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Most Searched ETFs: Getting Paid to Play


Another week and month are in the books for U.S. stocks with February being kind to the bull. February was a strong month for U.S. stocks as the S&P 500 bounced back from a glum January to gain 6.7% in the second month of the year.

While February was a bounce back month for stocks, it did not bring a deviation in trend among highly searched exchange traded funds. One could say this week’s most searched tickers on ETF Trends reads like a list of the usual suspects.

Of the 10 most searched ETFs on ETF Trends this week, only two were not dividend or health care funds. Those outliers are the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver Small Cap Miners/Explorers ETF (SILJ) and the PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) . Both appearances are understandable, particularly QQQ’s with all the chatter about the Nasdq Composite possibly returning to its pre-tech bubble highs. [Nasdaq 5,000 a Possibility]

Two of the five most searched ETFs this week were biotech funds (what else is new?) with the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) ranking as the most searched ETF overall. The First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund (FBT) placed fifth after soaring Tuesday on the back of favorable news from InterMune (ITMN). [Get to Know Your Biotech ETF's Holdings]

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) remained staples in our weekly most searched recaps.

Investors still have a taste for dividends as highlighted by the ETFs occupying the second through fourth spots on this week. That group includes the iShares High Dividend ETF (HDV) and the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) , which have been two of most prolific asset gatherers among payout funds this year. [Investors are Flocking to this Dividend ETF]

Overall, seven of the 20 most searched ETFs on ETF Trends this week were dividend funds.  Four were biotech funds.

Although it was found just outside of the top-10, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) ranked as the most searched emerging markets ETF of the week with another Russia a few spots back. Escalating tensions in Ukraine likely sparked increased searches of Russia ETFs.

The iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF (CSJ) takes home the honor of the week’s most searched bond ETF.