ETF Screen: Holders of HOLDRS May Be Scared

This weekend I decided to run some screens as we get closer to year-end, to see what was working and what wasn’t in ETF’s.  This also gives traders something to look at in 2007, but it was sort of shocking.  This was run off a Yahoo! screen since I was away over the weekend and didn’t have access to other verifications other than the year-to-date pricing.

But the shock wasn’t just on the underperformance of some ETF’s.  The shock was from that of the HOLDRS ETF’s from Merrill Lynch.  The HOLDRS have been around longer than many of the newer index ETF’s and they aren’t all bad, but it was a bit of a shock to see the 5 worst ETF’s in the equity category were all HOLDRS issued by Merrill Lynch.  In fairness these have done fairly well as a group in the last 3 months, but if they are all negative year-to-date by more than a 10% average for these 5 losers you can imagine how bad these looked 90 days ago.

HOLDRS  is an acronym for “HOLding Company Depositary ReceiptS” issued by Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.  Here was the summary that popped up over the weekend:

ETF & Ticker…………………..3-Months…..Year-to-Date   
Internet HOLDRs (HHH)   17.10% …….(19.58%)   
B2B Internet HOLDRs (BHH) (5.58%)..(13.39%)   
Broadband HOLDRs    (BDH) 7.04%..  (10.63%)   
Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH) 7.87%..(7.21%)   
Biotech HOLDRs (BBH)     7.63% ………  (4.50%)

Jon C. Ogg
December 11, 2006

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