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Top and Flop ETFs of Last Week

Sanghamitra Saha

The broader market was upbeat last week as stocks continued to notch up gains. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq added in the range of 0.3% to 0.6% in the week ended Nov 8, 2019. The S&P 500 Index reached new highs and the FTSE All World is hovering around its 2018 record. Easing fears of trade war and global growth concerns contributed to the equity market rally. 

Weekly inflows were the largest in nearly two years, per Wall Street Journal. Investors are dumping assets in beaten-up assets from commodities to emerging-market stocks, indicating their restoring faith in the brightening outlook for the global economy (read: Emerging Market ETFs Beating the Broader Market: Here's How).

In fact, global stocks have been rallying since October, thanks to optimism surrounding the U.S.-China phase-one trade deal, decent earnings releases, better-than-expected third-quarter U.S. GDP data, easy global monetary policy and the extension of the Brexit deadline (read: Top ETF Stories of October).

Since the world’s two-largest economies agreed on a phase-one trade deal last month, emerging-market stocks and oil have each risen about 7%, per Wall Street. Oil and stock benchmarks for the United States, Europe and emerging markets all are on their way to gain at least 10% in the same year for the first time since 2009.

Yield curve has also steepened lately. On Nov 8, the spread between the 10-year and two-year treasury yield was 38 percentage points versus 16 percentage points recorded at the start of the year, benefiting bank stocks and ETFs (read: 3 Reasons to Bet on Bank ETFs Now).

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few best and worst performing ETFs of last week.

Best ETFs

Barclays Inverse US Treasury Aggregate ETN (TAPR) – Up 13.2%

TAPR benefits from a steepening yield curve. The underlying Barclays Inverse US Treasury Futures Composite Index employs a strategy that tracks the sum of the returns of periodically rebalanced short positions in equal face values of each of the 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, long-bond and ultra-long U.S. Treasury futures contracts. The fund charges 43 bps in fees (read: ETFs That Gained as Yield Curve Steepens in September).

ETRACS Bloomberg Commodity Index ETN (DJCB) – Up 11.2%

The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return seeks to provide diversified commodity exposure from a basket of 23 commodity futures contracts representing the energy, precious metals, industrial metals, grains, softs and livestock sectors. It charges 50 bps in fees.

First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG) – Up 6.7%

Like in most winters, natural gas prices started receiving warmth from the chills this year.Due to cooler weather forecast, last week, natural gas prices scaled to the highest level since March. The underlying ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index is an equal-weighted index comprising exchange-listed companies that derive a substantial portion of their revenues from the exploration and production of natural gas (read: Natural Gas ETFs Warm Up to Winter Chills).

Worst ETFs

VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) – Down 7.8%

As stocks rallied on risk-on sentiments, investors’ inclination for gold investing declined. The U.S. dollar also gained 0.6% last week, thus curbing demand for gold investing. Gold prices in global markets dropped to a three-month low. As a result, this gold mining ETF stumbled.  

U.S. Global GO GOLD and Precious Metal Miners ETF (GOAU) – Down 7.6%

Not only gold, most precious metal ETFs suffered last week. The underlying U.S. Global Go Gold and Precious Metal Miners Index consists of the common stock or ADRs of Precious Metals Companies across the globe that earn at least 50% of their aggregate revenues from precious metals through mining or production; or owning royalties or production streams (read: 9 High-Flying ETFs of 2019).

Aberdeen Standard Physical Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT) – Down 6.6%

Platinum is yet another metal that suffered last week. This ETF is designed to track the price of Platinum Bullion. The fund charges 60 bps in fees.

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First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG): ETF Research Reports
 
Aberdeen Standard Physical Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT): ETF Research Reports
 
VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ): ETF Research Reports
 
Barclays Inverse US Treasury Composite ETN (TAPR): ETF Research Reports
 
U.S. Global GO GOLD and Precious Metal Miners ETF (GOAU): ETF Research Reports
 
E-TRC BB COM TR (DJCB): ETF Research Reports
 
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