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Top & Flop ETF Performers of May

The month of May always draws investors' attention thanks mainly to the popular trading maxim, "Sell in May and Go Away." This hints at the seasonal un-favorability in the investing world as indicated by historical underperformance. The average return of the S&P 500 was 0.13% in May from 1950 to 2015. There were 38 years of a green May while returns were in the red only in 28 years, as per moneychimp.com .

Though the return of the broader U.S. market index S&P (up just 0.8% in May) appeared to corroborate this investing proverb, it did not keep investors from enjoying substantial returns from other asset classes or global markets in the month. Below we highlight a few areas and the related ETFs that emerged winners in this apparently cursed month.

Gainers

Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE)

Nigerian stocks surged the most in May as traders wagered on the fact that the central bank would dump its currency peg. This in fact took currency naira forward contracts to record highs in late May. NGE added about 19.8% in the month.

ELEMENTS Dogs of Dow DJ HY Sel 10 TR ETN (DOD)

The underlying index looks to follow the Dogs of the Dow investment strategy by investing in the 10 stocks in Dow Jones Industrial Average with the highest dividend yield. The note added 15.4% in May as the call for higher yield was prevalent among investors (read: Dogs Beating Dow in Wild Ride: 6 ETFs in Play ).

iPath Pure Beta Softs ETN (GRWN)

This agriculture ETF focuses mainly sugar, coffee and cotton. Among the trio, sugar prices staged strong pricing gains in the month. Buying pressure from stockists and bulk customers like ice-cream and soft-drink makers amid supply crunch led to the jump in sugar prices. Cotton prices also displayed an uptrend benefitting this agricultural ETF. GRWN added about 13.3% in the month (read: Sugar ETFs Hit 52-Week Highs: Time for Sweet Returns? ).

Losers

iShares MSCI Turkey (TUR)

In tandem with several emerging markets, Turkey ETF lost about 13.5% in the month on cues of a Fed rate hike in a month or two. Notably, many Fed officials sounded hawkish in May as the U.S. economy showed definite signs of improvement. Fears of reducing cheap dollar inflows weighed on this emerging market ETF. Also, political issues bothered the country's stock market hugely.

ETFS Physical Palladium (PALL)

Unlike many other precious metals, Palladium prices nosedived in May. As per bulliondesk.com , palladium investing normally acts in tandem with the U.S. equity market. Thus, unlike gold, which normally acts a safe haven, palladium tends to exhibit a declining pricing trend in equity sell-offs. Plus, a stronger dollar in the wake of a hawkish Fed marred the appeal of Palladium investing lately. PALL lost about 12.2% in the month.

iShares MSCI Brazil Capped (EWZ)

Brazilian stocks crashed in May as investors looked for evidences that the stand-in president Michel Temer would be able to effectively implement measures to revive the economy. Notably, Brazilian stocks staged a rally in the initial part of 2016 on Dilma Rousseff's impeachment proceedings. The prospect of a change in governance set the Brazil ETFs on fire, though the country's economy was wobbly (read: Why Brazil ETFs are Gaining despite Economic and Political Risks? ).

The double whammy of overvaluation concerns and Fed rate hike talks thrashed the Brazil ETF EWZ. The fund shed about 11.8% in the month.

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GLBL-X MS NIGRA (NGE): ETF Research Reports

ELEMT-DOGS DOW (DOD): ETF Research Reports

IPATH-PB SOFTS (GRWN): ETF Research Reports

ISHRS-MSCI TURK (TUR): ETF Research Reports

ETFS-PALLADIUM (PALL): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-BRAZIL (EWZ): ETF Research Reports

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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