Nasdaq Debuts Correlation-Focused Indexes

By
Cinthia Murphy
November 23, 2010
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Nasdaq OMX Group, one of the most widely watched index providers globally, launched five indexes that track correlation between individual stocks and ETFs in a way it says can help investors capture returns even when the market is down.

The Nasdaq OMX Alpha Indexes measure the relative performance of a single stock or ETF against another single stock or leading ETF, which serves as benchmark, allowing investors to adjust their portfolios to reflect that focused performance.

The company explained the strategy by saying that “if the price of a stock declines less than a specific ETF, the Nasdaq OMX Alpha Index tracking the specific relationship between the two will increase.”

“With Nasdaq OMX Alpha Indexes, you’re trading correlation—moreover, correlation between some important asset classes like bonds versus stocks, gold versus stocks or emerging market equities versus U.S. equities,” the company said in a press release. “The recent financial crisis tells us how important that can be.”

The five new indexes focus on various correlations:

  • The Nasdaq OMX Alpha AAPL vs. SPY Index (Nasdaq: AVSPY) tracks the performance of Apple stocks relative to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

 

  • The Nasdaq OMX Alpha GLD vs. SPY Index (Nasdaq: GVSPY) tracks the performance of the world’s largest gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust, against the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

 

  • The Nasdaq OMX Alpha TLT vs. SPY Index (Nasdaq: TVSPY) measures the relative performance between Treasury notes and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

 

  • The Nasdaq OMX Alpha C vs. XLF Index (Nasdaq: CVXLF) tracks Citigroup’s performance relative to the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund.

 

  • The Nasdaq OMX Alpha EEM vs. SPY Index (Nasdaq: EVSPY) zooms in on the emerging markets vs. developed markets story by measuring the performance of the world’s largest emerging markets fund, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, relative to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

 

The indexes began real-time calculation on Oct. 11.

ETF DAILY DATA

‘DBC,’ the huge commodity fund, topped the outflows list on Thursday, March 5. A rising market offset net outflows and lifted total U.S.-listed ETF assets to $2.087 trillion.

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