ETF Trends
ETF Trends

That great American pastime the NCAA Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, commences Thursday.

The start of March Madness means some lost productivity for American employers as workers sneak a few minutes here and there to watch games and monitor office pools. Those pools are big, but illicit business.

While billions of dollars are wagered each year in NCAA Tournament office pools, the Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSEArca: BJK) does not make for an ideal March Madness ETF play because although several states have seen fit to legalize marijuana, the moral crusade against sports gambling continues in every state but Nevada though New Jersey is trying to legalize sports betting as well. [Macau is Gambling ETF’s Lucky Charm]

Another March Madness ETF idea is the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBS). Arguably, PBS is the most predictable ETF play on potential upside for stocks at the hands of the NCAA Tournament, but it is that predictability that means the $324.8 million PBS requires further examination.

As a media ETF, PBS has previously shown a tendency to respond positively to themes such as increased election year advertising spending. PBS debuted in June 2005, so it has been around for four U.S. election years – 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014. With 2008 being the outlier because of the global financial crisis, PBS posted double-digit gains in the other election years, including a 20.2% gain in the 2010 mid-term cycle. [An Election Year Boost for the Media ETF]

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