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PIMCO Introduces Short Term TIPS ETF

PIMCO has launched the first short term TIPS ETF.

The PIMCO 1-5 Year U.S. TIPS Index Fund (STPZ) tracks the Merrill Lynch 1-5 Year US Inflation-Linked Treasury Index.

The unmanaged index is comprised of U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities with a remaining term to final maturity less than 5 years and not less than 1 year.

STPZ aims to offer investors a high degree of protection against the immediate effects of inflation on their portfolio. Shorter-dated TIPS have historically shown a significantly higher correlation with current inflation and lower volatility relative to an index that covers the entire TIPS maturity spectrum.

See the ETF Directory for a complete listing of PIMCO ETFs.

Mid-year Report Card: Active Bond Managers Fail

With the exception of one category, more than 75% of active bond managers underperform their benchmarks according to a mid-year scorecard published by Standard & Poors.

The semi-annual report, Standard & Poor's Index Versus Active Fund Scorecard (SPIVA), analyzes quarterly performance data for U.S.

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Barclays Suspends New Shares of Natural Gas ETN

Barclays Bank PLC announced that it has temporarily suspended any further issuances of iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return Exchange Traded Notes (GAZ).  Daily redemptions at the option of the holders of the Notes will not be affected by this suspension.

The press release, filed with the SEC, fails to explain why the bank is taking the unusual step of suspending new note sales, but the move does come on the heels of recent regulatory hearings and a decision by the manager of the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) to stop taking new investment funds.

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Inverse Treasury ETF Begins Trading

ProShares launched an ETF that provides short exposure to long-term treasury bonds.

The ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury (TBF) is built to produce 100% of the inverse performance of the Barclays Capital 20+ Year U.S. Treasury Index for a single day.  The Index measures the performance of U.S. Treasury bonds with maturities of 20 years or greater

TBF joins a two other ProShares funds that provide leveraged inverse exposure to treasuries including the UltraShort 7-10 Year Treasury (PST) and UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT).

See the ProShares ETF directory for a complete listing.

CFTC Puts New Limits on Two Commodity ETFs

In a move that casts a shadow on the future of US securities markets, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) withdrew permission for Deutsche Bank to exceed established limits on positions in Soybean, Corn and Wheat contracts.

The action affects two ETFs run by Deutsche Bank's DB Commodity Services - PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) and PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA).    DBC invests in futures contract on six of the most heavily-traded and important physical commodities in the world - crude oil, heating oil, gold, aluminum, corn and wheat.  DBA provides ETF investors with exposure to the performance of the agricultural sector by investing in futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely traded agricultural commodities – corn, wheat, soy beans and sugar.

The Wal

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FINRA and SEC Warn on Leveraged and Inverse ETFs

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued an Investor Alert called Leveraged and Inverse ETFs: Specialized Products with Extra Risks for Buy-and-Hold Investors warning retail investors of the risks associated with investing in these highly complex financial products.

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ETF Assets Leap $47 billion in July

ETF assets grew $47.4 billion or 8% in July according to State Street Global Advisors.

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Van Eck Launches First Vietnam ETF

Van Eck Global launched the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM), the first ETF focused on Vietnam available to U.S. investors.

VNM seeks to give investors convenient exposure to Vietnam, one of the world’s most populous nations. Many believe the country’s greatest strength lies in its educated and young population, which underpins local economic growth prospects.

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Natural Gas ETF Manager Looks for New Approach

The manager of the giant US Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is responding to an uncertain regulatory enviornment by exploring new ways to gain exposure to the commodity according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

In the interview, US Commodity Funds Chief investment Officer John Hyland outlined the steps his team is taking to position the ETF for future growth.  UNG stopped accepting new investment after investors poured nearly $4 billion into the fund between March and July causing the ETF to run out of shares.

UNG was required to appeal to regulators for permission to expand and received a green light this week from the SEC.  However, the cloud of uncertainty raised by recent Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hearings caused U

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Restricts Use of Leveraged ETFs

Morgan Stanely Smith Barney announced that the firm has placed certain restrictions on the sale of leveraged, inverse, and leveraged inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The move comes in response to concerns raised by regulators about the securities.

Specifically, solicited purchases will not be permitted in traditional brokerage accounts. Unsolicited purchases in these accounts will be permitted only subject to enhanced oversight and review.

In addition, no purchases will be permitted in advisory accounts managed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisors.

One of the world's largest financial services firms, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney serves clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 37 countries.

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