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Top and Flop ETFs of May 2017

Sanghamitra Saha

Finally, the apparent cursed month of May for equity investors is over. Cursed because there is a proverb called “sell in May and go away.” The proverb is rooted in the S&P 500’s rueful historical run for the May-to-October period. Let’s see how true the saying proved to be this year and find out the ETFs that were affected the most by it. In fact, below we highlight three top and flop ETFs for the month of May (as of May 30, 2017). Performances are as per xtf.com.

Top Performers

ARK Web x.0 ETF (ARKW) – Up About 15.6%

The technology sector has been on fire lately thanks to improving industry fundamentals, the emergence of new technology, upbeat earnings and Trump’s proposed corporate tax reform. Needless to say, this boom has given technology funds like ARKW a boost of over 15%. Another technology ETF PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR) also rose about 12.5% in the month of May (read: 5 ETFs & Stocks to Ride the Tech Mania).

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cocoa ETN (NIB) – Up About 11.9 %

Cocoa prices are on the rise thanks to “signs of tighter suppliesin Ivory Coast, the world’s top grower.” As per Bloombrg, July futures went up about 6.8% on May 30, “the most ever for the contract.” Prices were mostly downbeat in the last one year. However, adverse weather conditions in major growing regions hindered output, which lent support to the ETN NIB. iPath Pure Beta Cocoa ETN (CHOC) too added about10.2% in the month.

WisdomTree Europe Local Recovery Fund (EDOM) – Up About 10.9%

The Euro zone saw a strong start to the year thanks to economic improvement and upbeat corporate earnings. The Eurozone economy grew 0.5% sequentially in Q1 of 2017, meeting market expectations. The region also expanded faster than the U.S. in 2016 for the first time since 2008.

Euro zone's second-largest economy – France – chose Centrist and business-friendly candidate Emmanuel Macron as its president in a run-off election in early May. This indicated ebbing political risks in the region.  As a result, Europe’s local recovery fund gained in the month.

Worst Performers

PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (PSCE) – Down About 10.9%

Oil prices slipped to the pre-OPEC output cut level in early May on worries over brimming U.S. supplies. Though Saudi Arabia and Russia led OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers – cut a deal to extend output curb till the first quarter of 2018, this small-cap energy fund couldn’t hold ground in the month.

ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (VIXY) – Down About 10.9%

VIXY provides long exposure to the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index, which looks to measure the returns of a portfolio of monthly VIX futures contracts with a weighted average of one month to expiration. Another volatility-based product iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) also shed about 10.8% in the month.

ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO) – Down About 8.7%

The biotechnology sector has also been beaten down in the month. Apart from SBIO, BioShares Biotechnology Products Fund (BBP), BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund (BBC) and Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF CNCR have lost in the range of 7–8% in the month.

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PRO-VIX ST FUT (VIXY): ETF Research Reports
IPATH-SP5 VX ST (VXX): ETF Research Reports
LONCAR CANCER (CNCR): ETF Research Reports
ARK- WEB XO ETF (ARKW): ETF Research Reports
PWRSH-SP SC EGY (PSCE): ETF Research Reports
BIOSH-BIO CLNCL (BBC): ETF Research Reports
BIOSH-BIO PRD (BBP): ETF Research Reports
IPATH-BB NGAS (GAZ): ETF Research Reports
IPATH-PB COCOA (CHOC): ETF Research Reports
PWRSH-DYN OIL&G (PXJ): ETF Research Reports
ALPS-MED BRKTH (SBIO): ETF Research Reports
PF-ISE ELEC GMG (GAMR): ETF Research Reports
IPATH-BB COCO (NIB): ETF Research Reports
WISDM-EUR DEF (EDOM): ETF Research Reports
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