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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Global X Launches Nordic ETF

Global X Funds is launching an index-based exchange-traded fund (EFT) focused on the Nordic region of Europe, Index Universe reports. The Global X FTSE Nordic 30 ETF will be the first ETF launched in the U.S. for Nordic companies.

The ETF tracks an index, which includes the 30 largest companies by market-cap size and liquidity in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Besides the Nordic region, Global X Funds is planning to enter at least four more different emerging markets.

Disclosure NONE

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whirlpool (WHR) Approve $0.43 Per Share Quarterly Dividend

The board of directors of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR - News) declared today a quarterly dividend of 43 cents per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable September 15, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business on August 28, 2009.

About Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales in 2008 of approximately $19 billion, 70,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at

Disclosure NONE

SwissOutpost and Swiss Knife Depot

Can REITs Defy the Real Estate Slump?

After two subpar years of market performance and slumping property prices, real estate stocks are inexplicably up. How much longer will they continue to defy all odds? Over the past two years, commercial real estate prices have fallen around 40%, which surpasses the last crash in property prices two decades ago. But real estate stocks seemingly have a mind of their own.

As a group, U.S. real estate investment trusts, also known as “REITs,” have climbed 10% in value since the beginning of the year and other sub-segments are handedly outperforming key stock benchmarks like the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEArca: DIA).

REITs cover various segments of the real estate market including apartments, hotels, industrial properties, medical facilities, shopping malls and offices.

Let’s evaluate real estate ETFs tracking some of these areas.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYR)

IYR is benchmarked to the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index. The index measures the performance of the real estate industry within the U.S. equity market, including real estate holding and development companies along with real estate investment trusts (REITs) subsectors. IYR has $1.3 billion in assets.

Year-to-date*, IYR has climbed 15.45% and the fund carries a 8.4% dividend yield. In 2008, IYR fell 39.99% and the fund’s annual expense ratio is 0.48%.

SPDR DJ International Real Estate ETF (NYSEArca: RWX)

The performance and yield of RWX is linked to the Dow Jones Global Ex-US Select Real Estate Securities Index. The fund's index is float adjusted market capitalization weighted and designed to measure the performance of publicly traded real estate securities in developed and emerging countries excluding the United States. RWX has just over $600 million in assets.

So far this year, RWX has climbed 24.78% and the fund carries a 4.9% dividend yield. In 2008, RWX fell 51.11% and the fund’s annual expense ratio is 0.60%.

iShares FTSE NAREIT Industrial/Office Index Fund (NYSEArca: FIO)

FIO is tied to the FTSE NAREIT Industrial/Office Index, which tracks industrial and office real estate stocks in the U.S. market. Top holdings include Boston Properties, Duke Realty, Mack Cali Realty and ProLogis.

So far this year, FIO has climbed 14% and the fund carries a 6.4% dividend yield. In 2008, FIO fell 48.39% and the fund’s annual expense ratio is 0.48%.

Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate ETF (NYSEArca: TAO)

TAO follows the AlphaShares China Real Estate Index. The primary criteria for selecting a company for inclusion in the index is that the company derives a majority of its revenues from real estate development, management or ownership of property in mainland China or the Special Administrative Regions of China such as Hong Kong and Macau. Index holdings must have a market capitalization of $500 million or greater for consideration.

So far this year, TAO has climbed 64% and the fund carries a 2.2% dividend yield. In 2008, TAO declined 56.98% and the fund’s annual expense ratio is 0.65%.

The Future for Real Estate Stocks

According to Colliers International, office vacancies are now at 15.4% through the second quarter and up from last year. Other parts of the real estate market remain weak, particularly those like hotels and shopping malls, which are closely tied to consumer spending.

Property prices are being hurt by falling rental income which is exacerbating declines in value. As tenant vacancies rise, rental income declines making properties less valuable than the prices they were financed at.

Some property managers find themselves at the mercy of the rental market. When leases expire and come due for renewal, managers are forced to cut rents just to keep tenants from leaving. Many landlords have no choice but to helplessly watch their cash flows dwindle.

Did real estate prices really bottom as some analysts suggest? This is a burning question that has all real estate investors on the edge of their seats. If lower property prices are still ahead, the share prices of real estate stocks may eventually wake up to this reality. Until then, only time will tell.

