The number of exchange-traded products on Deathwatch surged to 153 this month, not including the 17 closures already announced for February.  The current list consists of 120 ETFs and 33 ETNs that are at least six months old and failed to have an Average Daily Value Traded (ADVT) of at least $100,000 during the month of January.

In our January issue, we highlighted a few sponsors that were having trouble attracting assets for their ETF lineups.  Northern Trust headed that list, and they recently announced plans to exit the ETF business and liquidate all 17 of their ETFs.  February 9, 2009 will be the last day of trading for the NETS ETFs.  Due to their impending closure, they are not included in this month’s list.

Other sponsors likely to exit the business include:

  1. SPA MarketGrader: All six SPA ETFs are on deathwatch.  According to Morningstar, the SPA products only have $12 million in combined assets.  Look for SPA to exit the ETF business soon.
  2. E-TRACS: Nine out of ten E-TRACS products are on deathwatch.  All of their offerings are ETNs, which have their own set of concerns.  None has attracted more than $10 million in assets according to Morningstar.  However, one of them, E-TRACS CMCI Long Platinum Total Return ETN (PTM), is trading more than $1.3 million per day, suggesting that its assets may be much higher.  Perhaps E-TRACS can sell PTM to another sponsor before shutting down the others.

SPDR S&P International Consumer Discretionary (IPD) heads up this month’s Deathwatch list.  Only two trades took place in IPD in January – one for a 100 shares and another for 200 shares.  The other 18 trading days during the month combined for a total volume of zero.  We believe international sector ETFs are needed and hope they start attracting more interest from traders and investors.

A new trend developing on our deathwatch list is the inclusion more “older” ETFs.  Fourteen of the funds on the list have been around for more than three years.  Six of the Merrill Lynch HOLDRS on the list were launched more than eight years ago.  HOLDRS have numerous shortcomings versus more traditional ETF products.  However, eight years ago, they had little competition, and traders flocked to them despite those shortcomings.

Even though trading interest in HOLDRS has waned, they continue to hold a large amount of assets.  With their marketing and distribution costs recovered long ago, we don’t expect these funds to close anytime soon.  However, even long-term investors are likely to have unrealized losses.  Anyone holding these ETFs should consider harvesting those losses and moving into better-designed funds.

