Small-Cap ETFs Take the Lead on Concerns Over Trade Wars | ETF Trends

As President Donald Trump looks at protectionist policies, small-capitalization stocks and asset category-related exchange traded funds are beginning to pull ahead of the pack.

Small-cap growth names have particularly stood out over the past week, with the iShares Morningstar Small-Cap Growth ETF (NYSEArca: JKK) up 5.6% and the PowerShares Russell 2000 Pure Growth Portfolio (NYSEArca: PXSG) up 5.4%. The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEArca: IWM), which tracks the benchmark Russell 2000 Index, rose 4.3% in the past week, compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 2.3% return.

Meanwhile, leveraged plays were also rallying on the recent strength. Over the past week, the ProShares Ultra Russell2000 (NYSEArca: UWM), a double leveraged bet on the Russell 2000,jumped 8.7% and the Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: TNA), the triple leveraged play on the Russell 2000, surged 13.2%.

Trump recently announced plans to impose global metal tariffs. Market observers are also predicting that this may be a prelude to Trump’s other agendas, such as going after Chinese intellectual property theft and NAFTA and the broader retaliatory trade impacts.

Nevertheless, smaller U.S. companies that have a higher exposure to the U.S. and less exposure abroad in terms of revenue and profit would be more insulated from international trade disputes, which has caused more investors to shift toward the small-cap segment.