Disclosure NONE.

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Vanguard registers for seven bond ETFs

Vanguard today filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer seven new bond index exchange traded funds in what some industry experts believe to be a direct challenge to iShares, the dominant fixed-income ETF provider.

Three of the ETFs are expected to invest in U.S. Treasuries, three in corporate bonds and one in mortgage-backed securities, according to the filling from The Vanguard Group Inc. of Malvern, Pa.

The ETFs — planned as shares of proposed bond index funds — all come with expected expense ratios of 0.15%.

That is the same expense ratio iShares, a unit of Barclays Global Investors of San Francisco, charges for its comparable U.S. Treasury ETFs, but lower than the 0.20% it charges for comparable ETFs that invest in corporate bonds and the 0.25% it charges for its comparable mortgaged-backed ETF.

It appears as if Vanguard’s goal is to wrest “control of the exchange-traded bond fund market from Barclays’ iShares group,” Daniel Wiener, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based chairman and chief executive of Adviser Investment Management Inc. of Newton, Mass., which manages more than $1 billion in assets, wrote in an e-mail.

Vanguard, however, has a long way to go before it can best iShares.

Vanguard offers five fixed-income ETFs with more than $8 billion in assets, while iShares offers 27 bond ETFs with total assets of more than $63 billion, according to Morningstar Inc. of Chicago.

But by pricing its bond ETFs lower than iShares – at least with regards to corporate and mortgaged-backed funds — it’s off to a good start, according to industry experts.

“I think cost is going to be at the top of investors’ minds,” he said.

Otherwise, there isn’t anything unique about the proposed Vanguard ETFs.

The proposed funds will be pegged to Barclays Capital indexes, formerly Lehman Capital indexes.

Barclays acquired the indexes, developed by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., following the New York investment bank’s Sept. 15 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Vanguard, however, believes its proposed ETFs will offer investors something different.

For example, comparable iShares ETFs track credit indexes, rather than corporate indexes.

Credit indexes include exposure to bonds issued by “supranationals” —institutions established and controlled by their sovereign government — which tend to be AAA bonds with lower yields, said Rebecca Cohen, a spokeswoman at Vanguard.

For its part, Vanguard said expanding its bond offerings makes sense given the firm’s expertise.

“Vanguard has a quarter-century of experience in bond index management, and expanding our range of funds is a logical extension of our capabilities,” Bill McNabb, president and chief executive of Vanguard, said in a statement. “Financial advisers and institutions want to construct broadly diversified fixed income portfolios, while retaining the ability to emphasize particular sectors or durations. Working in concert, our broad-based bond index funds and these new, more targeted funds can help to achieve this goal.”

But at least one financial adviser speculated there might be another motive for Vanguard.

“ETFs are going to find their way to 401(k) plans perhaps more rapidly than we believe,” William Koehler, chief investment officer of ETF Portfolio Solutions Inc., a Leawood, Kan., firm with $50 million under management.

Barclays launched the “iShares in 401(k)” program in May to help financial advisers use ETFs as investment options within 401(k) retirement plans.

Vanguard may sense that it needs to increase the number of bond ETFs it offers if it wants to market its ETFs in the retirement space, Mr. Koehler said.

Expanding its bond ETF lineup, however, has nothing to do with an attempt by Vanguard to get ETFs into retirement plans, Ms. Cohen said.

In some cases, it wouldn’t be appropriate for retirement plans to use the ETFs, given that institutional shares of the proposed funds are cheaper with an expense ratio of 0.09%, and available to companies and organizations with account balances of $5 million or more, she said.

Disclosure NONE

TigerDirect Back to School 2009

I Like BHP Billiton, But It May Be Due for a Big Pullback

About 3 months ago, I was advised by a long-term friend to take a look at BHP Billiton (BHP) as "the best single way to play the Resource space". He further went on to talk about the dynamic growth that they had experienced, and how brilliant the management was. Upon taking a closer look at it, he had some good points.

