The stock market finished virtually unchanged since last Friday, as the tug of war between bulls and bears led to a period of consolidation. On the bright side, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) finished out the month of February with a gain of 6 percent. This included a new all-time, intra-month high for the bellwether index as well.
Several market watchers have been expectantly waiting for the NASDAQ Composite Index to hit the 5,000 level, which would mark a new high for the tech-heavy index, since peaking over a decade ago. Despite the market strength in February, the NASDAQ Composite was unable to achieve that mark this week and hopes have been put on hold until trading begins anew Monday.
The following ETFs represent a sample of the best- and worst-performing funds over the last five trading sessions.
BEST: Gasoline Futures
Gasoline prices rose this week despite a concomitant drop in the price of crude oil. The United States Gasoline Fund, LP (NYSE: UGA) jumped over 6 percent since last Friday. This ETF tracks the daily price movement of gasoline-related futures contracts, which are traded on the NYMEX exchange.
This jump in gas prices is likely linked to weather-related issues at refineries in the Northeast, as well as an explosion at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Southern California.
UGA has over $90 million in total assets and charges an expense ratio of 0.60 percent.
WORST: Coffee Futures
Coffee prices extended their steep declines this week by falling to new 52-week lows. The iPath Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return SM Index (NYSE: JO) fell nearly 9 percent and has yet to show signs of stabilization.
JO is an exchange-traded note that tracks an unleveraged investment in coffee futures contracts. This ETN has $50 million in assets and charges an expense ratio of 0.75 percent.
Despite a strong showing last year, JO has already fallen more than 18 percent in 2015 as sellers continue to unload this weakening agricultural commodity.
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