May ETFdb Category Kings: Best Performing ETFs

by on June 3, 2011 | ETFs Mentioned:

The month of May was a generally disappointing stretch for investors, as both international and domestic equity markets struggled to overcome obstacles new and old. Commodities, which had been a nice source of absolute returns for much of the last year, fell on hard times as well; precious metals went into a brief freefall, and most other natural resources saw price declines as well.

May demonstrated the importance of a meaningful allocation to fixed income within any long-term portfolio, as most bond ETFs turned in nice gains during the month. The following tables highlight the best performers from each ETFdb Category during the month of May [ETFdb Pro members can download spreadsheets showing performance and expense data for the entire ETF universe].

Equity ETFs

Though most equity ETFs finished May in negative territory, there were a handful of bright spots among the hundreds of ETFs that slice and dice the global stock market into hundreds of different segments. The following table includes the best performer during the month of May from every equity ETFdb Category:

ETFdb Category Ticker Name May %
All Cap Equities PEY PowerShares High Yield Dividend Achievers -0.3%
Alternative Energy Equities NUCL iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index Fund -3.0%
Asia Pacific Equities ENZL MSCI New Zealand Investable Market Index Fund 3.6%
Building & Construction ITB iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund 0.0%
China Equities PEK Market Vectors China ETF 1.4%
Commodity Producers Equities PAGG PowerShares Global Agriculture Portfolio -0.9%
Communications Equities IYZ iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Index Fund 4.5%
Consumer Discretionary Equities PEJ PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment Portfolio 2.4%
Consumer Staples Equities FXG First Trust Cons. Staples AlphaDEX 4.1%
Emerging Markets Equities EGPT Egypt Index ETF 7.2%
Energy Equities CHIE Global X China Energy ETF -2.7%
Europe Equities EWL iShares MSCI Switzerland Index Fund 1.8%
Financials Equities CHIX Global X China Financials ETF 0.1%
Foreign Large Cap Equities PID PowerShares Intl Dividend Achievers -1.7%
Foreign Small & Mid Cap Equities SCHC Schwab International Small-Cap Equity ETF -2.2%
Global Equities EWAC Rydex MSCI All Country World Equal Weight ETF -0.3%
Health & Biotech Equities AXHE MSCI ACWI ex US Health Care Sector Index Fund 6.5%
Industrials Equities ITA iShares Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index Fund -0.4%
Japan Equities SCJ iShares MSCI Japan Sm Cap -2.0%
Large Cap Blend Equities NASI ESG Shares North America Sustainability Index ETF 0.3%
Large Cap Growth Equities RPX Growth Equity Strategy Fund -0.1%
Large Cap Value Equities BVT ELEMENTS BG Total Market ETN 2.7%
Latin America Equities EPU iShares MSCI All Peru Capped Index Fund 5.1%
Materials FXZ First Trust Materials AlphaDEX Fund -0.5%
Mid Cap Blend Equities PJG PowerShares Dynamic Mid Cap -0.4%
Mid Cap Growth Equities RFG Rydex S&P Midcap 400 Pure Growth 0.0%
Mid Cap Value Equities PWP PowerShares Dynamic Mid Cap Value 0.9%
MLPs AMLP Alerian MLP ETF -3.2%
Quantitative Methodology Indexes NFO Guggenheim Insider Sentiment ETF 0.4%
Small Cap Blend Equities IJR iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Index Fund -0.9%
Small Cap Growth Equities IJT iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Growth Index Fund 0.1%
Small Cap Value Equities BSC ELEMENTS BG Small Cap ETN 8.4%
Technology Equities IIH HOLDRS Internet Infrastructure 1.7%
Transportation Equities FAA Guggenheim Airline ETF 0.7%
Utilities Equities PSCU S&P SmallCap Utilities Portfolio 3.0%
Water Equities CGW Guggenheim S&P Global Water Index ETF -0.9%

Bond ETFs

The following were the top May performers from the universe of bond ETFs:

ETFdb Category Ticker Name May %
California Munis CXA SPDR Barclays California Municipal Bond ETF 2.9%
Corporate Bonds LWC SPDR Barclays Capital Long Term Credit Bond ETF 3.0%
Emerging Markets Bonds PCY PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Portfolio 2.2%
Government Bonds DTYL US Treasury 10-year Bull Exchange Traded Note 8.3%
High Yield Bonds PHB Fundamental High Yield Corporate Bond Portfolio 0.8%
Inflation-Protected Bonds TIPZ Pimco Broad U.S. TIPS Index Fund 0.4%
International Government Bonds BUNL DB German Bund Futures ETN 1.9%
Money Market VRD SPDR S&P VRDO Municipal Bond ETF 0.2%
Mortgage Backed Securities VMBS Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities Index Fund 1.1%
National Munis BABZ PIMCO Build America Bond Strategy Fund 4.8%
New York Munis INY SPDR Barclays New York Municipal Bond ETF 3.3%
Preferred Stock/Convertible Bonds PGF PowerShares Financial Preferred 0.8%
Total Bond Market GLJ iShares 10+ Year Government/Credit Bond Fund 3.0%

Commodity & Currency ETFs

Commodity market were generally hammered in May, but there were a few bright spots in each grouping:

ETFdb Category Ticker Name May %
Agricultural Commodities CTNN Pure Beta Cotton ETN 5.4%
Commodities UCI E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI ETN -3.3%
Currency BNZ WisdomTree Dreyfus New Zealand Dollar Fund 2.2%
Metals LD iPath Dow Jones-UBS Lead Total Return Sub-Index 2.0%
Oil & Gas FUE ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index TR ETN 4.0%
Precious Metals TBAR RBS Gold Trendpilot ETN 2.1%

Leveraged & Inverse ETFs

There were some big gains among leveraged ETFs last month, including a jump of more than 20% in a leveraged oil ETF:

ETFdb Category Ticker Name May %
Inverse Bonds FLAT US Treasury Flattener Exchange Traded Note 4.1%
Inverse Commodities SZO PowerShares DB Crude Oil Short ETN 9.9%
Inverse Equities MLPS E-TRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP Infrastructure Total Return ETN 6.2%
Leveraged Bonds TMF Direxion Daily 30-Yr Treasury Bull 3x Shrs 10.4%
Leveraged Commodities DTO PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN 20.1%
Leveraged Currency DRR Market Vectors-Double Short Euro ETN 6.0%
Leveraged Equities ROSA iPath Short Extended Russell 1000 TR Index ETN 15.7%
Leveraged Real Estate DRN Daily Real Estate Bull 3x Shares 3.6%

Best Of The Rest

The other ETF winners included yet another stellar month from XIV, which offers daily inverse exposure to an index consisting of VIX futures:

ETFdb Category Ticker Name May %
Diversified Portfolio AOK iShares S&P Conservative Allocation 0.1%
Hedge Fund CSMB 2x Monthly Leveraged Credit Suisse Merger Arbitrage Liquid Index ETN 0.2%
Target Retirement Date TDH TDX Independence 2020 ETF 0.3%
Volatility XIV Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN 7.6%

Disclosure: No positions.