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5 Leveraged ETF Areas That Are Up At Least 10% Last Week

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Wall Street just had a subdued week due to rising rate worries. The S&P 500 (down 0.3%), the Dow Jones (down 0.9%), the Nasdaq Composite (down 0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (down 0.8%) – all slid last week. Rising rate worries amid the speculation of a Fed rate hike in March led to the slump. Banking earnings provided a mixed start to the Q4 earnings season.

Sky-high inflation is playing foul in the stock market. The annual inflation rate in the United States accelerated to 7% in December 2021, marking a fresh high since June of 1982, in line with market expectations and compared with 6.8% in November. Energy led to the jump but the rise was smaller than in November (29.3% versus 33.3%).

Plus, the retail sales data of December 2021 came in downbeat. U.S. retail sales declined 1.9% sequentially in December 2021, marking the biggest fall since February 2021 and ending four successive months of strong growth. A spike in inflation and early holiday shopping (well before Thanksgiving Day) in apprehension of shipping delays led to the slump.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few leveraged ETF areas that gained at least 10% last week.


Microsectors U.S. Big Oil Index 3X ETN (NRGU - Free Report) – Up 19.5%

Microsectors Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. 3X Leveraged (OILU - Free Report) – Up 16.3%

Oil prices have been rising since the beginning of 2022. In fact, Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) have touched their highest prices since late November. The upside in the crude oil prices has been triggered by a variety of factors like easing Omicron variant concerns, protests in Kazakhstan and outages in Libya causing supply shortages and less OPEC+ output.

Increased output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allies, collectively called OPEC+, is falling short from the growth in demand. There was a 70,000 barrel per day increase in OPEC in December from the prior month against the 253,000 bpd rise sanctioned under the OPEC+ supply agreement (according to a Reuters article) (read: Grab These ETFs to Ride the Latest Rally in Oil Prices).

Oil prices that jumped 50% in 2021 may hit $90 or even above $100 a barrel, per some analysts, due to lack of production capacity and limited investment in the sector, as quoted on Reuters.


Ultra MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (UBR - Free Report) – Up 13.8%

Brazil Bull 3X Direxion (BRZU - Free Report) – Up 13.7%

The main Sao Paulo stock index, Bovespa, benefited last week thanks to gains in the heavyweight Petrobras that followed higher oil prices. There was better-than-expected retail data in Brazil. On the domestic data front, Brazil’s retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.6% sequentially in November 2021. No wonder, those leveraged ETFs gained meaningfully.


FTSE China Bull 3X Direxion (YINN - Free Report) – Up 12.7%

The Chinese central bank is likely to deliver a rate cut, most likely in the medium-term lending facility.  Options markets show increased bets on Chinese stocks as the Federal Reserve prepares policy tightening while Beijing is likely to go for easing.

Gold Miners

Microsectors Gold Miners 3X ETN (GDXU - Free Report) – Up 10.4%

Gold prices recovered last week as the stock market slumped and the greenback has fallen. Gold normally underperforms in a rising rate environment. With the Fed likely to turn hawkish in 2022, many fear that a gold rally may not be possible. But investors should note that real yield is still low, in fact, negative, due to rising inflation. Since inflation is likely to stay strong in early 2022 due to virus-led supply chain disruptions, we expect gold to gain as the metal is known as an inflation-protected asset.  As a result, gold mining stocks that act as leveraged plays of the underlying metal gold, surged last week.