Last week was downbeat for the broader market owing to uncertainty over the signing of the phase-one trade deal between the United States and China. The S&P 500 (down 0.4%), the Nasdaq (up 0.6%) and the Dow Jones (down 0.4%) were all in negative territory (read: Why You Should Bet On Quality ETFs Now).
Against this backdrop, we highlight the best and worst-performing ETFs of last week.
Reality Shares Divcon Dividend Defender ETF DFND – Up 15.8%
Prevailing uncertainty raised the appeal for safer securities like dividend-growing equities. The underlying Reality Shares DIVCON Dividend Defender Index invests 75% in the largest U.S. companies by market capitalization that have the highest probability of increasing their dividends in the next 12 months (read: Dividend Growth ETFs for Long Term Investors).
Global X Cannabis ETF POTX – Up 13.3%
The fund provides exposure to exchange-listed companies that are active in the cannabis industry. Shares of marijuana companies rose in the middle of last week after a U.S. congressional committee passed a legislation that would end the federal embargo on weed. The bill, which was passed 24 to 10 in the House Judiciary Committee on Nov 21, sent shares of marijuana companies soaring.
The latest approval comes two months after the “House passed a bill to advance legislation that would allow banks to provide services to cannabis companies in states where it is legal,” per Reuters (read: Marijuana ETFs Bounce Back: Can the Rally Last?).
Market Vectors Indian Rupee/USD ETN – Up 7.0%
The underlying S&P Indian Rupee Total Return Index seeks to track the performance of the Indian rupee versus the U.S. dollar. Continued foreign fund inflows and lower crude oil prices led to the strength in the Indian currency.
Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF BBC– Up 3.6%
The fund has a novel approach to biotechnology investing with exposure to companies that are in the clinical trial stage. Some upbeat drug data have been driving the sector with the most recent being The Medicines Company’s (MDCO) innovative approach to cholesterol treatment. Before this, Biogen (BIIB) spread optimism in the healthcare sector following its Alzheimer’s treatment report. The sector has been hitting headlines this year due to mergers and acquisitions. Valuation is also compelling (read: Healthcare Sector Outperforming: 5 Best ETFs & Stocks QTD).
First Trust Nasdaq Semiconductor ETF FTXL – Down 4.6%
A UBS analyst downgraded several chip-equipment stocks, cautioning that “chip-gear spending is hitting a near-term peak.” This weighed on the entire space. Also, uncertainty of a trade deal went against the fund.
Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF PSCE– Down 4.6%
The underlying S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Energy Index is designed to measure the overall performance of common stocks of U.S. energy companies.
Sprott Junior Gold Miners ETF SGDJ – Down 3.7%
The underlying Solactive Junior Gold Miners Custom Factors Index aims to track the performance of small-capitalization gold companies whose stocks are listed on regulated exchanges. Investors should note that gold prices were under pressure last week. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) lost 0.7% last week. SGDJ lost since mining stocks act as leveraged plays of the underlying metal.
VanEck Vectors Egypt Index ETF EGPT – Down 0.8%
A host of disappointing corporate earnings weighed on Egypt's bourse last week. The underlying MVIS Egypt Index comprises securities of companies that are incorporated in Egypt or that generate at least 50% of their revenues in Egypt.
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