Commodity related exchange traded funds (ETFs) were by far the top performers for the first quarter 2011. The month of March brought natural disasters and political unrest that pushed the price of oil to some new highs. The broad market and indexes also saw gains for the month of March and the first quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the quarter up 6.4%; the S&P 500 gained 5.4% and the Nasdaq rose 4.8%. Destruction in Japan after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, along with conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, brought markets down earlier in the month, but they have rebounded in recent weeks. Oil reached a new 2 1/2 year high, closing the quarter at $106.72 a barrel.
The top performing unleveraged ETF for the quarter was United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), up 26.1%. While energy funds were the top performers, silver was in the leading pack, with ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) up 23.8%.
iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index (NYSEArca: TUR) was the leading ETF for the month of March, up 14.9%, with First Trust Global Wind Energy (NYSEArca: FAN) not far behind with an increase of 14.7%.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.