U.S. equities and stock ETFs enjoyed a strong September month as they close out a tumultuous third quarter near record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.1% over the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite added 5.0% and the S&P 500 was 3.7% higher.
The top performing non-leveraged exchange traded products of the third quarter included the VanEck Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSEArca: REMX) up 43.4%, iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSEArca: GRN) up 38.4% and Global X Brazil Consumer ETF (NYSEARCA: BRAQ) up 33.8%.
The worst performing non-leveraged ETPs of the third quarter include the REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (BATS: VMAX) down 32.6%, VellocityShares 1x Long VSTOXX Futures ETN (NYSEArca: EVIX) down 28.8% and ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: VIXY) down 22.0%.
July was a record-making month for U.S. equities and stock ETFs. As the Brexit shock faded and improved economic data helped fuel sentiment, investors turned risk-on, fueling the push in U.S. equities through the rest of the month. Additionally, a string of better-than-expected second earnings results helped keep the momentum going.
However, the equities market were jolted as traders turned risk-off in response to the U.S. and North Korea saber rattling, with President Donald Trump threatening Pyongyang with “fire and fury” if the recluse state takes action. The sudden bout of geopolitical risk was seen as a necessary trigger to lock in the recent gains after markets hit record highs.