Concern over a global market slowdown and geopolitical risks kept equities markets and stock exchange traded funds relatively unchanged since the start of the year, but the S&P 500 Index is still heading toward its fifth quarterly gain, albeit a small one.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.0% over the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.5% and the S&P 500 rose 0.5%.
The top performers over Q1 include exchange traded notes: the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index (NYSEArca: JO) up 65.0%, iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN (NYSEArca: CAFE) up 59.4% and PowerShares DB Agriculture Long ETN (NYSEArca: AGF) up 38.8%.
Despite a correction in March, coffee remains the best performing asset so far this year as drought conditions in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee bean producer, decimated crops. [After Pullback, Coffee ETNs Look to Rebound]
Broader agriculture exchange traded products have also been outperforming this year. Dry weather and drought conditions have weighed on a basket of soft commodities. [A Commodity ETF to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio]
At the bottom of the pack, the worst performing non-leveraged funds so far this year include Russia country-specific ETFs: Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: RSXJ) down 27.9%, Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) down 20.7% and SPDR S&P Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RBL) down 20.3%. [From Russia With No Love: Russia ETFs Tumble Following Ukraine Invasion]
Over the past month, the Dow was up 0.1%, the Nasdaq declined 3.5% and the S&P 500 was 0.9% higher.