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This Week’s Most Searched ETFs: Commodities Reign


The S&P 500 closed the week in strong form, helping U.S. equities to the first weekly rise in four despite a less-than-impressive January jobs report.

For the week, the three major U.S. indices all posted gains of at least 0.5%. Despite the gains for equities, commodities caught investors’ attention as several commodities exchange traded funds and exchange traded notes were among the most searched tickers on ETF Trends this week.

The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JO) was the most searched ETF or ETN on ETF Trends in the just completed. Helped by a drought in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer and exporter, and Lunar New Year festivities in Vietnam, coffee futures surged. JO was on fire earlier in the week, but some-profit taking on Thursday left the ETN with a 2.6% gain for the week, something of a disappointment given the way it performed Monday through Thursday.  [Bad Weather in Brazil Boosts Coffee ETNs]

Three other commodities ETFs appeared in our top-10 most searched tickers: The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) , U.S. Natural Gas Fund (UNG) and the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver Small Cap Miners/Explorers ETF (SILJ).

None of those are particularly surprising as gold ETFs have been boosted by some safe-haven buying while SILJ and UNG rank as two of this year’s 10-best non-leveraged ETFs. [Why This Nat Gas ETF is Lagging]

Ten-year Treasury yields fell 1% Friday, bringing the year-to-date loss to 10.5%. Of course, that has been good news for fixed income investors. Declining yields helped the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) and the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) enter out top-10 most searched lineup.

In the “good to see you again” category, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) were again highly searched. That is probably due to what was a brisk week on the biotech earnings front. [Big Earnings Week for Big Biotech ETF]

Speaking of earnings, updates from Twitter (TWTR) and LinkedIn (LNKD), among others, prompted increased searches for the usually popular Global X Social Media Index ETF (SOCL) . SOCL finished with a loss of 0.4% for the week, impressive considering the dismal post-earnings performances of Twitter, Pandora (NYSE: P) and LinkedIn. Those stocks combined for almost 20% of SOCL’s weight as of Feb. 6.

The PowerShares Buyback Achievers Portfolio (PKW) rounds out the 10 most searched ETFs on ETF Trends this week, earning its spot on the list due to talk of when Apple’s (AAPL) voracious buyback program will earn it a spot in the ETF.

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Apple, GLD and TLT.