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5 Niche ETFs Sizzling This Summer

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Wall Street has been shining bright this summer with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index hitting a series of new highs. The S&P 500 has been enjoying the longest winning streak since the 10-month run that ended in December 2017 while the Nasdaq Composite Index notched its third winning month in a row after topping 15,000 for the first time ever (read: 5 Stocks That Power S&P 500 ETF in August).

This is primarily thanks to upbeat corporate earnings, renewed optimism in a sustained economic recovery, and the Fed’s dovish view. The overall Q2 earnings picture is very strong, with broad-based strength across all major sectors and the overall quarterly total on track to reach a new all-time record.

The first full U.S. approval of a COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) and BioNTech bolstered risk-on trade as it will help put brakes on the ongoing surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases and lead to continued reopening of the economy. The U.S. economy returned to the pre-pandemic level with GDP rising 6.6% annually in the second quarter, indicating a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. Rapid vaccinations, business reopenings and trillions of dollars of government stimulus spending are powering consumer spending and resulting in robust growth.

Additionally, Chairman Jerome Powell in the Jackson Hole conference stated that the central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates though it will gradually begin tapering $120 billion in monthly bond purchases by the end of the year.

The rally came despite the surge in Delta variant of COVID-19 cases, taper talks, signs of slowdown in China economy and inflationary pressures.

Given this, most ETFs have gained handsomely over the past three months. We have highlighted five of them from different corners of the market that are leading the summer rally and could be solid picks for the rest of the year too:

Simplify Volt Cloud and Cybersecurity Disruption ETF (VCLO - Free Report) – Up 35.7%

This thematic investment product is actively managed and designed to concentrate on those few disruptive companies that are poised to dominate the new era of cloud technology and then enhance the concentrated exposure with options. It holds 24 securities in its basket with the largest allocation to the top three firms. The ETF is a high-cost choice, charging 1.02% in annual fees. It has accumulated $7 million in its assets since its inception in late December and trades in an average daily volume of 253,000 shares (read: Is This the Time for Cyber Security ETFs?).

VanEck Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (REMX - Free Report) – Up 35.6%

REMX offers exposure to companies engaged in producing, refining and recycling of rare earth and strategic metals and minerals. It follows the MVIS Global Rare Earth/Strategic Metals Index, holding 20 stocks in its basket. The ETF has AUM of $1.1 billion and an average daily volume of 16,000 shares. From a country look, Chinese firms dominate the portfolio with a 47.3% share, closely followed by Australia (22.8%) and the United States (12.4%). The product charges 59 bps in annual fees (read: 5 Sector ETFs That Beat the Market in August).

Franklin Genomic Advancements ETF (HELX - Free Report) – Up 34%

This ETF provides access to companies benefiting from or facilitating the use of new research including DNA sequencing, gene editing and personalized medicine. It holds 49 stocks in its basket with modest concentration on the top three firms. The fund is skewed toward life sciences tools & services at 50.5%, while biotechnology makes up for 34.4% of assets. It has accumulated $30.9 million in its asset base and charges investors 50 bps in annual fees. Volume is paltry, exchanging 9,000 shares in hand a day on average.

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT - Free Report) – Up 24.6%

This product provides global exposure to a broad range of firms engaged in lithium mining, refining and battery production by tracking the Solactive Global Lithium Index. It holds 37 securities in its basket with the Chinese firms taking the largest share at 50.9%, followed by the United States (20.3%) and South Korea (8.7%). LIT charges investors 75 bps in annual fees and has amassed $4.8 billion in AUM. It trades in an average daily volume of 889,000 shares.

Direxion Russell 1000 Growth Over Value ETF – Up 22.4%

This fund tracks the Russell 1000 Growth/Value 150/50 Net Spread Index, which measures the performance of a portfolio that has 150% long exposure to the Russell 1000 Growth Index and 50% short exposure to the Russell 1000 Value Index. About 61% of the portfolio is dominated by information technology while consumer discretionary and communication services round off the next two spots. The product has been able to manage $25.2 million in its asset base and charges 45 bps in annual fees. It trades in a paltry volume of 5,000 shares a day on average (read: Growth ETFs Looking Great After an Impressive August).