Five Lessons From The Top and Bottom ETF Performers

etfs etfsRudy Martin: With Labor Day here, summer is ending. It’s time to get serious about squeezing good results from the last four months of 2013.

Personally, I want to know exactly how things stand before I map a plan for the future. Today we’ll assess current market conditions by looking at recent Exchange-Traded Fund trends.

I made tables to show you the 12 best- and worst-performing equity ETFs (excluding leveraged and inverse funds) over the last three months. Take a minute to look at them now. What do you see?

We’ll start with the best …

The two lists show five important stock market lessons. Keep these in mind as your portfolio says hello to September.

LESSON 1: TECH & CHINA HOSTED THE PARTY

Technology sector ETFs account for half of the top 12 list. The three-month performance leader,PowerShares Golden Dragon China (PGJ), has 62% of its assets allocated to technology and telecom, so it is essentially a tech ETF as well.

Global X Nasdaq China Technology (QQQC) and Guggenheim China Technology (CQQQ) also show China and tech have been a good combination lately.

China found other ways to win, too. Third-place Global X Social Media (SOCL) has a 28% commitment to Chinese stocks. (I mentioned this theme a few months ago in 2 Economies, 1 Country.)

Tech continues to show impressive momentum. The trend also has stamina, as shown by the ETFs with better than 40% one-year gains. PowerShares Nasdaq Internet (PNQI) missed by only a slim 20 basis points.

LESSON 2: DON’T COUNT OUT GOLD JUST YET!

While gold stocks had a sharp spring sell-off followed by modest recovery, gold bullion is roughly where it was three months ago. Silver did much better over the period.

Nevertheless, Global X Gold Explorers (GLDX) and the Global X Silver Miners (SIL) pushed higher. Double-digit percentage gains put them in the top-12 ETF performer list.

The positive three-month and one-month returns represent major reversals for these two. GLDX and SIL are still far below their peaks, down 47.69% and 24.43%, respectively, over the last year.

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