ETF Deathwatch – February 2009

RankTickerNameAge (mths)Avg Daily VolumeAvg Daily Value Traded
1IPDSPDR S&P International Consumer Discr615$243
2MZOClaymore/Mrngstr Services SuperSector1825$343
3EEHElements Spec LgCap US Sector Mo ETN18140$963
4SNBSPA MarketGrader 20016115$1,366
5UBCE-TRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return ETN1075$1,515
6MZNClaymore/Mrngstr Inform. SuperSector18110$1,587
7OTRClaymore/Ocean Tomo Growth22135$2,226
8RHORydex Inverse 2x S&P Health Care840$2,312
9UBNE-TRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN10195$2,572
10MZGClaymore/Mrngstr Manufact. SuperSector18160$2,602
11ROBClaymore/Robb Report Global Luxury18370$3,903
12PWDPowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe Small Mid16405$4,141
13UBDClaymore U.S. Capital Markets Bond ETF1290$4,276
14BHHHOLDRS B2B Internet ETF10920,255$4,885
15IPKSPDR S&P International Technology6285$4,951
16LSOElements MLCX Livestock ETN10590$5,060
17INRMarket Vectors Indian Rupee/USD ETN11155$5,372
18SIHSPA MarketGrader 10016470$5,485
19SSKSPA MarketGrader Small Cap 10016470$5,727
20IPNSPDR S&P International Industrial6350$5,850
21JEMBarclays GEMS Currency Index ETN12155$6,170
22PQYPowerShares Active AlphaQ10410$6,410
23SVDSPA MarketGrader Mid Cap 10016560$6,610
24PTDE-TRACS CMCI Short Platinum Exc Ret ETN9175$6,702
25USVE-TRACS CMCI Silver Total Return ETN10405$6,709
26GWOElements CS Global Warming ETN101,260$7,010
27IROClaymore/Zacks Dividend Rotation16570$7,096
28PHWPowerShares Dynamic Hrdwr & Cons Elec38830$7,359
29SFVSPA MarketGrader 4016825$8,783
30FUEElements MLCX Biofuels ETN121,460$10,054
31EENClaymore/Robeco Developed International Eq23820$10,258
32FUDE-TRACS CMCI Food Total Return ETN10535$10,356
33STHClaymore/Sabrient Stealth29840$10,583
34UAGE-TRACS CMCI Agriculture TR ETN10560$11,042
35JFTFirst Trust Enhanced 130/30 Large Cap ETN8525$11,689
36GOEElements MLCX Gold ETN101,240$11,806
37JJUiPath DJ AIG Aluminum ETN7545$12,234
38IPSSPDR S&P International Consumer Staples6580$12,454
39PNQIPowerShares Nasdaq Internet81,040$13,999
40DBTWisdomTree International Technology281,010$14,443
41SZGSPA MarketGrader Large Cap 100161,145$14,875
42BNZWisdomTree Dreyfus New Zealand Dollar7825$14,970
43UBME-TRACS CMCI Industrial Metals TR ETN101,300$15,724
44CSDClaymore/Clear Spin-Off ETF261,395$15,990
45OTPClaymore/Ocean Tomo Patent26960$16,754
46DPCWisdomTree International Consumer Cyclical281,190$16,849
47UCIE-TRACS CMCI Total Return ETN101,180$17,781
48FXDFirst Trust Cons Discretionary AlphaDex211,975$18,392
49IIHHOLDRS Internet Infrastructure10910,620$19,927
50EKHHOLDRS Europe 200198420$20,026
51RHMRydex 2x S&P Health Care8430$21,053
52PEFPowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe20890$21,494
53PRFGPowerShares FTSE RAFI Consumer Goods29725$21,657
54PQBWPowerShares Nasdaq 100 Buy/Write81,420$23,214
55FYXFirst Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX211,465$23,534
56GCEClaymore CEF Index GS Connect ETN142,035$23,734
57BJKMarket Vectors Gaming ETF121,380$23,930
58PEHPowerShares Dynamic Europe Portfolio202,665$24,441
59PMYElements MLCX Precious Metals ETN103,515$25,697
60GRICohen & Steers Global Realty Majors91,120$25,704
61JJTiPath DJ AIG Tin ETN71,010$25,868
62BDHHOLDRS Broadband ETF1073,085$26,022
63SZRWisdomTree Dreyfus S. African Rand71,295$26,240
64IFEUiShares FTSE/EPRA NAREIT Europe151,205$26,466
65UEMClaymore U.S.-1-The Capital Markets12680$26,737
66EXBClaymore/Clear Global Exchanges & Brokers193,105$27,051
67GRNiPath Global Carbon ETN71,185$27,481
68EMVSPDR DJ Wilshire Mid Cap Value39820$27,516
69PDQPowerShares Asia Pacific ex-Jpn Small-Mid162,990$29,045
70FVIFirst Trust Value Line Equity Allocation262,335$29,462
71PQZPowerShares Active Alpha Multi-Cap102,380$29,814
72BDGPowerShares DB Base Metals Lng ETN82,235$29,856
73XGCClaymore/Great Companies Lg-Cap Growth222,505$30,581
74UBGE-TRACS CMCI Gold Total Return ETN101,280$30,706
75DODElements Dogs of the Dow Total Return ETN155,705$31,776
76CZAClaymore/Zacks Mid-Cap Core ETF222,015$33,337
77RTMRydex S&P Equal Weight Materials271,090$33,805
78FDDFirst Trust DJ STOXX Select Dividend 30173,215$33,861
79RGIRydex S&P Equal Weight Industrials271,020$34,662
80PMAPowerShares Active Mega-Cap Portfolio102,000$35,225
