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ETF Performance Report: May


The equities market and stock exchange traded funds ended up paring their best monthly rally since February over the last days of May.

Over May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8%, the Nasdaq Composite increased 2.1% and the S&P 500 gained 1.0%.

The best performing non-leveraged exchange traded products over the past month include the Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (CNXT) up 24.4%, Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (ASHR) up 19.9% and ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO) up 12.8%.

Despite falling off in the last few days, ETFs holdings China A-shares, the stocks trading on mainland exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, surged in May after index provider FTSE Russell said it will transition A-shares into global benchmarks.

Moreover, MSCI is expected to make an announcement regarding the inclusion of A-shares in its global benchmarks on June 9. FTSE is creating two transition indexes to ease the move of A-shares into traditional benchmarks. [China ETFs Surge After FTSE Move to Include A-Shares in Global Indexes]

Meanwhile, SBIO, which focuses on small- and mid-cap companies that have one or more drugs in either Phase II or Phase III U.S. FDA clinical trials, is enjoying strong growth from new medical breakthroughs and greater merger and acquisition activity in the healthcare space. [More Biotech Deal-Making Lifts a few ETFs]

The worst performing non-leveraged exchange traded products over the past month include the C-Tracks on Citi Volatility Index ETN (CVOL) down 14.5%, Global X Brazil Financials ETF (BRAF) down 12.9% and Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) down 12.7%.

The U.S. stock market experienced a relatively uneventful May, with volatility relatively subdued and lethargic trading.

Slightly positive economic data from manufacturing and industrials helped maintain early momentum at the start of the month. Additionally, the employment environment has been steadily improving, with lower jobless claims.

However, a major point of volatility and concern came from the Eurozone as European debtors negotiate with the Greek government over the quickly approaching loan date.

A spate of weak consumer data also dragged on the markets, fueling speculation that the Federal Reserve would push off on an interest rate hike in response to a potentially weak economic growth.

The Fed, though, remained undeterred and stated that it will look into raising interest rates sometime this year, followed by incremental raises in the future.

The equities markets also rallied to new highs in mid-May. However, the markets were unable to hold onto the momentum and fell off in the last few days, with stocks ending on a down note in the last day of trading after the government revealed the economy contracted over the first quarter.

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

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Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.