On Thursday, the Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: LABD), a leveraged bearish that is on a torrid pace this year, was highlighted. “Torrid” meaning LABD has nearly tripled in value since the start of the year.
By now, it is fair to say that many investors are aware that one of this year's other hot asset classes in addition to bearish biotech ETFs is gold. Investors' thirst for safe-haven assets sent the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSE: GLD), the world's largest gold exchange traded, higher by 4 percent Thursday to a new 52-week high.
Gold, Gold, Gold
A volatile start to 2016 for global equity markets has sent investors looking for safe-haven alternatives, and that search is benefiting gold exchange-traded products.
Of course, bullion's ascent is good news for gold miners and the relevant ETFs, which have a tendency to overshoot gold prices in either direction. That is exactly what the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners 3X Bull Shares (Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSE: JNUG)) is doing. With Thursday's gain of nearly 26.2 percent, JNUG is now up more than 92 percent this year.
JNUG is the small-cap answer to the popular Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSE: NUGT)) and the leveraged equivalent of the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ). On a month-to-date basis, JNUG is up 88.6 percent, trailing only NUGT among Direxion's leveraged bullish ETFs. On Thursday, JNUG was the best-performing ETF in Direxion's stable, topping second-place NUGT by nearly 500 basis points.
Predictably, JNUG's ascent is not free of volatility. For example, the ETF's 30-day variance versus its underlying index is 14.8 percent, good for the fourth-highest percentage among Direxion's bullish leveraged ETFs, according to issuer data.
JNUG's recent volume increase has been surprisingly modest. Over the past five days, the ETF's volume is 10.2 percent higher than the trailing 20-day average, according to issuer data. What is interesting, though perhaps not surprising, is that traders are missing out on the fun with JNUG as the ETF has averaged $1.1 million in outflows per day over the past month.
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