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CU Vs. JJC

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How they've performed so far in 2012

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The history of copper and its two main alloys, bronze and brass, is basically a chapter by chapter story of humankind's progress from the Stone Age to the present. It was the first metal used in any quantity by people thanks to it being very ductile, malleable and resistance to corrosion. In modern times, these characteristics, along with copper's ability to conduct heat and electricity, continue to make it among the most used metals.

The red commodity being at the heart of so many industrial applications is the reason why analysts offer refer to it as "Dr. Copper," with a Ph.D. in economics.

Investors interested in knowing the strength of the global economy usually need look no further than the price of copper. The easiest way for most equity investors to follow or participate in the copper market is through the use of exchange-traded funds and notes. Two of the most popular copper-related ETFs and ETNs are the First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund (NASDAQ:CU) and the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:JJC).

There is quite a difference between the two. The CU currently holds a portfolio of 27 stocks involved in the mining of copper and other metals. The ETF has net assets of approximately $39.82 million and an average daily trading volume of roughly 16,100 shares. Some of the large mining companies contained in the fund's portfolio are Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), and Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO). The index components are reviewed quarterly.

On the other hand, the JJC is designed to track the performance of copper futures traded on the COMEX. It has net assets of approximately $112.5 million and an average daily trading volume of about 73,530 shares. It is also a debt obligation of the issuer, Barclays Bank.
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