The year 2018 was a rough one for Wall Street, thanks to renewed global growth worries, Fed’s policy tightening, trade war tensions and the government shutdown in the United States. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) (down 9.9% in the past one year),SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) (down 9.54%)and Nasdaq-100 based Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ - Free Report) (down 5.8%) — all ended the year in the red.
Still, some investing areas managed to survive on inherent strength. Let’s see if some of these winning ETFs can repeat their success at the start of 2019.
ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF (CLIX - Free Report) — Up 4.25%
Consumers’ confidence remained steady in the United States, courtesy of an upbeat job market and increased online shopping. Online retailing hit a home run this holiday season as evident from upbeat Thanksgiving and Black Friday data.In fact, this holiday shopping season has been the best in six years (read: Holiday Sales Strongest in Six Years: ETFs Set to Surge).
Online sales particularly drove the season, rising 26.4% from a year earlier between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics. Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , the U.S.-based online retail giant, announced a record-breaking holiday season as tens of millions of people have signed up for its Prime membership either through paid service or on a trial basis. (read: Amazon ETFs in Focus on Record Christmas Sales).
This reflects the changing retail landscape, with online sales gradually taking over. So, CLIX should remain strong in 2019. The underlying index of CLIX consists of long positions in the online retailers included in the ProShares Online Retail Index and short positions in the bricks and mortar retailers included in the Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index.
Global X Health & Wellness Thematic ETF (BFIT - Free Report) — Up 4.1%
The fund measures the performance of companies in developed markets that provide products and services aimed at promoting physical wellness. People are increasingly becoming health conscious. Millennials — gradually turning out to be the backbone of the U.S. economy — are currently the key drivers of organic produce sales.
Per a research report, the Health and Wellness industry in the United States makes over $153 billion a year, which represents a quarter of the global sales. The market has grown at a steady rate of 5% and has brighter prospects and obviously the trend is here to stay (read: 4 ETF Ideas to Follow Millennials' Lifestyle).
SPDR S&P Internet ETF (XWEB - Free Report) — Up 9.9%
Though tech stocks suffered a lot at the beginning of 2018 on Facebook’s (FB) data debacle and in the months of October and November on overvaluation and rising rate concerns, some funds have managed to stay afloat.
Among these, XWEB deserves a mention. The fund does not put more than 2.73% in a single stock. GoDaddy (2.73%), PetMed Express (2.67%) and Groupon (2.65%) are the top three holdings. Internet & Direct Marketing Retail taking the majority of the fund, we expect the winning trend to continue in 2019 (read: Top Sector ETFs of 2018).
iPath Bloomberg Cocoa SubTR ETN (NIB - Free Report) – Up 23.1%
Cocoa futures returned a staggering 28% in 2018 due to dry weather in key producers such as Ivory Coast hurt cocoa production. With weather conditions still being inclement, we can expect a few more months of price rally.
Per a senior softs analyst at Chicago's Price Futures Group, Ivory Coast is now estimating its main crop poutput at 1.985 million tons, down from the prior estimates of just more than 2.0 million tons.
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