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Best and Worst ETFs Of The Week Amid New All-Time Highs

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May 16, 2015 9:37 am
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Despite relatively tepid economic data this week, the S&P 500 Index was able to notch a new all-time closing high on Thursday.  This broad market strength may indicate that a new breakout is attempting to materialize despite the narrow range equities have traded in all year.  

Treasury bonds also saw a strong rebound on Friday and were able to recoup the majority of their losses from earlier in the week.  Rising interest rates have weighed on stocks over the last month and a bounce in bonds may help relieve some of this pent up anxiety.  

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

BEST: Natural Gas Futures

Natural gas prices bottomed in April and subsequent strength has pushed these commodity futures contracts to new 2-month highs on Friday.  As a result, the iPath Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ) gained more than 8 percent this week.

GAZ tracks daily price changes of the Henry Hub natural gas futures contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  This exchange-traded note provides an unleveraged way to play the energy space through a liquid and transparent investment vehicle.  GAZ charges an expense ratio of 0.75 percent.  

In addition to GAZ, the heavily traded United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) has appeared to turn the corner and is now showing positive momentum to the upside.  

WORST: Egyptian Stocks

Publicly traded companies domiciled in Egypt experienced a volatile week of trading, which led to a 5.75 percent decline in the Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (EGPT).  This ETF tracks 28 companies listed in Egypt or having a significant portion of their business in the North African country.  

EGPT currently has $54 million in total assets and charges an expense ratio of 0.97 percent.  The majority of the sector allocation in this ETF is weighted towards financial stocks, with telecom and materials companies rounding out the top three.  

EGPT has struggled this year and is down more than 11 percent so far in 2015.  The country faces a deluge of political, economic and social problems that have weighed on their investment markets. 


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