Stocks & Commodities V. 22:10 (72-73): Intermarket Review by David Penn
HOLDRS, or Holding Company Depositary Receipts, are exchange-traded products created by Merrill Lynch & Co. that allow individual investors and institutions to own a basket of common stocks from companies within a specific industry or market sector. Unlike other
exchange-traded products, HOLDRS investors have ownership rights to the underlying stocks in a given HOLDR should they choose to exercise them (a process called “canceling”). The component stocks of individual HOLDRS are selected based on market capitalization, liquidity, price/earnings ratio, and other factors. Component stocks may be equally weighted in a given HOLDR, or weighted based on market capitalization.
OIL SERVICE HOLDRS
The Oil Service HOLDRS (OIH) are designed to provide investors with exposure to companies involved in the drilling, production, and refinement of petroleum products. OIH components include Baker Hughes,
Halliburton, Global Santa Fe, Transocean Sedco Forex, and Schlumberger Ltd.
The OIH emerged from a volatile, but overall bullish, market in 2003 to set major new highs in the summer of 2004 as energy prices surged. Breaking out over its 20-week simple moving average in the fourth quarter of 2003, OIH corrected into the second quarter of the year but found support on its 50-week simple moving average. It was the rally from this support that has allowed the OIH to perform so well into 2004, when other markets were failing.