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Most Searched ETFs: Global Giants, U.S. Dividends


As the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another round of record highs on Friday, 221 exchange traded funds also joined the all-time high club.

Several of those funds were among this week’s group of most searched ETFs on ETF Trends, a group that is an interesting mix familiar global funds and income-generating, U.S.-focused products.

Among the familiar names leading the most searched list this week are the Market Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF (SCIF) and the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (EPI) . Along with other India ETFs, SCIF and EPI, the largest India ETF, have been getting ample attention following the country’s recent national election.

Although India ETFs were among May’s best performers, some of the air came out of that trade late in the month as EPI lost 5.7% from May 23 to May 30. That looks like it was a buying opportunity in India ETFs because every U.S.-listed India ETF hit a new 52-week high on Friday. [India ETF Nears a Breakout]

Keeping with the international theme, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) was the third most-searched global ETF after EPI and SCIF. The largest Brazil ETF surged almost 3.4% on Friday o volume that was a slightly support after another poll revealed waning support for President Dilma Rousseff ahead of Brazil’s October elections.

With the World Cup starting next Thursday, investors should expect sluggish volume in Latin America ETFs. That will be especially true of EWZ, particularly on days when Brazil, the host nation, plays. [LatAm ETFs Could Slow During World Cup]

It was not surprising to see the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ) lead traffic for diversified country ETFs. For several weeks leading up to Thursday’s European Central Bank, HEDJ had either been hitting new highs, trading on unusually large volume or both. After the ECB took deposit rates into negative territory, HEDJ gained almost 1% Friday on volume that was more than double the daily average to close at a new all-time high.

Looking at U.S. ETFs, investors clearly had income on their minds as the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) and the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR) make their first appearances on the most searched list in a while.

Declining Treasury yields have bolstered REIT ETFs this year with VNQ and IYR up an average of 17%. The two funds have pulled in more than $1 billion combined since the start of the second quarter. [REIT ETF Ready to Rocket Higher]

Speaking of income, the two most popular explicit dividend ETFs this week were the WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Fund (DES) and the WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN) , both of which joined the all-time high club on Friday.

Although the Russell 2000 has returned to positive territory on a year-to-date basis, DES is up 3.5%, more than double the returns offered by the small-cap benchmark. That is confirmation that small-cap dividend payers have been buffered to some degree from recent weakness in smaller stocks. [Dividend ETFs With Safe Dividends]

Vanguard REIT ETF