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Top Performing ETFs For June 2021

Next-gen tech, clean energy and yes, the ARK ETFs, return to the top performer list.

June was another month where U.S. stocks posted positive returns, but results varied across different indexes. The Dow (DIA) was relatively unchanged for the month, but the S&P 500 (SPY) and Russell 2000 (IWM) both gained about 2%. The Nasdaq 100, however, was the best-performing of the major indexes returning more than 6%. Long-term Treasuries also gained more than 4%, adding a confusing element to the markets where both stocks and bonds are posting gains at the same time.

Tech was the top-performing sector in June returning more than 6%. Consumer discretionary and energy were next in line with gains of 3%. Materials, financials and utilities were the worst performers all generating losses of 3-5%.

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The big story was the rotation out of cyclicals and into growth. With the economy steadily growing and recovering from its COVID bear market depths (and let's not forget the Fed pledging its unending support), risk asset prices have mostly continued to rise, although the collapse in the commodities market is impacting the materials sector.

Here's the list of the top 30 performing ETFs for the month of June 2021.

Top Performing ETFs for June 2021

Top Performing ETFs for June 2021

Innovation and next-gen tech ETFs dominate the list after struggling during the month of May.

The Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY) is the top performer for both the month of June and the 1st half of 2021. Pandemic-related shipping and supply chain issues struggled mightily to get back online, but those risks are finally starting to balance out somewhat and economic growth worldwide figures to boost the import/export business. The low base effect pushed BDRY to a 281% gain in the 1st half of the year.

Investors who were willing to ride out the 30% pullback in many of the ARK ETFs were rewarded in June. Three ARK ETFs - the ARKK Innovation ETF (ARKK), the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) and the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) - all posted gains of at least 12% as the high tech growth trend came back into favor. Similarly themed funds, such as the Franklin Genomic Advancements ETF (HELX), the Simplify Volt Fintech Distruption ETF (VFIN), the Global X Genomics & Biotechnology ETF (GNOM) and the BlackRock Future Tech ETF (BTEK), also make this month's list.

Clean energy ETFs seem to make either the top performer or bottom performer list every month. In June, they were back on top. Familiar names, including the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN), the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW) and the First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index ETF (QCLN) all posted double digit gains.

Reopening plays are sitting in a bit of a precarious spot at the moment as the delta variant of the coronavirus could ignite another wave of infections, but for June, at least, stocks in this area performed well. The Invesco Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment ETF (PEJ), which focuses heavily on the travel and tourism space, delivered a 10% gain.

A couple of other interesting ETFs to note:

The SoFi Social 50 ETF (SFYF) might be the closest thing you'll find to a meme stock ETF or an investment to play the sentiment of the Reddit/Robinhood crowd. SFYF invests in the 50 most popular stocks on its trading platform, so you won't be surprised to see names, such as Tesla (TSLA), AMC Entertainment (AMC), GameStop (GME) and Palantir (PLTR), among the top holdings. It gained more than 20% in June, but it's concentrated and volatile, so be prepared for the risk of significant downside moves as well.

SPACs have also become all the rage on Wall Street. The De-SPAC ETF (DSPC), which offers pure play exposure to privately-held companies that have gone public via special purpose acquisition company, gained nearly 13% on the month. It counts Chargepoint (CHPT), Quantumscape (QS), Nikola (NKLA) and Skillz (SKLZ) among its top holdings.

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