091.57, still up 18.7 percent for the year.

According to the Commerce Department’s Friday report, consumer income climbed 0.2 percent while spending rose 0.8 percent. A separate survey showed business activity in the Chicago area slowed down in March, but remained over 60 percent for the fifth consecutive month.

ETFs in the news:

As grain futures pushed ahead, the iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Subindex Total Return ETN (JJG) topped the winners list with a 6.04 percent jump. The fund recently suffered a string of losses as China growth worries hit commodities and today’s gain comes as a welcome break.

The Market Vectors India Small Cap ETF (SCIF) climbed 3.68 percent Friday, reversing its latest losing streak. The fund has been on the back-foot recently and remains an interesting watch in Q2.

As the EU finance ministers agree on bolstering the region’s rescue fund, iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund (EWD) made a smart comeback by adding 2.51 percent on the day, reversing three days of successive losses. Nonetheless, Europe still suffers from high systemic risk and investor caution is advised.

The day’s top loser has been VXX, losing nearly 10 percent in this week alone. Better economic numbers and higher indexes mean southward journey for the fear-tracking iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX). The fund slipped 2.67 percent, down a whopping 53 percent on the year.

Alternative energy remains out of favor with the Global X Uranium ETF (URA) sliding for the second day on the trot, losing 1.78 percent.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) dropped 1.47 percent on the last trading day of the quarter despite clocking decent growth in the beginning of the year. This is an interesting counter to watch as experts differ on the US housing sector’s recovery. For the conservative investor, this product is best avoided.

Our Trend Tracking Indexes (TTIs) changed only slightly from last Friday’s position but both remain deep in bullish territory. Here are this week’s closing numbers:

Domestic TTI: +5.10%

International TTI: +5.39%

Have a great week.


Disclosure: No holdings



All Reader Q & A’s are listed at our web site!
Check it out at:

A note from reader Nile:

Q: Ulli: What’s your take on PRPFX nowadays; is it still meeting your needs and goals? Time to add or consider subtract?

A: Nile: I sold all of PRPFX last summer as it got very volatile because of the metals breakdown. For the past few months, I preferred using my model portfolios #2 and #4. Currently, PRPFX is barely hanging on by only being +1.14% above its long term trend line.

For me, it’s not under consideration right now.



Do you have the time to follow our investment plans yourself? If you are a busy professional who would like to have his portfolio managed using our methodology, please contact me directly or get more details at:


Back issues of the ETF/No Load Fund Tracker are available on the web at:

Contact Ulli

Leave a Reply