The equities market and stock exchange traded funds lost their momentum on the Leap Day, ending the month pretty much where they started.
Over the past month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.4% and the S&P 500 retreated 0.4%.
The best performing non-leveraged exchange traded products so far this year include the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (NYSEArca: SILJ) up 35.2%, iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: RING) up 34.4% and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) up 32.2%.
Precious metals miners and sector-related ETFs capitalized as gold bullion rallied on safe-haven demand and a more dovish prospect from the Federal Reserve. [Outshining Precious Metals Miner ETFs of February]
On the other hand, the worst performing non-leveraged ETPs over the past month include the iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSEArca: GRN) down 21.5%, United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) down 19.3% and WisdomTree Japan Hedged Financials Fund (NYSEArca: DXJF) down 16.3%.
The softening economic outlook and ongoing volatility in the the oil market dragged on U.S. equities at the start of the month. Stocks kept slipping as crude oil prices dipped back below $30 per barrel on the ongoing global supply glut.