First, the breadth of BHP's business is impressive, as it covers just about all key aspects of the Resource world:

1) Base Metals (Copper, Zinc, Lead, Iron Ore, Nickel and Cobalt)

2) Coal (Metallurgical and Thermal coal)

3) Magnesium

4) Oil and Gas

5) Aluminum

6) Rough Diamonds / Titanium

7) Potash (New Venture)

All they would have to do is to throw in Fresh Water, and they have most of the world's needs covered. However, I started wondering if they had holdings and weightings in each in resources that will truly benefit from when the economy recovers. I've given a quick over view of each resource, and where it may go in the short term (less than 2 years) and in the longer term (2+ years).

I'm not an Engineer or Chemist, nor do I cover these materials as well as some. I don't tend to factor in things that you can't prove/predict when I write, such as hoarding of materials by some countries or how speculators may drive up and down prices for reasons not related to their fundamentals....there are people who are a lot smarter than I, when it comes to each of these metals.

Base Metals (32% of 2008 Profit)

- Most Base metals have a high correlation to Industrial Production. Copper is heavily used in Piping/wiring for Houses, Industrial Circuits/machinery and Plumbing for Indsutrial uses. Zinc is used heavily in Steel/Brass production, as well as in batteries. Lead has tons of uses, ranging from use in boats, to batteries to Electrical solder.,,,,you get the drift.

- Most of these metals are extremely sensitive to economic conditions and were very punished during the Economic downturn. However, most of them have a direct correlation to the expansion in the BRIC / Emerging markets arena, and should fare well in the longer term. In the very short term, I would expect a sharp pull-back on some of them, as the run since the beginning of 2009 has been almost too good.

Coal (8% of 2008 Profits)

- BHP put an announcement out on June 10th this year, announcing that prices for Met Coal could fall by close to 60% by the end of the year. This is mostly due to the strong drop in demand for Steel.

- Thermal Coal prices are up from their February Low, but are well down from their high in August 2008 (well over 50% down). They should have some strong legs in 2010, namely due to China's increasing development of Coal-fired plants

- Overall, either Coal Product won't be a short-term catalyst for BHP, however, I would expect that they will be much more profitable starting in 12-18 months when demand picks up.

Manganese (6.5% of 2008 Profits) and Iron Ore (19% of 2008 Profit)

- Although Maganese has other uses (such as Electrical), these two metals are closely enough linked (at least from a Financial standpoint), that I have linked them together. Both of these metals are used to make materials (Iron/Steel) that are used in Heavy Machinery, Construction, Automobiles and other projects.

- These metals are both extremely economically sensitive. They both should see continued growth in both the short term and the long term (short term based mostly on the eventual implementation of much of the EU/US Stimulus projects, as well as the continued Infrastructure growth in the BRIC countries in the longer term).

Oil/Gas (23% of 2008 Profits)

- If you've read any of my past articles, you no doubt know that I am a long-term bull on both Oil and Natural Gas. This differs a lot from my short-term thoughts, however.

- Oil should remain strong for most of 2009, with some significant upticks in 2010, in line with the economic return of the US Consumer in mid to late 2010. Natural Gas, on the other hand, has a different problem, in that much of the current weakness was not all related to the Economic downturn, but rather a nice spike in the amount of available resources. This extra production will not be absorbed quickly, and even when demand returns with the Economic upswing, the price may not rise until late 2010 or even 2011. Longer term (past 2012), the sky looks bright for both Oil and Natural Gas, as we may start to see returns to 2007 prices and even beyond.

- Watch for my next article, which will be on the future of Natural Gas.

Aluminum (6% of 2008 Profits)

- Is there anything in this world that is not made from Aluminum, with a range of uses from Automobile to Construction materials to Baseball bats to Paint to Foil?

- Aluminum has seen a nice spike since the start of 2009, mostly due to an increased feeling that the economy has seen its worst (Note - I'm not going to take sides on whether China is hoarding).

- I suspect that this rally has been overdone in the short term, so expect a pull back, especially if Q3 earnings for Fortune 500 companies aren't as rosy as what people seem to think they will be. As well, it's hard to say whether Obama will continue the Cash for Clunkers plan, which undoubtedly help to increase Auto production (and the demand for Aluminum) beyond where it would have normally been at this stage of the economic downturn/recovery.

In short, I do like BHP (it is my largest holdings), although due to its volatility, it isn't the easiest stock to own. I think that its most recent run (it has almost doubled since its low in February) means that it will be running out of steam shortly, and may be due for a big pull back. I think you may be able to get it again in the low 50s (for the ADR in NY), and maybe even below $50.

