The first quarter is in the books and the S&P 500 finished with a decent though not spectacular gain of about 2%.
Of course, there are two sides to every coin. It can be said that the performance of U.S. stocks in the first three months of 2014 is pretty good, all things considered. “All things” including a cold spell that swept the East Coast and Midwest, providing excuses for weakness in sectors such as consumer discretionary. Then there was the spate of weak economic data out of China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to weigh on the minds of global investors.
The less cheery view is that the performance of U.S. stocks in the first quarter represents precious little in the way of follow through to last year’s almost 33% gain for the S&P 500.
Although the last few weeks of the quarter brought significant retrenchment in some momentum ETFs, others shined bright throughout the quarter. That group includes some asset classes, namely commodities, that were decimated last year.
Among the first quarter’s best ETFs and ETNs are the following, starting with the…