81RTGRydex 2x S&P Technology81,385$35,475
82PTJPowerShares Dynamic Healthcare Services282,210$36,297
83FRNClaymore/BNY Mellon Frontier Markets83,205$37,962
84PAFPowerShares FTSE RAFI Asia Pac Ex-Japan201,490$38,427
85MDDSPDR S&P International Mid Cap91,985$38,453
86RTLiShares FTSE NAREIT Retail212,505$38,457
87GBBiPath GBP/USD Exchange Rate ETN211,010$38,601
88PXQPowerShares Dynamic Networking443,575$39,549
89EWXSPDR S&P Emerging Mkts Small Cap91,670$40,408
90JJSiPath DJ AIG Softs ETN71,110$40,944
91GRUElements MLCX Grains Total Return ETN126,740$42,525
92IRYSPDR S&P International Health Care61,730$42,556
93PAOPowerShares Auto Balanced Growth NFA94,590$42,607
94ISTSPDR S&P International Telecom62,175$43,646
95FXLFirst Trust Technology AlphaDex214,055$43,666
96FNXFirst Trust Mid Cap Core AlphaDEX212,545$44,069
97EROiPath EUR/USD Exchange Rate ETN21890$45,598
98PHJPowerShares High Gr. Rate Div Achievers415,350$46,336
99FGDFirst Trust DJ Global Select Dividend143,385$46,698
100JJMiPath DJ AIG Industrial Metals ETN152,070$46,994
101ADZPowerShares DB Agriculture Short ETN101,445$50,002
102PLKPowerShares Active Low Duration102,010$50,538
103CROClaymore/Zacks Country Rotation193,995$50,939
104FXOFirst Trust Financials AlphaDex215,915$51,566
105IFASiShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Asia152,670$52,421
106DRFWisdomTree International Financial285,330$53,055
107AGFPowerShares DB Agriculture Long ETN103,175$53,404
108RWJRevenueShares Small Cap113,490$56,498
109INYSPDR Barclays New York Muni Bond162,775$57,023
110FADFirst Trust Multi Cap Growth AlphaDEX213,230$58,229
111NFOClaymore/Sabrient Insider293,380$58,515
112PDNPowerShares Dev Markets ex-US Small-Mid164,515$59,335
113RYTRydex S&P Equal Weight Technology272,220$61,356
114RCDRydex S&P Equal Weight Cons Discret272,795$61,529
115MKHHOLDRS Merrill Lynch Market 2000+1031,530$61,842
116FTCFirst Trust Large Cap Gro. Opp AlphaDEX213,605$63,989
117IFSMiShares FTSE Dev Small Cap ex-N. Amer152,910$64,806
118FPXFirst Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund344,555$65,374
119EZMWisdomTree Mid Cap Earnings242,260$66,015
120IPFSPDR S&P International Financial64,780$67,782
121PSJPowerShares Dynamic Software445,180$67,882
122FABFirst Trust Multi Cap Value AlphaDEX214,340$68,499
123QTECFT Nasdaq 100 Technology345,990$69,223
124QQXTFirst Trust Nasdaq-100 Ex-Technology245,815$69,703
125PEZPowerShares Dynamic Cons Discretionary284,805$71,054
126WMWElements Mrngstr Wide Moat Focus ETN1610,255$71,603
127IPWSPDR S&P International Energy63,665$71,721
128LVLClaymore/BBD High Income207,795$71,941
129PJMPowerShares Dynamic Small Cap264,850$72,085
130WOODiShares S&P Global Timber & Forestry72,690$72,175
131PBSPowerShares Dynamic Media4410,110$72,995
132PUAPowerShares Dynamic Asia Pacific206,290$76,337
133DDIWisdomTree International Industrial285,260$77,218
134FXHFirst Trust Health Care AlphaDex215,515$78,981
135IPUSPDR S&P International Utilities63,715$79,034
136EEZWisdomTree Earnings Top 100 Fund242,905$79,141
137WMHHOLDRS Wireless1002,130$81,200
138PJOPowerShares FTSE RAFI Japan202,530$82,439
139RZGRydex S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Growth353,360$82,765
140IFNAiShares FTSE NAREIT North America153,685$83,859
141PTOPowerShares Auto Growth NFA99,885$83,918
142JJPiPath DJ AIG Precious Metals ETN71,930$84,656
143RWKRevenueShares Mid Cap115,390$85,120
144ADRUBLDRS Europe 100 ADR765,490$85,638
145QQEWFirst Trust Nasdaq 100 Equal Weighted347,175$87,541
146ICNWisdomTree Dreyfus Indian Rupe93,980$91,378
147PTEPowerShares Dynamic Telecom & Wireless388,630$91,742
148FEXFirst Trust Large Cap Core AlphaDEX215,545$92,223
149FXGFirst Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDex216,770$94,268
150IRVSPDR S&P International Materials65,825$94,776
151ULQClaymore U.S. Cap Mkts Micro-Trm Fxd Inc121,950$97,321
152FXRFirst Trust Industrials AlphaDex219,695$97,402
153PKWPowerShares Buyback Achievers266,340$97,837
© Copyright 2009

Note:  The dubious distinction of being included on this list is reserved for U.S. listed ETFs and ETNs at least six months old and an Average Daily Value Traded (ADVT) for the most recent calendar month of less than $100,000 per day.

Disclosure:  no positions.