U.S. equities started out the first half of 2013 with eye-catching performance, marked by the 13.82% gain in the S&P 500. Exchange traded funds that track large-cap companies have made gains as the broad market index has been on a run-up most of the year.

“Among equity ETFs classified as having a more domestic stock emphasis, 262 (97%) were in positive territory, along with 83 (43%) equity ETFs with more of an international or global emphasis. Among smaller-cap equity ETFs with more of a domestic stock emphasis, we think performance in the first half of 2013 was generally favorable as well,” reports S&P Capital IQ.

About 60% of U.S.stock-focused ETFs have a total return that surpassed the Standard & Poor 500. Conversely, about 11% of international or overseas focused ETFs posted a lower year-to-date return than the broad market index, reports S&P Capital in a recent note. [Three of the Top-Selling ETFs in 2013]

The year-to-date top-performing large-cap equity ETF so far is the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (NasadqGM: QCLN) matched by the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN) which have both returned 52%. [June and Q2 ETF Performance Report]

Of the 665 equity ETFs that were included in the survey, four had an “Overweight” ranking by S&P Capital. The top-performing Overweight ETFs were the iShares Dow Jones US Insurance Index Fund (NYSEArca: IAK), SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (NYSEArca: KIE), SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (NYSEArca: XPH) and the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ). [Solar ETFs Dazzle in the Second Quarter]

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