Market Overview

What Were The Best (And Worst) ETFs Of The Week?

What Were The Best And Worst ETFs Of The Week?

The holiday-shortened week was met with uncharacteristic weakness on the last trading day of 2014 and paved the way for more sellers to take control in 2015.  Despite this modest dip, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) managed to end the year with a strong total return of 13.46 percent.

As investors search for the best trading opportunities in the New Year, it’s worth noting that many experts are predicting continued strength in the first half of 2015.

The following ETFs represent a sample of the best- and worst-performing funds over the last five trading sessions.

Related Link: Rambo's Reads: January 4, 2015

BEST: Volatility Indexes

Traders were quick to hedge their long positions with bearish options plays last week, which sent the CBOE VIX Volatility Index higher. One fund that tracks this sentiment index is the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (TSE:VXX), which gained over 12 percent since last Friday.

The VXX has over $1 billion in assets committed to tracking S&P 500 Index volatility futures, which are a commonly associated measure of fear in the marketplace. This exchange-traded note typically soars when stocks are falling, or in anticipation of a correction.

The VXX lost 26 percent in 2014 as markets continued to climb, but has retained assets as a contrarian play. 

WORST: Russian Stocks

Russian stocks once again found themselves under pressure this week as lower energy prices weighed on the currency and the country's economy. The Market Vector Russia ETF Trust (NYSE: RSX), which tracks 49 publicly traded companies in Russia, lost more than 8 percent over the period.

Russia was one of the weakest markets in 2014, and the ETF fell more than 47 percent last year. Despite that plunge, the RSX has $1.5 billion in total assets and continues to attract new money from value-seekers anticipating a rebound. 

Also worth noting: This ETF is heavily weighted in large-cap foreign energy stocks and will be susceptible to volatility in the commodity space this year.

Posted-In: ETF recap the best and worst ETFsBroad U.S. Equity ETFs Specialty ETFs Emerging Market ETFs Trading Ideas ETFs Best of Benzinga


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Barron's Recap: The Best Income Ideas For 2015 & A Surprising Forecast From Jeff Gundlach

Rambo's Reads For January 4, 2015