10 Most Active Leveraged Equity ETFs | ETF Trends

Short-term traders know that when it comes to leveraged equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading, liquidity is key in order to enter and exit positions quickly. As such, they can look to the ETFs with the highest volumes in order to look for opportunities.

The current list is composed of funds to appease bulls looking for leverage and bears as data company FactSet has been warning investors about an earnings recession in the S&P 500. This recession risk could put defensive sectors in concentrated focus as opposed to the more cyclical sectors, which provides an opportunity for relative weight exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

FactSet estimated that an earnings drop of 1.9 percent would result in the second quarter of 2019. In turn, that would come after a 0.5 percent drop in the first quarter, which would mean that an official earnings session would be underway if their forecasts are correct.

It’s the primary driver for investors looking for a rate cut to help prop up the market, especially after a U.S.-China trade deal that was supposed to happen eventually fell through.

“The overall market number for EPS (earnings per share) masks a very uneven picture underneath that a number of sectors are either in an earnings recession or something close to it,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “That raises questions of the strength of the economy, whether we should be concerned about a recession if this doesn’t turn around in some way. That’s why the Fed is looking at potentially cutting rates and why people are looking for a rate cut.”

This is why McMillan looks at operating earnings as opposed to earnings per share. To McMillan, it depicts a more accurate picture on the health of the economy, and furthermore, operating earnings are actually higher quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year.

This holds true for specific sectors in particular—namely financials, healthcare and utilities. As far as trading leveraged ETFs go, broad market S&P 500 funds have been a weapon of choice for short-term traders.

Here are the 10 most active equity ETFs so far in 2019:

Symbol ETF Name Avg Volume
TQQQ ProShares UltraPro QQQ 16,702,551
SQQQ ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ 11,385,806
NUGT Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares 9,915,466
GUSH Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Bull 3x Shares 9,360,255
SPXS Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bear 3X Shares 6,832,369
DUST Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares 6,528,056
SDS ProShares UltraShort S&P 500 5,299,606
SPXU ProShares UltraPro Short S&P 500 5,055,330
UPRO ProShares UltraPro S&P 500 4,363,158
SPXL Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares 4,108,386


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