U.S. Markets closed

ETF Performance Report: August 2017

editor@etftrends.com (ETF Trends)

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds (ETFs) closed out a turbulent August on a strong footing. U.S. stocks were slightly higher over August, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.3%, the Nasdaq Composite 1.3% higher and the S&P 500 up 0.6%. The best performing non-leveraged exchange traded products for the past month include the  iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN) up 35.2%, iPath Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN) up 17.6% and iPath Pure Beta Nickel ETN (NINI) up 16.1%. On the other hand, the worst non-leveraged ETPs of the past month include the SPDR Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES) down 11.9%, Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEArca: WEAT) down 11.6% and Elkhorn S&P MidCap Energy Portfolio (XE) down 11.3%. The month of August started off in relatively languid trading after hitting record highs, with the corporate earnings season coming to an end. Solid economic data also helped maintain the elevated levels as traders looked to new catalysts to keep the bull run going. However, the equities market were jolted as traders turned risk-off in response to the U.S. and North Korea saber rattling, with President Donald Trump threatening Pyongyang with "fire and fury" if the recluse state takes action. The sudden bout of geopolitical risk was seen as a necessary trigger to lock in the recent gains after markets hit record highs. Lingering threats from North Korea, though, helped keep risk-on sentiment at bay and continued to pressure U.S. equities. Investors also turned to safe-haven assets like gold and Treasuries to hedge the one in a million chance that the war of words turned to action. Related: ETF Investors Are Influencing Emerging Market Assets Easing tensions and steady economic data helped equities pare loses from the saber rattling. Political risks, though, kept gains at bay. Talks of a change up among President Donald Trump's advisors kept markets on edge amid questions in how the president handled the violence in a Virginia demonstration. Traders also looked to the annual central bankers' meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for further cues, but Fed Chair Janet Yellen did not address monetary policy or economics at the much awaited speech. Toward the end of the month, investors jumped on the strengthening U.S. economic data. Many were also betting on Trump to clarify his plans to improve the tax code. For more information on ETFs, visit our ETF Performance Reports category. Read more on ETFtrends.com