More than 110 U.S.-listed exchange traded products hit 52-week lows today and the list reads like a graveyard of commodities ETFs and ETNs. For those keeping score at home, with just under three hours left in Friday’s session, 61 of the 111 ETFs that hit new lows today are directly related to commodities and that group does not include various country and currency funds with exposure to commodities-exporting nations.
The commodities swoon is benefiting an array of bearish leveraged ETFs and ETNs, so much so that some of these products are performing better than, in theory, they should be. A prime example is the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: DUST), an ETF that has nearly doubled just this month even though the index it attempts to deliver triple the daily inverse returns of is not down 33%. [Traders Crushed by Leveraged Miners ETFs]
That “index was ‘only’ down 23 percent. The 3x inverse of that is 66 percent, but DUST is up another 33 percent on top of that. This is due to the fact that leveraged ETFs reset their leverage every day and so experience a compounding effect when the market they track moves in one direction for a long period. So as gold miners fell nearly every day in July—sometimes by quite a lot—this created the perfect situation for DUST,” reports Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg.
Coming into Friday, DUST, the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: JDST) and the Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Bear Shares (NYSEArca: DRIP) were Direxion’s top three bearish leveraged funds for the month of July. JDST and DRIP entered today with month-to-date gains of 93.2% and 53.7%.