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October ETF Performance Report: Stocks Hit New Highs


The government shutdown and near default miss seems all but forgotten as U.S. stocks and equity-based exchange traded funds pushed toward a new all-time high at the end of the month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.4% over October. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite rose 4.2% and the S&P 500 increased 5.0%.

Both the S&P 500 and the Dow ended at a new all-time high in the last week of October. On Oct. 29, the S&P 500 ended 1,771.95 and the Dow ended 15,680.35.

The top non-leveraged ETFs over October include VelocityShares Emerging Asia DR ETF (ASDR) up 18.5%, Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) up 15.5% and PureFunds ISE Diamond/Gemstone ETF (GEMS) up 12.5%.

The VelocityShares Emerging Asia ETF surged early in the month and continued to slowly strengthen on low volume trades.

Attracted to the cheap valuations, large hedge funds, including Paulson, JPMorgan, Renaissance Capital Holdings and Templeton, are piling into Greek equities. [After Hedgies Rush to Banks, Mobius Warms to Greece]

The diamond industry is sitting on sound fundamentals, with demand expected to outpace supply in years ahead. GEMS is the only ETF to specifically target the precious gemstone and diamonds mining industry. [Diversify Hard Asset Exposure with Precious Stones ETF]

The worst performing non-leveraged funds for the month included exchange traded notes ELEMENTS Linked to Spectrum Large Cap U.S. Sector Momentum Index (EEH) down 46.0%, C-Tracks on Citit Volatility Index ETN (CVOL) down 22.2% and  VelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN (VIIX) down 12.1%.

The government shutdown and brinksmanship over a new debt ceiling deal were in the forefront of nation’s mind earlier this month. Stocks weakened in back-to-back sessions early October as the fiscal impasse kept investors restrained.

Equities jumped mid-October as investors became more hopeful of a deal between political parties and a resolution to the impasse. Broad indices were about unchanged from late September, suggesting that the latest government shock to the market was just a minor blip.

Due to the fiscal problems and a weak economic data, investors dove back into equities, anticipating further easy money to help support economy.

In the last week of the month, FOMC confirmed the  market’s suspicions and kept its accommodative measures unchanged.

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Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.