Total exchange traded fund (ETF) assets in April grew to $461 billion, up 5%. The leader of all categories was international, rising to $8 billion. Trang Ho of Investor’s Business Daily reports growth funds outperformed value, and large-caps dominated the scene. Large-cap ETFs rose 4.2% for the month, up 5.3% year-to-date. Barclays still reigns as the force in ETF providing, with market share at 59%, offering the most ETF products, 131.  PowerShares provides the second-largest number of products, 73, with 2.4% market share.  There were 21 new ETFs launched in April.

The highest-returning sectors for ETFs in April were health care up 7.1%, information technology with 5.4% and energy up 5.2%. Year-to-date the top-returning sectors are utilities with a return of 12.9%, materials at 10.5%, and health care up 7.8%. Financial and consumer discretionary ETFs are the worst performers.

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