At $50, it would be a great entry point, as it would be trading at about 10x expected 2009 Earnings, and would yield over 3%. With the expected growth in China, and an economic recovery in the rest of the world, this one may return back to its former highs of $90+ within 18 months, so you would be looking at close to a double, when you factor in the dividend.

Disclosure - I am long BHP as one of my largest holding's.

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Introducing the ETFdb ETF Screener: A Robust, Free Online ETF Analyzer

If you’ve ever tried to do some analysis on ETFs using customized parameters, you might be aware of how limited and buggy the various online tools are. Often, these tools can take six months or more to include newly issued ETFs, they categorize ETFs wrongly, and don’t include critical search options such as total market cap, leveraged/non-leveraged, etc.

With that in mind, we’re quite happy to announce the launch today of our 100% free ETF Screener tool. We have put a lot of work both into ensuring the ETFdb ETF Screener has all the options and functionality our users want, while also tagging ETFs correctly in the underlying database that powers the search results, to ensure the tool gives valid, useful data.

Please give the free ETFdb ETF Screener a test drive, and let us know what you think in the comments. Is there any other feature you’d like to see included?

Disclosure NONE

GigaGolf, Inc.

Van Eck Launches Vietnam ETF (VMN)

Van Eck has launched the first US traded ETF to focus on the Vietnamese market, adding to its impressive lineup of emerging market single country funds. The Van Eck Market Vectors Vietnam (VMN) tracks a custom index of equities from firms that generate more than 50% of their revenues in Vietnam.

The current 28 holdings place a heavy weighting on energy, materials, and financial names, most of which have small or middling market caps. The fund is expected to be in high demand as Vietnamese shares have been among the best performing in the world this year. The benchmark VN Index - which is broader than the one VNM tracks - is up 61% this year. Investors will pay a premium for access, however, as the fund carries a .99% expense ratio. By contrast, European investors pay only .85% for the db-x trackers FTSE Vietnam (XFVT).

The Vietnam fund is just the latest of Van Eck's single country emerging offerings, and follows on the strong success of the Market Vectors Indonesia (IDX) and Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap (BRF).

Disclosure NONE

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Eaton Vance Closed-End Enhanced Equity Income Funds Declare Monthly Distributions

Eaton Vance Management, the Boston-based investment adviser, today announced the monthly distributions declared on the common shares of two of its closed-end equity funds (the "Funds"). The record date for the distributions is August 24, 2009, and the
payable date is August 31, 2009. The ex-date is August 20, 2009. The
distribution per share for each Fund is as follows:

Fund Per Share

Eaton Vance Enhanced Equity Income Fund (NYSE: EOI) $0.137
Eaton Vance Enhanced Equity Income Fund II (NYSE: EOS) $0.144

At this time the Funds believe that a portion of the August
distribution may be comprised of amounts from sources other than net
investment income. If that is the case, you will be notified in writing.
Further information will be available prior to the payment date at The final determination of tax characteristics
of the Fund's distributions will occur after the end of the year, at which
time it will be reported to the shareholders.

The Funds are managed by Eaton Vance Management, a subsidiary of Eaton
Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV), based in Boston, one of the oldest investment
management firms in the United States, with a history dating back to 1924.
Eaton Vance and its affiliates managed $143.7 billion in assets as of July
31, 2009, offering individuals and institutions a broad array of investment
products and wealth management solutions. The Company's long record of
providing exemplary service and attractive returns through a variety of
market conditions has made Eaton Vance the investment manager of choice for
many of today's most discerning investors. For more information about Eaton
Vance, visit

Disclosure I am long EOS shares.


ING Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity Fund and ING International High Dividend Equity Income Fund Declare Monthly Distributions

ING Investments, LLC announced the monthly distributions on the common shares of two of its closed-end funds: ING Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity Fund
(NYSE: IGD) and ING International High Dividend Equity Income Fund (NYSE:
IID) (each a "Fund" and collectively, the "Funds"). With respect to each
Fund, the distribution will be paid on September 15, 2009, to shareholders
of record on September 3, 2009. The ex-dividend date is September 1, 2009.
The distribution per share for each Fund is as follows:

Fund Distribution Per Share
---- ----------------------
ING Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity
Fund (NYSE: IGD) $0.156

ING International High Dividend Equity Income Fund
(NYSE: IID) $0.163

Each Fund intends to make regular monthly distributions based on the
past and projected performance of the Fund. The amount of monthly
distributions may vary, depending on a number of factors. As portfolio and
market conditions change, the rate of distributions on the common shares
may change. There can be no assurance that a Fund will be able to declare a
distribution in each period.

