Top & Flop ETFs Halfway Through Q4

The fourth quarter brings strong gains for Wall Street buoyed by easing U.S.-China trade worries, stronger-than-expected corporate earnings and Fed’s third rate cut. The S&P 500 breached the 3,100 level for the first time ever last week and rallied for the sixth consecutive week, its longest winning streak since November 2017. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones topped the 28,000 milestone.

The fixed income world, which saw astounding strength due to trade issues, started to falter with risk-on sentiments and rise in yields. The bullish backdrop has also diminished the safe haven appeal, pushing precious metals down, in particular, gold and silver.

Given this, many corners of the market have seen smooth trading while a few are still lagging. Below we have highlighted ETFs from the best and worst zones at the halfway mark in Q4.

Best Zones


The healthcare sector is outperforming this quarter driven by a slew of positive news flow, including trial results and deal activities, and better-than-expected corporate earnings. In particular, Biogen (BIIB - Free Report) spread optimism following its Alzheimer’s treatment report. While most of the ETFs in the healthcare space have been surging, iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF - Free Reporttops the list, having gained nearly 18% so far this quarter.

This ETF follows the Dow Jones U.S. Select Healthcare Providers Index with exposure to companies that provide health insurance, diagnostics, and specialized treatment. In total, the fund holds 49 securities in its basket with each making up for no more than 22.71% of assets. The fund has amassed $839.4 million in its asset base, while volume is moderate at about 67,000 shares per day on average. It charges 43 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.


The trade deal optimism is leading to a surge in the semiconductor corner of the broad technology sector given its significant exposure to China. Additionally, strong earnings from some of the well-known players in the industry are driving the sector higher. First Trust Nasdaq Semiconductor ETF (FTXL - Free Reportspiked 14%. It offers exposure to the 29 most-liquid U.S. semiconductor securities based on volatility, value and growth by tracking the Nasdaq US Smart Semiconductor Index. It has accumulated $39.5 million in AUM and trades in average daily volume of 14,000 shares. It charges 0.60% in expense ratio and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3.

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Disclosure: contains statements and statistics that have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. References to any specific ...

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