PowerShares' largest ETF has tumbled in the December market sell-off. The $40.43 billionQQQ ( QQQ ), with $40.43 billion in assets, is 4% off its 14-year high set on Nov. 11.
But it handily beat the S&P 500 with its returns of 21.52% vs. 14.39% for 1 year, average annual 24.48% vs. 20.40% for three years, 19.32% vs. 14.81% for five years and 10.56 vs. 5.36% for 10 years.
Among QQQ's other attractions: a 0.20% expense ratio, or $20 in fees a year for every $10,000 invested to own the 100 largest domestic and international nonfinancial stocks in the Nasdaq 100 Index. It also has a penny bid-ask spread.
"QQQ has always been a favorite of financial advisers," PowerShares managing director Dan Draper told IBD in a recent interview.
Year to date, QQQ has climbed 15% on the strength ofApple ( AAPL ) andMicrosoft ( MSFT ). The two tech giants account for 22% of QQQ's holdings. By comparison, SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ), tracking the broad stock market, has risen 10% so far in 2014.
Apple and Microsoft are also the two top holdings, respectively, of SPY. But they account for 6% of its portfolio weighting.
PowerShares' next two largest ETFs also are off recent highs. The $5.7 billionSenior Loan ( BKLN ) is off 6%, while $4.5 billionS&P 500 Low Volatility ([ STOCK[SPLV]]) is down 3%. While Senior Loan is off nearly 2% year to date, Low Volatility is up 13%.
In the broad technology space, the standout this year has been semiconductor ETFs.PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors (PSI), with $30.8 million in assets, leads the pack, with a 32% gain in 2014.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.