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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- The best bets in exchange traded funds invest in commodities and international stocks, according to TheStreet.com Ratings.
Of the 10 top-rated funds, six invest in stocks outside the U.S. and three target precious metals or coal. All the funds have "buy" recommendations, but three have earned our top grade of A-plus.
PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio(PTRP), the best-rated fund, has gained 17% in the past year. The fund advanced as shares of
Maxwell Technologies(MXWL) and
Westport Innovations(WPRT) doubled.
The second-best rated ETF,
First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX Fund(FXH), which has climbed 12% in the past year, is positioned to benefit as
health care reforms bring the company new customers. More than half of the fund focuses on health care products and services, while 36% is invested in drugmakers and biotechnology. Hot holdings include
Community Health Systems(CYH) and
Intuitive Surgical(ISRG), which have risen by more than 40%.
Despite all the hype surrounding alternative energy, coal remains a popular energy source. The
PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio(PKOL) has increased 22%. Industry leaders
Massey Energy(MEE) and
Patriot Coal(PCX) have doubled in value this year. An economic rebound would boost demand for energy, making this an attractive ETF.
Best Rated Exchange-Traded Funds
Fund (Ticker) Initial Rating
Total Return 1 Year
PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation (PTRP) A+
First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX Fund (FXH) A+
PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio (PKOL) A+
iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund (AAXJ) A
iShares MSCI Israel Capped Index Fund (EIS) A
PowerShares Global Steel Portfolio (PSTL) A-
Rydex S&P Equal Weight Materials ETF (RTM) A-
PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) A-
SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (GAF) A-
PowerShares Global Agriculture Portfolio (PAGG) A-