Better Than Apple? These ETFs Have Been
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) this and Apple that. Superlatives for the largest U.S. company by market value know no bounds in 2012 and with good reason. The stock is up more than 25% year-to-date. That performance has been good for plenty of ETFs that hold the stock and others that have seen their sails lifted by Apple's rising tides.
Indeed, topping Apple's year-to-date performance without the assistance of the options market or a leveraged ETF would be pretty difficult? Or is it? Yes, sort of. According to Finviz data, 26 ETFs are up 30% or more year-to-date, but that group includes 19 leveraged funds.
Strip out the leveraged offerings and a few of the exchange-traded products outperforming Apple this year might just surprise most of the investing public.
iPath DJ-UBS Tin TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSE: JJT) It may not be too surprising that at least one commodities fund has found a way to top Apple, but it is surprising that the commodity is tin. JJT was up over 30% year-to-date at the start of trading today and it looks like someone is starting to take notice. Admittedly, JJT isn't home to heavy volume, but with about 80 minutes left in Wednesday's session, JJT's volume is more than double the daily average.
Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE: GREK) Heading into the start of trading today, the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF had been a pleasant European surprise in 2012. GREK is being taken to the woodshed today with a 7.6% drop on double the average daily volume, but if the intraday loss sticks around there or decreases and Apple doesn't add a couple of percentage points, GREK will still be the better year-to-date performer. However, GREK's outperformance of Apple could be living on borrowed time. And not because GREK is so bad, but because Apple is just that good.
WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSE: EPI) Or take your pick of a plethora of other India-specific ETFs. The EGShares India Infrastructure ETF (NYSE: INXX), Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIF) and the EGShares India Small Cap ETF (NYSE: SCIN) have all outpaced Apple. In the case of SCIN, that ETF's returns are roughly double those offered by Apple.
Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (NYSE: EGPT) Another sort of surprise, especially given the mess the Egyptian investment thesis turned into as 2011 wore on. Then again, EGPT's low starting point has proven to be ideal for looking better than Apple. Te ETF has had a very nice run, but any remotely bad political news out of the North African country makes EGPT primed for a mighty fall. Who do you trust more for good news, Apple or Egypt? Enough said.
As interesting anecdotes, if one had been crazy enough to hold the Direxion Daily India Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: INDL) from January 3 through today, that leveraged fund has more than tripled Apple's returns. From Russia with love: The Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: RUSL) has outperformed Apple by better than a two-to-one margin.
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