Tag Archives: S&P 500

BGi’s Diamond Scores $36.5 Million; Vanguard Investors Pissed Off

Here’s a round-up of second day stories about the Blackrock purchase of BGI.

The Wall Street Journal says more than 400 top executives at Barclays will walk away from the deal pocketing a total of $630.3 million. It seems there was some sort of unusual management incentive plan in place at BGI that would have started to expire in 2010. They needed to do something quick to cash out. Barclays President Robert Diamond alone will walk away with $36.5 million.

WSJ’s Jason Zweig reports that Vanguard’s investors are furious with the mutual fund/ETF company for even making a bid on iShares. Zweig says this could have been a good move for Vanguard and I agree. Already the No. 3 ETF provider, Vanguard could have become the market leader. More important, Vanguard would have probably cut the expense ratios on the ETFs, which could have brought in even more investors. Few people realize that Vanguard doesn’t have an ETF to partner with its S&P 500 fund. Vanguard came to ETFs late in the game and wanted to make an ETF for its flagship index fund. However, S&P had already given an exclusive license to BGI for the iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV).This would have given Vanguard the S&P 500 ETF they’ve always wanted. Also, S&P sued Vanguard over basing the ETF on the index without giving S&P any additional licensing money That full story is in ETFs for the Long Run.

The Financial Times says Larry Fink, Blackrock’s CEO, has been trying to buy BGI for eight years, and capitalized on the financial crisis to make his dream come true.

Reuters’ Svea Herbst-Bayliss suggests the BGI deal will spark a buying spree as envious rivals figure out how to compete. Bank of New York Mellon (does that taste as good as a honeydew melon?) is expected to be the next buyer. BNY already plays a big part in the ETF industry as a trustee and custodian of many funds. BNY is the trustee and administrator of the second ETF, the MidCap SPDR (MDY).

DealJournal’s Michael Corkery says besides CVC, the big loser is Goldman Sachs, which advised CVC.

Jim Wiandt of IndexUniverse.com says by using an ETF company to create the largest asset manager in the world is a huge boost for the ETF industry and proves how big basis-point-linked passive assets have gotten. He asks a lot of questions, but doesn’t give any anawers. Questions like will Blackrock keep the ETF expense ratios low and what does this mean for the active ETFs?

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them.

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Net Cash Inflows Double; Large-Caps Lose, Emerging Markets Win

Net cash inflows into all exchange-traded funds (ETF) and exchange-traded notes (ETN) grew to approximately $17.1 billion in May, doubling April’s total, according to the National Stock Exchange (NSX). Despite the huge inflow overall, ETFs holding large-capitalization indexes such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Russell 1000 posted significant cash outflows. Meanwhile, emerging-market ETFs recorded huge net inflows.

iShares remained the top ETF firm with $290 billion in assets under management. State Street Global Advisors came in second with half that, $142 billion. Vanguard took third at $54 billion. PowerShares’ $31 billion came in fourth and ProShares $26 billion claimed fifth.

The SPDR Trust (SPY) remained the king with $63 billion in assets. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) came in second with a distant $35 billion.

I noticed a trend of heavy net cash outflows from the large-cap U.S. equity funds. So, even as the market rose in May, the SPDR saw $146 million flow out in May. The PowerShares QQQ (QQQQ), which tracks the Nasdaq 100 and is the sixth-largest ETF, had outflows of $435 million. Meanwhile, $639 million was pulled out of the Dow Diamonds (DIA), which tracks the Dow industrials. Surprisingly, the iShares S&P 500, (IVV) which also tracks the S&P 500 and is the fifth-largest ETF, saw net cash inflows of $441 million. However, all the iShares ETFs that track the Russell 1000 or an offshoot also saw outflows. Does this mean that traders think the U.S. stock market has peaked and have taken profits? I wouldn’t be surprised.

That money appears to be moving into emerging markets. The iShares MSCO-Emerging Markets (EEM) took honors as the third-largest ETF upon receipt of $1 billion in cash inflows in May. The only ETF with more net inflows was the iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ) with $1.5 billion.

Year-to-date net cash inflows totaled approximately $29.8 billion, led by fixed income, commodity, and short U.S. equity based ETF products, says the NSX. Assets in U.S. listed ETF/ETNs grew 10% sequentially to approximately $594.3 billion at the end of May. The number of listed products totaled 829, compared with 767 listed products a year ago. This data and more can be found in the NSX May 2009 Month-End ETF/ETN Data Report.

GM Booted From S&P 500

GM

Standard & Poor’s finally removed General Motors from the S&P 500. Starting Wednesday morning, GM is out.

DeVry gets promoted from the S&P MidCap 400 to take GM’s place in the S&P 500 after the market closes June 8. The same day, Aaron’s makes the leap to the MidCap 400 from the S&P SmallCap 600, and Cbeyond replaces Aaron’s in the small-cap index.

S&P made the announcement Monday after 5 p.m.

These ETFs track these indexes:

The SPDR Trust (SPY) and iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV) track the S&P 500.

The MidCap SPDRs (MDY) and iShares S&P MidCap 400 Index (IJH) track the S&P MidCap 400. The iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Index (IJR) tracks its eponymous index.

