After hitting record highs in the second quarter, stock and exchange traded funds experienced a steep correction in June, fueled by speculation that the Fed would begin tapering its quantitative easing program and a rising interest rate environment. Nevertheless, fears over an end to easy money abated somewhat and the markets recovered some lost ground in the last week of the month, and equities still maintained another positive quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.1% over the past three months. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite increased 4.5% and the S&P 500 rose 3.8%.
Both the S&P 500 hit a historic high of 1,669 and the Dow also hit an all-time high of 15,409 in the month of May.
The top non-leveraged ETF in the second quarter include the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NSYEArca: TAN) up 47.4%, Market Vectors Solar Energy (NYSEArca: KWT) up 29.2% and First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (NasdaqGIDS: QCLN) up 27.5%.
Solar ETFs are generating high returns as the industry outshines expectations that a string of negative factors would weigh on solar stocks, which provides a sharp contrast after the sector’s poor performance last year. Top solar panel producers provided better-than-expected guidance for the rest of the year.
In the years ahead, the International Energy Agency believes that renewable energy could generate more electricity than nuclear reactors and natural gas powered utilities by 2016. [Solar ETFs Dazzle in the Second Quarter]
Over the second quarter, the worst performing non-leveraged ETFs include Market Vectors Junior Gold Minors (NYSEArca: GDXJ) down 49.5%, PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETFs (NYSEArca: SILJ) down 48.1% and Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSEArca: GLDX) down 42.9%.
Next page: June performance