ETF Chart of the Day: Nuclear Energy | ETF Trends

It has been roughly 9 months since the terrible nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami, and most investors in the space have had a rather grim outlook for much of 2011.

The nuclear energy/uranium space actually finished 2010 on a high note and continued to surge in early 2011 before the events in Japan unfolded in March of this year.

With all of the nuclear energy and related ETFs currently posting significant losses year to date, we would not be surprised to see opportunistic tax loss harvesting and potential swap trades occur, where investors close out of one fund and immediately get market exposure through another ETF in the same sector.

Currently, NLR (Market Vectors Nuclear Energy) is the largest fund in the sector, with about $107 million in assets under management currently. The fund tracks the DAXGlobal Nuclear Energy Index and current top holdings include EDF (8.43% weighting), EXC (7.82% weighting), and ordinary shares of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7.22%). NLR is down 32.47% year to date.

PKN (PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy) has lost 24.63% year to date and it tracks the WNA Nuclear Energy Index. Current holdings are AREVA (7.87%), TOSBF (5.61%), and EOAN (3.65%).

iShares also has an entrant in the space, NUCL (iShares S&P Global Nuclear), and this fund has posted a -24.78% return year to date.