The tax treatment and characterization of a Fund's distributions may
vary significantly from time to time depending on the net investment income
of the Fund and whether the Fund has realized gains or losses from its
options strategy versus gain or loss realizations in the equity securities
in the portfolio. Each Fund's distributions will normally reflect past and
projected net investment income, and may include income from dividends and
interest, capital gains and/or a return of capital. The final tax
characteristics of the distributions cannot be determined with certainty
until after the end of the calendar year, and will be reported to
shareholders at that time.

IGD estimates that each distribution for the current fiscal year as of
July 31, 2009, will be comprised of approximately 24% ordinary income and
76% return of capital.

IID estimates that each distribution for the current fiscal year as of
July 31, 2009, will be comprised of approximately 15% ordinary income and
85% return of capital.

The portion of each Fund's monthly distributions estimated to come from
the Fund's option strategy, for tax purposes, may be treated as a
combination of long-term and short-term capital gains, and/or a return of
capital. The tax character of each Fund's option strategy is largely
determined by movements in, and gain and loss realizations in the
underlying equity portfolio.

Certain statements made on behalf of the Funds in this release are
forward- looking statements. The Funds actual future results may differ
significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements due
to numerous factors, including but not limited to a decline in value in
equity markets in general or the Funds investments specifically. Neither
the Funds nor ING undertake any responsibility to update publicly or revise
any forward-looking statement.

ING Investments, LLC, the manager of the Funds, is part of ING, a
global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments,
life insurance and retirement services to over 75 million private,
corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a
diverse workforce of about 125,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum
of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING

SHAREHOLDER INQUIRIES: ING Funds Shareholder Services at (800) 992-0180

Disclosure I am long IID and IGD shares.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Claymore Files For Another China ETF

Claymore certainly doesn’t seem to be resting on its laurels following last week’s announcement that Guggenheim Partners has agreed to buy the firm, including its line of about 35 ETFs with nearly $2 billion in assets. The Lisle, Illinois-based firm has filed with the SEC for approval of the Claymore/AlphaShares China All-Cap ETF. The proposed fund would trade on the NYSE Arca Exchange under the ticker YAO, and would invest in public companies in mainland China. YAO would join two existing Claymore China ETFs based on AlphaShares indexes: the China Real Estate ETF (TAO) and the China Small Cap Index ETF (HAO). TAO and HAO are among the best-performing ETFs so far in 2009, rising 67.6% and 81.1%, respectively.
Crowding The Market?

Houston's Yao, Not To Be Confused With Claymore's YAOThere are a number of China ETFs available presently, including the aforementioned Claymore funds, S&P China SPDR (GXC), and PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China Portfolio (PGJ). And then of course there’s the $11 billion elephant in the room, iShares’ FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI). So the first question is: do we really need another China ETF? The short answer: absolutely. There’s still plenty of room for additional China equity ETFs, especially considering the size and current growth of the Chinese economy.

Although there are a number of options in the space, Claymore’s product will set itself apart in a number of different ways. First, the proposed ETF would invest in only shares available to foreign investors, eliminating “A” and “B” shares that are sold in local markets. Hong Kong-listed securities, including China H-shares and Red Chips will be eligible for inclusion, as will N-shares traded in New York and their equivalents trading in other foreign markets. Second, as its name states, the proposed fund would invest in companies of all sizes. Most of the existing China equity ETFs haveƂ a significant lean towards equities of a particular size. GXC and FXI are dominated by large (and even mega) cap companies, while HAO focuses exclusively on small cap companies.

