While markets petered out toward the end of the last day of the first quarter, U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds still etched out a phenomenal run over the first three months of the year, with the S&P 500 recording its best quarterly gain since 2015.
U.S. stocks took off over the first quarter, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 5.5%, the Nasdaq Composite 10.2% higher and the S&P 500 up 6.3%.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) rose 6.1% year-to-date while the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) gained 5.4% and PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) increased 12.0%.
U.S. stocks maintained their post-election rally in the first three months of the year, with sectors expected to benefit from changing U.S. policies leading the charge.
These Trump trades, though, lost some momentum in the later weeks of the quarter on concerns over President Donald Trump’s ability to enact its pro-business agenda in light of its recently failed attempt to push through an Obamacare replacement in a Republican controlled Congress.
The top performing non-leveraged ETFs of the first three months include the the Columbia India Small Cap ETF (NYSEArca: SCIN) up 31.2%, VanEck Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF (NYSEArca: SCIF) up 29.5% and iShares MSCI India Small-Cap ETF (BATS: SMIN) up 28.5%.
New Delhi projects India’s economy could expand between 6.75% and 7.5% in 2017-18 as the government shifts tactics on its economy.
India’s market suffered a blow at the end of 2016 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi yanked about 86% of all cash from the economy to fight so-called black money to fight back against the huge shadow economy. While the economy may experience a short-term setback from the move, the results of demonetization could usher in long-term benefits to the economy.
Moreover, the Indian economy is set to implement other structural reforms, including a Goods and Service Tax that could bolster growth by another 10%. Prime Minister Modi has also hinted at encouraging SMEs, or small and medium enterprises, with tax relaxation and new incentives offered toward small business owners. The government has brought a renewed focus on SMEs to capture a larger market space.
The economy as a whole is also on a more stable ground and is stronger than most of its developing market peers. India is enjoying one of the world’s fastest growth rates, improved fiscal discipline, a stable rupee currency, moderate current account deficit and slowing inflationary pressures.
The worst performing non-leveraged exchange traded products so far this year include iPath Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: GAZ) down 33.7%, e iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSEArca: GRN) down 25.5% and Elkhorn S&P MidCap Energy Portfolio (BATS: XE) down 19.0%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.30% over the past month. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.6% and the S&P 500 added 0.3%.
The best performing non-leveraged ETPs of the past month include the United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) up 13.2%, ELEMENTS Linked to the MLCX Biofuels Index ETN (NYSEArca: FUE) up 12.2% and iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWW) up 12.0%.
Meanwhile, the worst performing non-leveraged ETPs of March include ELEMENTS Dogs of the Dow Linked to the Dow Jones High Yield Select 10 Total Return Index ETN (NYSEArca: DOD) down 10.4%, e iPath Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: SGG) down 13.8% and UBS ETRACS S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (NYSEArca: OILX) down 10.6%.
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