The Wall Street has witnessed an astounding run this year, braving all the woes including recession fears, geopolitical tensions, U.S.-Sino trade spat and talks of Trump impeachment. Notably, all the three major indices are hitting record highs. In fact, the S&P 500 breached the 3,200 level for the first time ever this month while the Dow Jones topped the 28,000 milestone last month. Meanwhile, Nasdaq also went past the 9000 level.
The rally was powered by upbeat data across the globe, easing monetary policies, stronger-than-expected earnings and positive developments in trade. The U.S. economy is on a strong growth path with job additions at the fastest pace this year and unemployment dropping to the lowest level since 1969. The housing market is also clearly showing signs of a strong recovery with lower mortgage rates and slower home price growth acting as catalysts (read: 5 Market-Beating Sector ETFs of 2019). Internationally, the latest update from China shows that acceleration of industrial output and retail sales growth in November bolstered investors’ confidence. Meanwhile, Japan's economy expanded more rapidly than initially reported in the third quarter. Notably, the initial phase-one trade deal reached between Washington and Beijing has abated fears of global growth concerns lending strong optimism in the stock market. As there have been winners in many corners of the space, we highlight nine ETFs from different zones that have outperformed so far this year. These are expected to continue outperforming, provided the fundamentals remain intact. Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF ( BBC Quick Quote BBC - Free Report) — Up 70.5% This ETF has a novel approach to biotechnology investing with exposure to companies that are in the clinical trial stage by tracking the LifeSci Biotechnology Clinical Trials Index. It has amassed $41.6 million in its asset base and charges 79 bps in fees per year from investors. The product holds 96 securities in its basket and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook (read: Biotech Leading in Q4: Best ETFs & Stocks). VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF ( SMH Quick Quote SMH - Free Report) - Up 68.5% This fund provides exposure to 25 semiconductor companies by tracking the MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index. It has managed assets worth $1.3 billion and charges 35 bps in annual fees and expenses. SMH has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook. Invesco Solar ETF ( TAN Quick Quote TAN - Free Report) – Up 68.2% This ETF offers global exposure to solar stocks by tracking the MAC Global Solar Energy Index. U.S. firms dominate the fund’s portfolio with nearly 47.5% share, followed by China (22.9%) and Germany (7.9%). The product has amassed $443.7 million in its asset base and charges investors 70 bps in fees per year. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: Top ETF Areas for 2020). I nvesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF ( PBW Quick Quote PBW - Free Report) – Up 60.7% This product provides exposure to 40 U.S. companies engaged in the business of advancement of cleaner energy and conservation. It has AUM of $215.1 million and expense ratio of 0.70%. ETFMG Prime Junior Silver ETF ( SILJ Quick Quote SILJ - Free Report) – Up 55.7% SILJ provides direct exposure to the silver mining exploration and production industry by tracking the Prime Junior Silver Miners & Explorers Index. It holds 32 stocks in its basket with Canadian firms taking the lion’s share at 65% while the United States and Peru take the remainder. The fund has managed assets worth $140.1 million and charges 60 bps in annual fees (read: Why These ETFs Under $20 Seem Solid Picks for 2020). U.S. Global GO GOLD and Precious Metal Miners ETF ( GOAU Quick Quote GOAU - Free Report) : Up 52.5% This fund provides investors with access to companies engaged in the production of precious metals either through active (mining or production) or passive (owning royalties or production streams) means. It tracks the U.S. Global Go Gold and Precious Metal Miners Index, holding 28 stocks in its basket. Canada takes the lion’s share at 59.4%, followed by the United States (13.4%) and Australia (11.6%). It has amassed $46.5 million in its asset base and charges 69 bps in fees per year. Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund ( XLK Quick Quote XLK - Free Report) – Up 50.3% This ETF targets the broad technology sector. It tracks the Technology Select Sector Index, holding 70 stocks in its basket. XLK is the most popular technology ETF with $26.4 billion in AUM and expense ratio of 0.13%. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Top ETF Stories of 2019 & Picks for 2020). iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF ( ITB Quick Quote ITB - Free Report) – Up 49% This fund provides exposure to U.S. companies that manufacture residential homes by tracking the Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index. It holds 45 stocks in its basket with homebuilding and building products taking the largest share at 63.4% and 14% of the assets, respectively. The product has amassed $1.0 billion in its asset base and charges investors 42 bps in fees per year. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook (see: all the Materials ETFs here). The Defiance Quantum ETF ( QTUM Quick Quote QTUM - Free Report) – Up 48.4% This ETF offers investors liquid, transparent and low-cost access to companies developing and applying Quantum Computing and other transformative computing technologies. It follows the BlueStar Quantum Computing and Machine Learning Index, which measures the performance of approximately 60 globally-listed stocks across all market capitalizations. QTUM has expense ratio of 0.40% and has accumulated $16.2 million in its asset base. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>