The Problems With FXI

Despite its popularity, there are some serious flaws with the index underlying FXI, a fact that Claymore no doubt hopes to exploit with its proposed fund:

* FXI has huge concentrations in the financials and energy sectors, which means it has big holdings in state-owned banks and oil companies
* FXI has no consumer discretionary or consumer staples stocks, meaning that it lacks exposure to a major growth area in China
* FXI has no technology exposure, meaning it doesn’t hold Tencent (China’s largest Internet service portal) or Baidu (sometimes referred to as “China’s Google”)
* With only 25 holdings, FXI has heavy concentrations in specific firms (almost a 10% holding in China Mobile Ltd.). Moreover, with a market capitalization of more than $11 billion, there is potential for the fund to move the market if it needs to add or drop a component.

The General Case For China Equities

Despite the tremendous run-up in Chinese equity markets this year, there is reason to be very optimistic for the future. While A share market sells at a P/E of more than 30x, H and N share markets are trading at less than 20x earnings, a seemingly reasonable level given the rate at which the Chinese economy is expanding. And then there’s the issue of the Chinese currency valuation. “To the extent that one believes the Yuan is undervalued, it makes sense to consider what that says about valuations,” says Kevin Carter, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Strategist of AlphaShares. “For example, if a company is selling at a reported PE of 15-16x, but all of its revenue and earnings are in the Yuan, perhaps you are paying less than you think.”

Of course, the fund is still pending approval and its launch is not yet certain. Assuming all goes as planned, however, we’ll likely be covering this fund quite a bit in coming months as its launch approaches.

View the filing here.

Disclosure: I am long FXI shares at this time.

Just Because Baskets

How Some Are Hedging Inflation Risk With ETFs

Some fear that record government borrowing could induce a period of high inflation and that bonds ultimately may not be worth as much as they used to be. However, Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) may be a way to protect your wealth.

TIPS can be one way to stave off the devaluation on borrowed money that comes from inflation, according to Steve Chiotakis for Marketplace. TIPs are bonds that have an increase or decrease in its principal based on the Consumer Price Index.

Reporter Jeremy Hobson says the Treasury Department will be announcing a boost in sales of TIPS.

TIPS have been gaining more attention after a series of weak Treasury auctions that have been followed by successful TIPS auctions. China has also been complaining about the effects of inflation in the United States, and their government is interested in buying more TIPS to protect themselves. As a result, the Treasury department will boost the sale of the bonds, say Rob Copeland and Maya Jackson Randall for The Wall Street Journal.

TIPs may be beneficial for investors after the U.S. government’s borrowing spree, but it may not be so great for the taxpayer. One strategist calculated that without inflation, 10-year TIPS are yielding 1.82%, whereas the 10-year Treasury is yielding 3.75%.

Disclosure I do not own TIP at this time.

Stopping Emotional Eating

3M (MMM) Declares $0.51/Sh Qtr Dividend

3M Co. said Monday its board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 51 cents.

The manufacturing conglomerate said the dividend is payable Sept. 21 to shareholders of record on Aug. 21.

The ex-dividend date is August 19.

The dividend yield is 2.9%.

About 3mm

3M Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. It operates in six segments: Industrial and Transportation; Health Care; Safety, Security and Protection Services; Consumer and Office; Display and Graphics; and Electro and Communications. The Industrial and Transportation segment offers tapes, coated and nonwoven abrasives, adhesives, specialty materials, filtration products, closures for hygiene products, and components and products that are used in the manufacture, repair, and maintenance of automotive, marine, aircraft, and specialty vehicles. The Health Care segment provides medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, drug delivery systems, dental and orthodontic products, health information systems, and anti-microbial solutions.

The Safety, Security, and Protection segment offers personal protection products, safety and security products, energy control products, cleaning and protection products for commercial establishments, track and trace solutions, and roofing granules for asphalt shingles. The Consumer and Office segment provides office supply products, stationery products, construction and home improvement products, home care products, protective material products, and consumer health care products. The Display and Graphics segment offers optical film solutions for electronic displays; computer screen filters; reflective sheeting for transportation safety; commercial graphic systems; and projection systems, including mobile display technology and visual systems products. The Electro and Communications segment provides electronic and interconnect solutions, microinterconnect systems, high-performance fluids, high-temperature and display tapes, telecommunications products, electrical products, and touch screens and touch monitors. The company was formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. 3M Company was founded in 1902 and is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Disclosure I am long MMM shares.