that are up on a year-to-date basis is not difficult. That is
certainly one positive of result of U.S. stocks continuing to
grind higher to hover near record highs. What is harder for
investors is finding unheralded ETFs that offer decent upside
potential going forward.
With that in mind, a screen was run for ETFs that are in
positive territory over the past month that are showing signs of
potentially breaking to new highs. The additional criteria for
the ETFs featured is that, while none are particularly small or
illiquid, they are also not as widely followed or as heavily
traded as some of their direct competitors.
For example, a sector fund such as the Energy Select SPDR
), an impressive year-to-date performer to be sure, was excluded
from this list in favor of an ETF such as FCG.
First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (NYSE:
) Including Thursday's gain of about 3.7 percent, the First Trust
ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund has surged six percent in the
past month. What is important about FCG's Thursday gain is that
it arrived on strong volume (more than 25 percent above the daily
average) and solidified the ETF's recent break of resistance at
Those that follow seasonal trends probably are not surprised.
February marks the start of the strongest four-month period of
the year for energy equities and
FCG was predicted to be a beneficiary of that
In terms of upside potential going forward, FCG has it. Even
with Thursday's strong move to the upside, the ETF is still about
10 percent below its 52-week high. Something else to consider:
While many of FCG's constituents are actively attempting to boost
oil production, the market still perceives the ETF to be a
natural gas play. In the near-term, that might not be a bad thing
as the U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSE:
) looks to be breaking out
for a run to $23
Global X FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF (NYSE:
) On a year-to-date basis and in the past month, the Global X
FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF is only modestly higher, indicating the fund
has been somewhat hampered by its heavy allocations to Singapore
and Malaysia. Those two countries combine for about two-thirds of
the fund's weight. On the other hand, it can be said that ASEA
has held up well given
political tensions in Malaysia
2013's top-performing emerging markets, Indonesia
, are supporting ASEA. Given the recent strength in the equity
markets of those two nations, if ASEA could get the benefit of
some help from either Singapore or Malaysia, not necessarily both
thought that would be perfect, the ETF could break resistance
around $17.60 and start a new leg higher.
WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend ETF (NYSE:
) With all the attention being paid to the WisdomTree Japan
Hedged Equity Fund (NYSE:
), some investors might think that fund is the only Japan
offering from WisdomTree (NASDAQ:
). That is not the case as indicated by the WisdomTree Japan
SmallCap Dividend, which like DXJ, is up more than seven percent
in the past month.
DFJ does not feature the USD/JPY hedge that has made DXJ so
popular, but the small-cap fund is exposed to a falling yen
through a combined 45.6 percent allocation to Japanese industrial
and consumer discretionary names, two export-heavy sectors.
Do not be deceived by the fact that DFJ is mere pennies below
its 52-week high. A move above $47 combined with ongoing weakness
in the yen could put DFJ in position to attack its 2007 high just
For more on ETFs, click
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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