Despite some close calls over March, especially with new rumblings out of Europe and Cyprus, the equities markets and stock exchange traded funds steered back into a bullish streak, closing the month and first quarter on historical highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a 11.6% gain over the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite increased 9.1% and the S&P 500 rose 10.8%.
Over March, the Dow was 3.3% higher, the Nasdaq was up 3.0% and the S&P 500 gained 3.3%.
On the last trading day of the quarter, the S&P 500 punched through its pre-financial crisis closing high of 1,565. Three weeks earlier, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped its own 2007 record.
The top non-leveraged ETFs in the first quarter include the Market Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IDXJ) up 21.2%, SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (NYSEArca: XTN) and KEYnotes First Trust Enhanced 130/30 Large Cap ETN (NYSEArca: JFT) up 21.1%.
Improved earnings, investment growth and expanding domestic consumption have all supported the rally in Indonesian stocks. [Why Indonesia ETFs are on a Tear]
The transportation sector, a barometer for the health of the U.S. economy, has been paving the way in the current rally as the sector broke through its all-time highs before the broader Dow. [ETF Chart of the Day: Dow Jones Transportation Average]
The KEYnotes 130/30 large cap ETN tracks 2,500 U.S. stocks but follows a 130/30 long/short strategy that includes a 130% long position in certain large-cap stocks while going short 30% other large-cap stocks.