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Top-Performing ETF Areas of Last Week

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Last week was upbeat for Wall Street. The S&P 500 (up 2.64%), the Dow Jones (up 4.07%), the Nasdaq Composite (up 3.09%) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (up 7.32%) were all on an uptrend due to the passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000, in fact, hit new record highs.

Among other positive developments, Novavax (NVAX - Free Report) announced very impressive updates on its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. The company’s vaccine candidate has delivered final efficacy of 96.4% in a pivotal phase 3 trial in the U.K., against mild, moderate and severe diseases caused by the original COVID-19 strain (read: Novavax ETFs to Shine Bright on Positive Vaccine Update).

Meanwhile, U.S. consumer prices witnessed a solid increase in February, resulting in the largest annual gain in a year, but the underlying inflation remained lukewarm amid still-sloth demand for services like airline travel.  Consumer prices in the United States increased 0.4% sequentially in February, slightly higher than 0.3% in January but matching market forecasts. The increase in the gasoline index (+6.4%) made up more than half of CPI gain (read: U.S. Consumer Inflation Moderate: ETFs to Win).

While moderate inflation data kept U.S. treasury yields at check at the start of the week, benchmark yield touched 1.64% on Mar 12, 2021. Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch now expect the U.S. economy to expand a havoc 6% in 2021. President Biden also indicated that he would make all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few ETF areas that gained the most last week.

Blockchain

Blockchain’s success can be easily attributed to the outstanding bitcoin rally. Bitcoin tore the $60,000-mark to the new record high on Mar 14. Greater mainstream acceptance has been powering the rally, though several central banks still have reservations about the cryptocurrency.

Recently, the world’s largest asset manager which oversees about $9 trillion in assets, Blackrock, has started investing in bitcoin. Also, world’s largest electric-car maker Tesla announced that it has purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. Per another latest developments, Apple Pay users can now spend in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Mastercard also said its network will be up for some digital currencies.

Though bitcoin ETFs are not available to investors, they have blockchain ETFs at their disposal. Per a source, “the blockchain in Bitcoin literally acts a ledger; it keeps track of the balances for all users and updates them as money changes hands.” Hence, the blockchain ETF BLOK gained materially last week.  

Transformational Data Sharing Amplify ETF (BLOK - Free Report) – Up 17%

Marijuana

The cannabis companies have received a boost from the Democratic Party’s intentions to legalize the plant at the federal level. The passage of $1.9-trillion stimulus bill strengthened the bet for this legalization.

The Spinnaker ETF Series Cannabis ETF (THCX - Free Report) – Up 16.67%

Global X Cannabis ETF (POTX - Free Report) – Up 16.15%

Retail

The section was a beneficiary of the stimulus bill. About 85% of households was expected to see the third round of payments direct-deposited into their account last weekend, according to a tweet from the House Ways and Means Committee. This has every reason to boost U.S. consumers’ discretionary spending.

Moreover, U.S. retail sales barring automotive and gasoline increased 4.6% year over year in February after an adjustment for Leap Year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Online sales surged 54.7% compared with 2020. Mastercard SpendingPulse takes into account in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.

S&P Retail SPDR (XRT - Free Report) – Up 15.6%

Disruptive Technologies

Disruptive technologies have been emerging fast lately and are long-term bets. The underlying S&P Kensho Moonshots Index comprises of 50 U.S. companies that track innovative technologies that have the potential to disrupt existing technologies and have the highest early-stage composite innovation scores which is determined based off a natural language processing review of the latest annual regulatory filing of the company for the use of words & phrases related to innovation.

Direxion Moonshot Innovators ETF (MOON - Free Report) – Up 15.1%

Clean Energy

After riding high in the past year thanks to low rates and Biden’s election win in November, clean energy ETFs have succumbed to a slowdown this year. This acted as an entry point to the clean energy space last week on stimulus sanctions. Notably, amongst the many policies that Biden and his democratic party support, clean energy is at the forefront (read: Is it Time to Buy the Dip in Clean Energy ETFs?).

Wilderhill Clean Energy Invesco ETF (PBW - Free Report) – Up 15.0%

SPDR Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG - Free Report) – Up 14.48%

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