Hot ETF Options to Track Popular Hedge Fund Positions

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By Todd Rosenbluth

The S&P 500 utilities sector rose 15% in the first quarter, as investors sought out the relative safety of these dividend-paying domestically focused companies amid elevated global market volatility. Meanwhile, demand for in gold ETFs was quite strong in the first quarter, as SDDR Gold (GLD)’s $6.8 billion of inflows was nearly twice as much as any other product regardless of investment style, though not all institutional managers were in agreement to start 2016.

Paulson & Co reduced its stake in GLD in the first quarter, while Soros Fund Management initiated a position in the commodity ETF.

According to Pavle Sabic, S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Head of Market Development for Corporates and the author of the hedge-fund tracker research, the utilities sector was the only one to receive net buys, $164 million, during the first quarter of 2016. The other nine GICS sectors experienced net sells, led by consumer discretionary and information technology, with $4.6 billion and $3.2 billion, respectively.