Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Top-Performing ETF Areas of Last Week

Read MoreHide Full Article

Wall Street was upbeat last week. The Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite hit record highs for the first time in almost two months. The S&P 500 added about 1.5%, the Dow Jones advanced more than 1.2%, the Nasdaq jumped 2.1% and the Russell 2000 gained 1.7%. The rally came after the release of weaker-than-expected inflation data, which raised hopes of a sooner-than-expected Fed rate cut.

In April, inflationary pressures showed signs of easing, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on a "core" basis rising 3.6% year over year, in line with expectations. This marked a cooling from the 3.8% increase observed in March. Monthly core price increases also aligned with expectations of 0.3%, down from 0.4% in the previous three months.

If this was not enough, retail sales in April remained unchanged, contrasting with a 0.6% increase in March and defying the 0.4% rise anticipated by economists. This unexpected stagnation in consumer spending indicates a possible shift in consumer behavior amid persistent inflation and higher interest rates. Investors are hopeful that these somber economic data points might lead the Fed to reconsider its tough stance on monetary policy in the near term.

We would like to note that following the CPI release, market expectations regarding rate cuts shifted slightly, with a modest increase in the probability of a rate cut in September, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. Following the release of data, there was a 52.7% chance of a 25-bps worth of September rate cut, up from a 50.5% chance a day earlier (read: 3 Sector ETFs to Play on Renewed Fed Rate Cut Hopes).

The U.S. benchmark treasury yield was 4.42% on May 17, 2024, down from 4.48% recorded at the start of the week. Against this backdrop, below we highlight the winning ETF areas of last week.

ETFs in Focus

United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG - Free Report) – Up 15.6%

Natural gas price has been soaring lately. Supply disruptions, such as the prolonged outage at Freeport LNG and maintenance at Gorgon, along with geopolitical risks, have contributed to the recent rally.

abrdn Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR - Free Report) – Up 11.8%

The strength of the greenback lessened last week on renewed Fed rate cut hopes. Since bullions are priced in the greenback, silver prices rallied.

Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC - Free Report) – Up 10.8%

Bitcoin rallied last week. While it was recovering, other crypto tokens, including Solana, Cardano, Polkadot, and Avalanche, also showed strength. The increasing bets of near-term Fed rate cuts brought back risk-on trade sentiments and boosted the fund.

GraniteShares Platinum Trust (PLTM - Free Report) – Up 9.1%

Thanks to hopes for a global rebound in the manufacturing sector due to policy easing boosted the demand for this industrial metal. China, the world's top platinum consumer, has shown signs of recovery.

Sprott Junior Copper Miners ETF (COPJ - Free Report) – Up 9%

Copper prices are rallying on bullish long-term trends and tight supply conditions. A short squeeze pushed copper futures to a record high and at a record premium over later months. The demand for copper has been on the rise amid a rush to build data centers and the continued electrification of the global economy (read: AI, EV Power Copper Price to New Heights: ETFs to Tap).

Published in