5 ETFs With Stealthy Bullish Performances
Over the past month, a plethora of widely followed and heavily traded ETFs have notched sub-par performances. For example, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), the world's largest ETF by assets, has slipped by 0.4 percent. The U.S. Oil Fund (NYSE: USO) has plunged 13.6 percent.
As fears have grown about the depth of Europe's sovereign debt crisis and the intensity of the global economic slowdown, some investors have been quick to reduce risk, punishing higher beta country and sector ETFs in the process.
With that scenario playing out on a daily basis, it is easier to find negative recent performances for an array of ETFs than it is to locate bullish moves. Still, there are a few ETFs that have surprised to the upside in recent weeks--and are getting little credit for having done so.
Market Vectors Poland ETF (NYSE: PLND) It is easy to blame Europe for the woes experienced by long emerging markets ETFs over the past several months, but countries such as Brazil, India and plenty of others have their own specific issues that compound negative sentiment. So it might surprise some investors that over the past month, the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: VWO) has notched a positive performance.
What is really surprising is the show put on by the Market Vectors Poland ETF. There are several compelling reasons to be long-term bullish on Poland, but as an emerging market with close proximity to the Eurozone, Polish equities have been beaten up.
Yet, the recovery in Polish names has already started. Since May 29, with little fanfare along the way, PLND has jumped 11.6 percent. The rival iShares MSCI Poland Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPOL) has risen 12.4 percent over the same time.
iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: TUR) Turkey has a few things in common with Poland. Both are emerging markets and investors have more reasons to be bullish than bearish on both. But when it comes to ETFs, EPOL, PLND and TUR have all been hurt by the aforementioned Eurozone proximity.
After flirting with the $44-$45 area earlier this month, TUR rapidly bounced higher and is now found just below $50. That run higher may be a clue that some investors are willing to overlook Turkey's spot on the map to focus on the country's economic fundamentals instead.
Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE: TAN) The fact that a solar ETF makes a list of ETFs with surprisingly bullish performances over any time period might cause some folks to think the sun is in their eyes. That is understandable given the savage repudiation endured by solar stocks and ETFs for much of 2012. Three data providers were checked and all came back with the same message: TAN has delivered positive returns over the past month.
There are still myriad issues for the solar sector to contend with so the best way to treat TAN is as a trade, not as an investment.
PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt ETF (NYSE: PCY) Maybe it is because PCY is an emerging market ETF. Or maybe it is because this ETF is often overshadowed by the rival iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (NYSE: EMB). Whatever the reason, PCY is not getting the credit it deserves for being up almost 3.2 percent in the past month. That is 30 basis points better than EMB. PCY has a 30-day SEC yield of almost 5.3 percent and pays a monthly dividend.
Market Vectors Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF (NYSE: HYEM) As a group, junk bond ETFs have been getting plenty of attention, but the bulk of the attention is paid to the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (NYSE: HYG) and the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (NYSE: JNK).
The Market Vectors Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF is not even two months old yet--that might explain why the fund is not commanding a lot of headlines. Lack of attention does not mean lack of performance. In the past month, HYEM has handily outperformed HYG and JNK. The new Market Vectors fund has a 30-day SEC yield of 8.73 percent.
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