Uncertainty in Europe and a pullback in the prices of several classes of commodities have left both the euro and commodity plays in a world of hurt. The one notable exception to the downward trend in commodities has been the price of gold as investors have run for cover. The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSE:GLD) is presently trading near its 52-week high. That being said, here are three beaten down ETFs looking for a lift.
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Into an Abyss?
The euro is coming off of a recent four-year low which has meant bad news for holders of the CurrencyShares Euro Trust ETF (NYSE: FXE). FXE has fallen 14.7% year-to-date and may not be done yet. The European Central Bank has been battling to quell concerns surrounding the debt crisis in Greece and other European Union member nations.
Countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain, which have been among the most adversely impacted, will ultimately need to come up with viable solutions to address their budget deficits before their problems will go away. Spain and Portugal have said that they will be able to reduce their budgets, but the question is: will the cuts be enough? Either way, the hysteria surrounding this trade made be overdone as seen in the slight uptick experienced by the euro on Monday.
Although gold and oil have traded in lockstep for much of 2010, that trend went out the window as the price of crude has experienced a precipitous drop. The uncertainty in Europe has allowed gold to continue to run higher, but rising crude inventories and worries about a slowing economic recovery have punished the price of oil.
On Monday, oil traded below $70 per barrel for a short time as it hit its lowest point for the year. This movement has driven the United States Oil Fund (NYSE:USO) down 18% in the past month alone. It could be some time before this ETF turns around, but $70 per barrel is at the bottom of the range of what OPEC has deemed to be "reasonable."
Into the Scrap Heap
Another commodity play that has seen the bottom fall out in recent weeks has been steel. Investors in the Market Vectors Steel ETF (NYSE:SLX) have choked on a 18.2% loss over the course of the past month.
SLX may have more promise than the other two ETFs mentioned here. United States Steel (NYSE:X) which is a component of SLX was recently added to the Goldman Sachs conviction buy list. The analyst who made this call noted that steel inventories are sitting at historically low levels domestically. He also indicated that the uncertainty in the stock market did not necessarily warrant the recent pullback in the price of U.S. Steel shares.
The Bottom Line
Just because these ETFs have experienced dramatic declines does not mean that they are bound for a rally. There very well could be more pain in store in the short run. However, for investors who are confident that a long-term correction will eventually come to fruition, these are a few ETFs that might be worth a look. Patience is key. (These utility stocks offer strong dividends as well as the prospects of future growth. Check out Long-Term Utility Dividends.)
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