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Most Searched ETFs: Surging Sectors


U.S. stocks managed to closer higher Friday, but in a case of June gloom, the S&P 500 snapped a multi-week winning streak.

Escalating tensions at the hands of a militant faction of al-Qaeda in Iraq weighed on stocks, but sent oil prices soaring. On that note, it is surprising to see a dearth of energy exchange traded funds among this week’s most searched funds on ETF Trends. After all, the United States Oil Fund (USO) rose 3.1% on the week while the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) added 2.4%. [Energy ETFs Will Keep Rising]

Given all the attention on the oil market and the steady uptrend for oil equities, it would be reasonable to expect more energy ETFs to appear on next week’s most searched list. The Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF (FRAK) is the lone energy ETF to appear on this week’s most searched list after that ETF got an early-week bump on renewed speculation that Anadarko Petroleum (APC), the fund’s largest holding, is a takeover target. [Old Rumor Lifts Oil ETF]

However, FRAK was not this week’s most searched sector ETF. That honor is essentially a split decision between the PowerShares Dynamic Biotechnology & Genome Portfolio (PBE) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI).

Those two ETFs surged on Monday because, as ETF Trends was the first to report, they have the largest allocations among biotech ETFs to Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX). Shares of Idenix tripled Monday after Dow component Merkck (MRK) said it will acquire the company for $3.85 billion. [Why These Biotech ETFs are Soaring]

With semiconductor stocks continuing an extended run of positivity, the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) also ranked among the most searched sector ETFs.

Dividend ETFs are often a fixture on our weekly most searched lists and that was the case again this week with the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) and the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG) leading the way. The Global X SuperDividend ETF (SDIV) makes its first most searched appearance after Global X announced SDIV became the firm’s first $1 billion ETF. [Super Dividend ETF Hits $1B in Assets]

The iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY) was also in the conversation among the most searched dividend ETFs.

Among international ETFs, the KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund (KWEB) was the most searched on talk that Alibaba, one of the most widely anticipated initial public offerings in recent memory, will commence that IPO sooner than expected. In what appears to be a pre-World Cup bounce, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) was the next most-trafficked single-country ETF. [Alibaba Lifts China Internet ETF Again]

In a sign that some traders are continuing to bet on an uptick in volatility, the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) surged almost 6% this week, enough for the ETN to make its first appearance on our most searched list.

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF


Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of DVY.