These indexes have a slew of style ETFs following them. Some ETFs allow you to track just the growth stocks in the index or the value stocks in the index. You can also buy inverse and leveraged ETFs for these indexes. They will all be changing their portfolios this week. I’m sure there will be a lot of trading in those stocks this week.

Was I responsible for S&P finally kicking GM out of the index? Check the progression.

Obviously, I’m j0king. I don’t think I’m that powerful. But, just in case, I will be concentrating my powers tomorrow to persuade the Obama Administration to finally put some limits on TARP.

Dow Kicks Out GM; S&P Still Holds It

GM Wagoner

Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner upon realizing what just hit the fan.

4 pm.

Late night I sent my story about General Motors and the indexes out to a few people, including some people at Dow Jones. This morning General Motors is pulled from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

Today, Dow Jones pulls GM and Citigroup out of the DJIA. The two companies will leave June 8 to give index fund investors time to adapt to the deletion and addition of two new components, Cisco Systems and Travelers. Since GM is getting knocked off the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow, GM will be going to an over-the-counter market, representatives for Dow Jones Indexes said they will use “the best available price source” for the next week. Can you imagine, the Dow being priced off the Pink Sheets. That’s the true Wild West of Wall Street. Oh, the humanity!

Since the DJIA is created by the editors of the Wall Street Journal, there’s no requirement for them to remove GM before today.

One thing to remember is that an index isn’t a portfolio. A fund or ETF is a portfolio. It lives in the real world and costs money to maintain. An index is just a construct that measures the market.

A Dow component since 1925, GM has been a significant part of measuring the stock market through the 1920s bubble, the crash of 1929, the Depression and every up and down of the American economy since. It’s only fitting that the index itself should suffer and be brought down by this once mighty component. If the index is the market and GM has been a huge part of the market and the American economy for so long, it’s appropriate that the Dow should hold it until today to give a proper measurement of the U.S. stock market and economy. But, that’s not good for funds that follow the Dow, such as the Dow Diamonds (DIA). They will probably suffer the loss even though they would have liked to get rid of the stock months ago.

However, the S&P 500 is rules based and a company needs to have $3 billion of market capitalization to remain in this “Large-cap index.” GM hasn’t had $3 billion since December. At the close on Monday, it was still in the index.

Here’s a great video from The New York Times: The Decline of G.M..

Meanwhile back at the other automobile bankruptcy in America, it appears Tommy Lasorda has been brought in as Chrysler’s vice chairman to make the Chrysler bankruptcy work. I wonder if they will bring in Joe Torre to fix GM.

World Map of Financial Turmoil

For people who want their bad news in one large dose vs. many small doses, the Global Indices Map is like a world map of financial turmoil. This constantly updated global map from Google lists almost all the major stock market indices around the world and gives a feel for how the world markets are doing at any point in time. It’s a cool idea.

However, I already noticed the map is missing the S&P 500 index, which is considered by most market participants to be the true benchmark of the U.S. market.

On needs only to look at where investors are putting their money. The SPDR (SPY), the largest ETF in the world with $83.8 billion in assets, tracks the S&P 500, while the Dow Diamonds (DIA), which tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average, holds only $7.76 billion.

Which Will Win? January Effect or Super Bowl Effect?

Wall Street traders are lot like professional athletes. Apart from getting paid salaries unfathomable by the average American, these are both very superstitious groups of people. Athletes may seem almost obsessive compulsive in the routines they must perform before a game or in their belief in lucky underwear and such. Wall Streeters meanwhile believes in collection of traditional sayings, maxims and old saws that can give people direction and actually govern many investing strategies; sayings such as “Don’t fight the Fed.”

One of the less logical but apparently excellent prognosticating sayings is “As goes January, so goes the year.” In short, if the stock market rises in January, it will have a good year, if it falls in January, watch out.

Well, CNNMoney reports that this was the worst January ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 8.8%, and the S&P 500, off 8.6%. The Nasdaq tumbled as well, 6.4%, but not as much as last year. The Nasdaq’s 9.9% plunge January 2008 seems a pretty good predictor of the year to come.

Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P tells the New York Times in 60 of the last 80 years, the S&P 500’s performance in January reflected how the index fared that year.

Standard & Poor’s market historian Sam Stovall tells CNNMoney about the correlation going back to 1945. “Since then, whenever the S&P 500 gained in January, the market continued to rise during the rest of the year 85% of the time. But the stats are less consistent when the market fell in January. Since 1945, a decline in that month yielded a decline in the next 11 months only 48% of the time, for an average loss in that period of 2.2%.”

Meanwhile another famous market Wall Street myth, the Super Bowl Stock Market Predictor, says the market will rise this year. This forecast tool says when a team from the original NFL wins the Super Bowl the market will rise experience just such an occurrence. This has happened 34 times out of 42 Super Bowls for an accuracy rate of 81%. Last night’s team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, was a member of the original NFL before the AFL merger. The year of each of the Steeler’s previous five wins, the stock market rallied, even during the horrible 1970s.

Stuart Schweitzer of J.P. Morgan Private Bank told the New York Times. “It’s unlikely that the broad market has yet seen its lows. There are more disappointments ahead.” And when Wall Street can’t even believe its own hype that the market will go up this year, you better pay attention.

Peter Cohan of BloggingStocks says, “If you need your money in the next six years, it probably makes sense to sell.” He recommends money market funds. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any ETF money market funds.