With the stock market rally stalling, it seems appropriate to identify ETFs that are causing a bit of insomnia. Here are 3 of the most prominent offenders:

1. PowerShares G-10 Currency Harvest Fund (DBV) Nouriel Roubini believes the dollar carry trade has 6 months to go; that is, carry trade investors will borrow from the no-interest U.S. dollar to invest in higher-yielding currencies and equities. DBV is the only carry trade fund executing the strategy by borrowing the 3 lowest yielding currencies and investing in the 3 highest yielding currencies.

Here's the problem: Both the yen and the U.S. dollar are shorted in this fund. As the dollar was weakening, the yen was still strengthening... so DBV wasn't making a whole lot of ground. Even worse, when the yen finally eased in the last month, the dollar started getting excited. The result has been a bit of a disappointment as of late.


2. SPDR Select Financials (XLF). Banks, insurers, investment firms... no major economic sector experienced a larger decline in the bear of 10/07-3/09. And, as often is the case, XLF had the largest increase off the bearish bottom.

One has to wonder, though, are the vultures beginning to circle? It has been close to 10 weeks since XLF notched new highs, even as the major benchmarks had done so as recently as 12/15. The current price for XLF is already in correction mode, having fallen more than 10% from October peaks. At present, XLF is no higher than it had been in early August. And, XLF is getting ever closer to slipping beneath a 200-day trendline.


3. SPDR Biotech (XBI). Granted, this one has bounced back off of its lows. Still, this sub-segment ETF has been decidedly weak at a time when the broader economic sector of health care has rocketed. In fact, SPDR Select Health Care (XLV) recently hit new 52-week highs in December, having united value hunters, momentum seekers and defensive players.

In the last 3 months alone, the spread between XLV and XBI has reached 1500 basis points. And the last time SPDR Biotech (XBI) witnessed a 52-week high was mid-September.


If you'd like to learn more about ETF investing... then tune into In the Money With Gary Gordon. You can listen to the show LIVE, via podcast or on your iPod.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a web log (blog) that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, MS, CFP is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. The company and/or its clients may hold positions in the ETFs, mutual funds and/or index funds mentioned above. The company does not receive compensation from any of the fund providers covered in this feature. Moreover, the commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. Investors who are interested in money management services may visit the Pacific Park Financial, Inc. web site.

You can view Gary's daily market commentary at www.ETFexpert.com. You can also email him directly at garygordon@mypacificpark.com.