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Best & Worst ETF Areas of March

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The month of March was all about the rapid spread of coronavirus, lockdowns in various corners of the world, Wall Street’s skidding into the bear territory, the Fed’s announcement of zero rates as well as unlimited QE, $2-trillion U.S. stimulus, massive policy easing in other parts of the world, and all-time low benchmark treasury yields.

Though there were short-spell rallies, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq composite have lost about 13.9%, 14.9% and 12.4% in the past month (as of Mar 27, 2020) (read: Wall Street Enters Bear Market: ETFs That Are Near 52-Week High).

Winners

Volatility

iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX - Free Report) — Up 130%

Volatility remained high during March du to stock market turbulence.The underlying S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index Total Return offers exposure to a daily rolling long position in the first and second month VIX futures contracts and reflects views of the future direction of the VIX index at the time of expiration of the VIX futures contracts comprising the Index.

Inverse Equity ETFs

AdvisorShares Dorsey Wright Short ETF (DWSH - Free Report) — Up 26.6%

This ETF is actively-managed and does not track a benchmark. It has a high expense ratio of 3.07%. Since stocks collapsed, this inverse-equity ETF has gained massively in March.

Long-Term U.S. Treasury

PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury Index Exchange-Traded Fund (ZROZ - Free Report) Up 13.8%

As long-term U.S. treasury yields dived to as low as 0.72% on Mar 27, long-term U.S. treasury bonds jumped materially. The highest yield offered by the benchmark treasury yield was 1.18%, recorded on Mar 18.

The underlying ICE BofAML Long US Treasury Principal STRIPS Index comprises long maturity Separate Trading of Registered Interest & Principal of Securities representing the final principal payment of U.S. Treasury bonds.

Coffee

iPath Series B Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO - Free Report) — Up 4.6%

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in lockdowns in many countries. People are indulging in panic buying of food stuff, which is spurring demand for agricultural commodities.

“Brokers and wholesalers are currently short on beans and having difficulties securing new supplies” and major producing nations are also not being able to meet the high demand, per an analyst (read: Soft Commodity ETFs Showing Better Resistance to Virus).

Losers

Energy

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES - Free Report) — Down 55.4%

Global recessionary fears amid the virus scare and price war between Saudi and Russia sent oil into a tailspin.United States Oil Fund LP (USO - Free Report) has slumped 52.7% in the past month (read: Global Oil Price War Begins: ETFs in Focus).

MLPs

InfraCap MLP ETF (AMZA - Free Report) — Down 65.2%

Energy MLPs are also victims of the energy price crash. The underlying InfraCap MLP ETF seeks total return, primarily through investments in equity securities of publicly-traded master limited partnerships and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships.

Mortgage REIT

VanEck Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT - Free Report) — Down 49.1%

Despite the decline in rates, m-REITs are suffering a lot. Per an analyst, investors are probably recalling the Great Recession when m-REITs suffered a great deal and are assuming “that huge losses are coming.”

Small-Cap Brazil

iShares MSCI Brazil Small-Cap ETF (EWZS - Free Report) — Down 42.9%

Like many other emerging markets, Brazil stocks are suffering.Gross domestic product of the country grew 1.1% last year, at the slowest clip in three years. Since small-cap stocks resemble the domestic economic scenario, the huge slump in EWZS is self-explanatory.

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