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Most Searched ETFs: Some Changes, but a few Surprises


Sometimes, the song changes and other times it remains the same. There was a little bit of both among this week’s searched ETF tickers as momentum stocks and ETFs were again punished.

To that end, it probably will not surprise devoted followers of this space that the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) was the most searched ETF of the week on ETF Trends after losing nearly 4%. Keeping with the theme of biotech punishment, the ProShares Ultrashort Nasdaq Biotechnology (BIS) was the most searched leveraged ETF of the week. BIS gained 5.8% on the week with nearly all of those gains accruing Friday. [Biotech ETFs Bumble]

While not in the top-10, the Global X Social Media Index ETF (SOCL) and the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN) , themselves momentum plays, were heavily trafficked. The pair lost an average of 6.3% for the week. [A Bounce for Internet ETFs]

With the repudiation of high beta momentum sector ETFs in full bloom, investors were also searching out more docile fare. That helped drive increased searches of dividend ETFs with the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) and the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) both appearing in the top-10.

Overall, six dividend ETFs appeared among the 20 most searched ETFs this week with other names including the WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN) and the FlexShares International Quality Dividend Index Fund (IQDF) . [Spotlight on Global Dividends]

In another sign of the times, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was by far the most searched sector fund of the week. Some investors use utilities as replacements for bonds and along those lines, increased search activity in XLU and rival utilities ETFs meant no bond funds were found in our top 20. Stick with the flight to safety theme, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) made its first appearance on this list in quite a while.

Looking at international ETFs, the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) and the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) tussled for spots in the top-10 and both succeeded. The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) gained 1.7% despite a lousy week for U.S. stocks and rightfully earned a spot in this week’s top-10 as easily the most searched single-country ETF on ETF Trends. [Investors are Skipping Brazil for Mexico]

iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.