In a week marked by an official tapering announcement from the Federal Reserve and Friday’s surprisingly strong third-quarter U.S. GDP report, courtesy of the Commerce Department, some exchange traded funds turned heads.
Some for the right reasons and others, well, not so much. Here is a look at some of this week’s most searched ETF tickers on ETF Trends.
Europe: It was a tight battle for the honor of most searched ticker between the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK) and the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 Fund (FEZ) with a slight advantage (less than 15 searches) going to VGK.
It was a Fed week and the broad Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 3.7% for the week, rallying on positive economic data in the U.S. Those catalysts, along with ongoing interest (and inflows) in Europe ETFs help explain why investors are actively tracking VGK and FEZ. [Fed Sparks Europe ETFs]
Dividends: Even with Friday’s 1.3% drop, 10-year Treasury yields still closed higher by almost 1.6% on the week. Not necessarily good news for dividend ETFs with heavy exposure to rate-sensitive sectors, but payout funds not heavily allocated to utilities and telecom stocks navigated the week with aplomb. The Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD) was the most searched dividend ETF on ETF Trends this week and hit an all-time high on Friday. [Three Dividend ETFs up 30% This Year]
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) : GLD gained 1% on Friday, but that was not enough to keep the fund from a 2.7% weekly loss. Gold and the corresponding ETFs are careening to finish an already dismal year. Key technical levels are coming into play, so it is not surprising that at least gold ETF was among the most searched tickers this week.
Japan: The USD/JPY currency pair rose to five-year highs this week, closing above 104 on Friday. Of course that is good news for ETFs like the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) that hold equities and benefit when the yen falls. DXJ gained almost $167 million in new assets from Monday through Thursday.
Sectors: The most searched sector ETF was the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) . XLV is locked in a tight battle with its discretionary rival for top honors among the nine sector SPDRs this year. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) and the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) tied for the second spot in sector ETF searches, but both were well behind XLV. [2013's Best Financial Services ETF]
Guggenheim Solar ETF
Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of DXJ, GLD and SCHD.