Uncertainty in Europe and China and a growing threat of a double-dip recession in the US has resulted in a rapid decline in the price of base metals.
As investors abandon stocks and precious metals, the US dollar has rallied. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (UUP) is up over 3% in the past 3 months compared to a 11% decline in equities over the same time period.
Investors looking for an alternative to the volatile equity markets may want to consider corporate bonds. The PIMCO Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index Fund (CORP) is up nearly 3% in the past 3 months while equities have declined nearly 4% over the same time period.
Investors are pulling money out of European stocks and the French equity market has been particularly hard hit. In the past 3 months, the MSCI France Index Fund (EWQ) is down 28% compared to a 10% decline for the S&P 500 Index (SPY) over the same period.
Income investors have a new ETF choice with this week’s launch of a mortgage REIT fund by Van Eck Global (MORT). The ETF tracks an index of publicly traded mortgage REITS which make money not by investing in real estate, but by investing in mortgages.
Van Eck Global launched an ETF that provides exposure to publicly traded mortgage REITs this week. The Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT) tracks an index of 25 REITs in the commercial and/or residential markets.
While stocks have been flat with increasing volatility, a strong performer over the past couple of quarters has been a bet against the US dollar. With uncertainty in Europe holding back the Euro, a better declining dollar play has been the Swiss Franc.
Last week’s swoon in the equity markets was accompanied by another strong performance by gold. The last peak for stocks was on July 7 when the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) closed above $135. Since then, stocks are down over 11%.
As the US continues to wrestle with fiscal policy and the EU debt crisis remains unresolved, investors have been returning to gold to ride out the uncertainty.