Market On Track For Worst December: 5 ETFs Losers

Despite the best start to the month in eight years, U.S. stocks are on track for the worst December since the Great Depression in 1931. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are down nearly 7.5% each so far this month, marking the largest drop for each key market barometer since 1931 when the indexes plunged 14.5% and 17%, respectively.

Myriad woes including higher interest rates, political malaise in Europe, U.S.-China trade tensions, a slowdown in Japan, troubles in emerging markets and threats of a global slowdown led to the terrible performances. A flattening U.S. yield curve and a decline in oil price have added to the woes.

According to the latest survey of the American Association of Individual Investors, bearish sentiment (expectations that stock prices will fall over the next six months) jumped 18.4 percentage points to 48.9% in the seven-day period ended Dec 12, while bullish sentiment (expectations that prices will rise over the next six months) fell 17 percentage points to 20.9% -- its lowest since May 25, 2016, and below its historical average of 38.5% for the 12th time in 14 weeks.

With the recent slump, the S&P 500 is on track for its biggest quarterly loss since the third quarter of 2011. The collapse comes despite the fact that December is historically a solid month for the stock market. According to the Stock Trader's Almanac, the S&P 500 has gained an average of 1.6% for December.

As a result, a number of ETFs incurred heavy losses over the past month. Below we have highlighted five funds that have been hit badly in the market turmoil and might continue their rough trading if similar trends prevail.

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XESFree Report) – Down 22.1%

With AUM of $224.1 million, this fund tracks the S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services Select Industry Index, which measures the performance of the companies engaged in the oil and gas equipment and services industry. It holds 41 securities in its basket and charges 35 bps in annual fees. The fund trades in a solid average daily volume of 1.4 million shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #4 (Sell) with a High-risk outlook.

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