Volatility-linked ETFs greeted February with another backslide while in U.S. stocks the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 14,000 for the first time since 2007.
The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX) was down 6% in afternoon trading Friday and on track for a slightly weekly decline.
Other volatility ETFs include VelocityShares VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSEArca: VIIX), VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSEArca: TVIX), ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures (NYSEArca: UVXY) and ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: VIXY).
Meanwhile, the Dow was set for its fifth straight weekly gain with a 0.8% advance for the past five sessions. The S&P 500 was poised for a 0.7% weekly gain in afternoon dealings Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1%.
The Dow was up nearly 150 points on Friday despite a weaker-than-expected January employment report.
“There’s a lot of money looking for a home and people are finally deciding the bond market is done and moving money into equities,” said Edward Simmons at HighTower in a Reuters report. “I see the rotation (of assets) pushing the market up in the face of not-massive amounts of good news. People are overlooking the higher risk in equities.”
Commodity ETFs were actually some of the week’s best performers even though the five-year high in U.S. stocks dominated the headlines. Oil-related funds, base metals, copper and sugar led the way in commodities.
The top three unleveraged ETFs this week were U.S. Gasoline Fund (NYSEArca: UGA), PowerShares Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production (NYSEArca: PXE) and iShares MSCI Philippines (NYSEArca: EPHE) with gains of 4% or more.
The bottom three unleveraged ETFs this week were iShares MSCI Spain (NYSEArca: EWP), U.S. Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG) and iShares MSCI Turkey (NYSEArca: TUR). They were down at least 3%.
Next week’s economic data features reports on factory orders, ISM non-manufacturing, productivity and labor costs, consumer credit and the trade deficit.