ETF Performance Report: April

ETF Trends

After hitting historic highs, followed by a prompt pullback in the middle of April, the equity markets and stock exchange change traded funds are making another run at the record peak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.8% over the past month. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.2% and the S&P 500 increased 1.7%.

The top performing non-leveraged ETFs over April include the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) , United States Agriculture Index Fund (USAG) and Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) .

The solar sector is garnering greater attention on a more optimistic outlook for sector growth. Moreover, Congress is mulling over a new bill that could structure solar energy firms as master limited partnerships, greatly reducing a firm’s tax liability. [Solar, Clean Energy ETFs Rally on MLP Parity Act]

Soft, agricultural commodities are seeing prices rebound as the temperamental weather conditions across the U.S. disrupt normal planting schedules, with corn prices surging almost 7% in the last days of the month. [Corn Leads Agriculture ETF Rally]

Meanwhile, the worst performing non-leveraged ETFs include iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN) , Global X Gold Explorers ETF (GLDX) and Junior Gold MIners ETF (GDXJ) .

Mixed economic data kept the markets stuck in sideways trading at the start of April, but momentum in equities quickly picked up with no market moving news, lifting major benchmarks to record highs.

However, market rally finally took a tumble after the Boston Marathon tragedy, coupled with disappointing economic data that hinted at signs of a slowdown, in the middle of the month. More notably, gold, a traditionally safe-haven asset, saw huge losses, dipping below $1,400 an ounce.

Toward the end of the month, reminding investors of the 2010 flash crash, a dubious tweet on explosions at the White House quickly sent markets plunging 1% but losses were immediately reversed.

Stocks maintained forward momentum in the last weeks of April as improvements and a strong housing market helped support the economy.

For more information on ETF performance, visit our ETF performance reports category.

Visit our ETF Analyzer for the most up-to-date ETF performance numbers.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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