Exchange-traded funds - Gaining currency

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Volatility in the financial markets is often a signal for retail investors to batten down the hatches and wait until things calm down. Yet as equity markets tumbled and credit spreads spiked at the end of February, US investors flocked to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to express their views on the market.

The PowerShares QQQ (formerly known as the Nasdaq 100 Index Tracking Fund), for example, saw an average of 104 million of its shares bought and sold on the Nasdaq during the five trading days

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