BlackRock, the owner of the wildly popular iShares family of exchange-traded funds and the world’s largest asset manager, has gotten even bigger during the Covid-19 pandemic. BlackRock said Tuesday that it now has $7.8 trillion in assets under management, a 12% increase from last year.



a man in a cage: A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past BlackRock Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S, on on Thursday, July 9, 2020. BlackRock is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 17. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images
A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past BlackRock Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S, on on Thursday, July 9, 2020. BlackRock is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 17. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The continued allure of passively managed index funds is a big reason why BlackRock is thriving during these volatile times for the market. BlackRock said that iShares raked in $2.3 trillion in assets during the third quarter — and nearly 70% of that total was for stock funds.

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BlackRock disclosed the numbers in its latest earnings report Tuesday. Revenue and profit easily surpassed Wall Street’s forecasts.

“As investors around the world navigate current uncertainty, including the pandemic and uneven economic recovery, BlackRock is serving clients’ needs with global insights, strategic advice and whole-portfolio solutions,” said BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in a press release.

Shares of BlackRock rose more than 4% on the news. BlackRock’s stock has now surged nearly 25% in 2020 thanks to its strong results. The asset management company is thriving at a time when most other Wall Street investment banks are struggling.

JPMorgan Chase, despite posting solid results of it own Tuesday morning, is still down more than 25% this year. Shares of rivals Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are all in the red for 2020 as well.

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Silver bulls stampeded back into the grey metal Friday after a two-month hiatus as renewed hopes of lawmakers agreeing to a coronavirus aid package sent the greenback tumbling. After initially saying that he was halting relief bill negotiations until after the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump reversed course late last week, offering a $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, moving closer to the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion proposal.

Key Takeaways

  • Silver prices rallied Friday after renewed hoped of a coronavirus aid package passing through Congress sent the U.S. dollar lower.
  • The ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ) fund broke out from an ascending triangle on above-average volume.
  • A breakout of the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) above consolidation coincided with a bullish moving average convergence divergence (MACD) cross.

Furthermore, the commodity, which has outperformed gold by around 80% since the March pandemic-induced lows, also continues to gain in popularity as a substitute inflation hedge, given that it’s still relatively cheap compared to the yellow metal by historical measures. The gold/silver ratio currently sits around 75, comfortably above its 20-year median average of around 60.

Active traders can bet on silver using the two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) outlined below. Let’s take a more detailed look at the metrics of each fund and discuss several tactical ideas using technical analysis.

ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ)

With assets under management (AUM) of $246.7 million, the ProShares Ultra Silver aims to provides two times the daily performance of silver bullion as measured by the fixing price, in U.S. dollars, for delivery in London. A modest 0.10% average spread and turnover of more than 2.5 million shares per day make the fund a popular choice for those wanting a leveraged bet on the silver spot price. As of Oct. 12, 2020, AGQ has returned 37.6% year to date

Oil price is on track for the biggest weekly gain since May driven by a Norway strike and Hurricane Delta that has threatened output. Both U.S. crude and Brent are up around 10% this week, marking the first rise in three weeks.

Norway Strike

A strike by oil workers in Norway could cut output from western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer by almost a quarter by Oct 14 (read: Top & Flop ETF Zones of First Nine Months of 2020).

The dispute began on Sep 30 when wage talks between the Lederne union and the organization representing oil companies collapsed. However, the first production outages began on Oct 5. According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, six offshore oil and gas fields were shut on Oct 5. This has reduced output capacity by 8% or around 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP) planned shutdown of its Ekofisk 2/4 B platform, with output of 7,000 billion boepd, on Oct 10 if the strike continues. Six more oil and gas fields could fully or partly close by Oct 14, including the Ekofisk platform.

The biggest outage would be at Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the North Sea’s largest oilfield with an output capacity of up to 470,000 barrels of oil per day. Overall, 941,000 boepd are expected to go offline so far. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association expects the extended strike to cut 25% of production.

Hurricane Delta

The hurricane Delta has forced to shut down nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output in Gulf of Mexico. It has halted nearly 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude output.

Saudi Arabia View

Per The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is considering the cancellation of plans for the Organization of the

Wall Street has seen a lot of turbulences in 2020 so far and Nov 3 elections are just adding to the uncertainties. However, there have been bright spots, for instance, a spectacular August for the Dow and the S&P 500 since 1984 and 1986, respectively. Also, positive developments with respect to the coronavirus vaccine, Fed’s support, U.S. fiscal stimulus and a rebounding U.S. economy with an improving job market have kept investors’ optimistic amid the crisis.

Meanwhile, market participants have been increasingly worried about a spike in new coronavirus cases in several countries in Europe and some U.S. states, lack of vaccine or a line of treatment for coronavirus and uncertainty regarding a fresh round of fiscal stimulus from the U.S. government. Moreover, Trump testing positive for coronavirus shook markets and made investors increasingly apprehensive. However, Trump’s improving health condition and his return to the White house from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have calmed investors to an extent.

In the current situation, analysts believe that the market’s worst is largely over as negative estimates have already been factored into the valuations. Moreover, despite the lack of a second round of stimulus package amid an aggravating coronavirus outbreak, the economy is still growing, though at a slow pace.

Given the current scenario, investors are desperately looking for opportunities for their portfolios that can help them gain despite the political and health uncertainties. Against this backdrop, let’s look at some factors that are favoring investment in the momentum ETFs:

Reduced Election Uncertainty

Following the first of the three presidential debates in Cleveland, things seem to be in favor of Mr. Joe Biden. According to data from Smarkets, Biden’s chances of winning are now pegged at 62%, while odds in favor of Trump are at 38%, per a Yahoo Finance

It’s been a tough year for the real estate sector amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Within Nareit’s universe of roughly 200 equity and mortgage REITs, the average real estate investment trust remains lower by more than 30%.

Back during the depths of the shutdowns on April 8, I published “No REIT ETF Is Pandemic-Proof, but These 3 Are Close.” At the time, every single REIT was trading in negative territory. Yet I discussed anyway how a few segments of the real estate universe would not only survive the pandemic…

They could actually thrive.

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This included so-called “essential” property sectors like technology, industrial, and housing – ones American simply cannot go without. I also highlighted several real estate ETFs poised to benefit from both near-term pandemic effects and longer-term secular tailwinds.

Today, just three out of 26 of those listed in Morningstar’s U.S. Real Estate ETF category are in positive territory this year. But they’ve been some of my favorite and most widely-discussed funds nonetheless:

  • Pacer Benchmark Data & Infrastructure Real Estate SCTR ETF (SRVR)
  • Hoya Capital Housing ETF (HOMZ)
  • Pacer Benchmark Industrial Real Estate SCTR ETF (INDS).

Let’s revisit each and the trends driving them.

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(Source: iREIT)

Technology REITs Powered by the Work-From-Home Era

Taking the top spot is the Pacer Benchmark Data & Infrastructure Real Estate SCTR ETF. It holds 22 individual names, 13 of which are REITs.

SRVR is a pure-play way to invest in data centers, cellphone towers, and communications infrastructure REITs and C-corps – businesses set to capitalize on the buildout of 5G, online commerce, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, and Internet of Things.

Data center REITs in particular have benefited from the shift from physical office space to remote-work infrastructure. Meanwhile, cellular network usage has surged as businesses and individuals stay