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Top Sector ETFs of Record-Setting Last Week

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The S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq Composite gained about 1.7%, 1.0% and 2.1%, respectively, last week. All three indexes touched all-time closing highs to end last week, despite the downbeat jobs and manufacturing report. The small-cap index Russell 2000 was also up 2% last week.

Hopes of faster-than-expected vaccine rollouts and fresh stimulus, and a divided Congress in the United States bolstered Wall Street. A bipartisan group of lawmakers earlier last week proposed a $908 billion plan, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he favors a smaller package near $500 billion, as quoted on MarketWatch.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few ETF areas that topped last week.


Ark Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG - Free Report) gained about 12.6% last week.ARKG is made of companies that focus on areas like bioinfomatics, CRISPR and stem cell research. The areas are excessively tracked for oncology treatment. In short, genomics brings about a great transformation in the healthcare industry. Since the healthcare sector is a decent hedge against market downside, such promising product exhibited solid gains last week. Another biotech fund ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF (GERM - Free Report) advanced about 7% last week on vaccine research.


The coronavirus-led global slowdown weighed on oil demand. However, back-to-back vaccine news has boosted the global markets as well as brightened the demand outlook of the energy sector. Moreover, OPEC’s decision to increase production in a phased manner or in gradual manner has boosted oil prices. The group will now raise output by 500,000 barrels per day starting January though the group had cut output by nearly 8 million barrels per day this year to fight the pandemic. Infracap MLP ETF (AMZA - Free Report) (up 12.1%) and US Oil Equipment & Services iShares ETF (IEZ - Free Report) (up 9.7%) were the winners.


Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX - Free Report) added about 8.1% last week. Copper prices jumped to the highest level since 2014 on vaccine hopes as the industrial metal is directly related to global economic activity. In any case, the metal price has been in a fine fettle as China – one of huge consumers of copper – has been recovering steadily from the virus crisis.  Apart from copper, S&P Metals & Mining SPDR (XME) added about 8% last week.


Cannabis stocks jumped last month on Biden’s win. The strength in the space solidified more on the news that Joe Biden's transition has formally started. Biden’s victory could speed up the legalization of marijuana at the federal level, thereby providing a boost to the U.S. cannabis industry.

Earlier this month, voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted in favor of adult use of cannabis, bringing the total number of states that have cleared it for that purpose to 15. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS - Free Report) (up 7.0%) and Global X Cannabis ETF (POTX - Free Report) (up 7.0%) gained considerably last week (read: Cannabis ETFs Surge on Kamala Harris' Decriminalizing Marijuana Pledge).            

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