Back to top

Image: Bigstock

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BDRY, CNBS, BLOK, VXX and LRNZ

Read MoreHide Full Article

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 1, 2021 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY - Free Report) , Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS - Free Report) , Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK - Free Report) , iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX - Free Report) and TrueShares Technology, AI and Deep Learning ETF (LRNZ - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Best and Worst-Performing ETFs of Q1

Global stocks enjoyed a strong rally in the first quarter driven by a rapid vaccination rollout and unprecedented stimulus that led to swift economic recovery, raising the appeal for riskier assets. Notably, the United States reached a record three-day stretch of 10 million shots over the weekend, according to the latest Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, and plans to offer inoculations to 90% of adults.

However, rising inflationary pressures and surging yields have made investors jittery since late last month. This is because these have sparked fears of overvaluation especially in a high-growth sector like technology, which has seen a huge surge during the pandemic. The dollar also climbed to one-year higher against major currencies on optimism over rapid distribution of U.S. vaccines and President Joe Biden's plans to spend up to $4 trillion on infrastructure (read: Why Fear Rising Rates? Play Cyclical ETFs).

In the commodity world, while the shine for gold and silver has waned, the industrial metals and energy have become red hot. The industrial metals like copper, platinum and tin are surging on optimism over the economic recovery. Agricultural commodities are also not behind with corn seeing strength on China's buying binge. Meanwhile, oil price has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels on rising demand and tightening supplies.

Given this, we have highlighted the best and worst-performing zones of first-quarter 2021 and their ETFs:

Best Zones


Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF has gained the most, surging 114.3% so far this year on rising dry bulk shipping rates. The expectation of a speedy global economic recovery has brightened the demand outlook for all vessel categories, leading to spike in the rates. Additionally, the Mar 23 blockage of a huge container ship named Ever Given in the Suez Canal has caused disruptions in shipping, pushing shipping rates higher.

The fund provides exposure to the dry bulk shipping market through a portfolio of near-dated freight futures contracts on dry bulk indices. The fund has accumulated about $50.1 million in AUM and trades in a good volume of about 226,000 shares per day on average. It charges a higher annual fee of 3.32% (read: ETFs to Win/Lose on Suez Canal Blockage).


Cannabis stocks have been the biggest winners on the wave of wider legalization as well as the growing adoption of marijuana in more states. Additionally, deal activities as well as the Reddit frenzy have strengthened the case for these stocks.

With AUM of $146.9 million, Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF is actively managed and invests 80% of its assets in securities of companies with 50% or more of their revenues from the cannabis and hemp ecosystem. The fund holds 28 securities and charges 75 bps in annual fees. It trades in an average daily volume of 327,000 shares and has surged 60% in the first quarter.


The crazy run of the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, buoyed by enthusiasm that it would become a mainstream investment and payments vehicle led to a solid rally in blockchain ETF like Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF of 55.3%. It is actively managed, providing investors global exposure to a basket of the leading companies engaged in the development and utilization of blockchain technologies. It has AUM of $1.2 billion in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 1.3 million shares.

The product holds a basket of 53 stocks with American firms dominating about 56.8% of the portfolio, followed by Asia Pacific (36.8%). The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.71% (read: 5 ETF Winners of Coronavirus Pandemic).

Worst Zones


As stock market volatility has taken the back seat this year, volatility products have been the biggest losers. In particular, iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN has plunged 31.6%. It focuses on the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index, which reflects implied volatility in the S&P 500 Index at various points along the volatility forward curve.

It provides investors with exposure to a daily rolling long position in the first and second months of VIX futures contracts. This ETN is unpopular and illiquid with AUM of $1.2 billion and an average daily volume of 62.9 million shares. The note charges 89 bps in annual fees.


As technology sector saw a sharp sell-off in the second half of the first quarter, TrueShares Technology, AI and Deep Learning ETF bore the largest brunt, shedding 18.8%. It is an actively managed fund that targets companies with leading-edge artificial intelligence, machine learning, or deep learning technology platforms, algorithms, or applications that are believed to provide distinct competitive advantages in an industry historically characterized by a winner-take-all consolidation behavior.

It holds 23 stocks in its basket and charges 68 bps in fees per year. LRNZ has amassed $25.4 million in its asset base since its debut a year ago. It trades in an average daily volume of 12,000 shares.

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks' free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339                                                                        

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.