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Dave Portnoy-Backed BUZZ ETF Trades Lower on Debut, Jim Cramer 'Fascinated' By Stock Selection

Jim Cramer says he's 'fascinated' by the AI-driven stock selection in the VanEck Social Sentiment ETF, which begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

The VanEck Social Sentiment ETF, launched with the support of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday and could power notable moves in several tech and industrial stocks over the coming weeks, Jim Cramer argues.

The Buzz ETF, as it's often referred to, is built around 75 stocks - each with a minimum market cap of $5 billion - that were chosen by an algorithm on the basis of their positive social media sentiment. It will begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol BUZZ and is managed by VanEck Associates Corp.

The 75 stocks will be rebalanced each month, with replacements added and underperforming shares removed, based on the what its founders call the the highest degree of "positive investor sentiment", gleaned from the study of some 15 million posts across various social media networks. 

TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, said Thursday that the ETF and its stock selection technique is "fascinating" and will likely move many of the 75 names inside it if traders take up Portnoy's call to invest in it.

"Social media and mobile technology have fundamentally changed the way we engage with stocks," the ETF's website said. "There’s a ton of online chatter every day. Changing sentiment and our collective views clearly impact their value."

The ETF itself was marked 1.11% lower at $24.13 in early trading Thursday, compared to a 0.17% decline for the Nasdaq Composite Index. 

Twitter  (TWTR)  shares, the largest allocation in the ETF at 3.52%, were marked 1.5% lower in at $69.70 each but have risen more than 77% over the past six months.

The second-largest holding, online sports betting group DraftKings  (DKNG) , was marked 1.3% lower at $64.90, a move that trims its six month gain to around 80%.

Ford Motor Co.  (F) , the third-largest allocation, edged 0.2% higher to $12.20 each and is up 77.5% over the past six month. 

Other holdings in the EFT include Facebook  (FB)  (at 3% of total holdings), Amazon  (AMZN)  (2.94%), Apple  (AAPL)  (2.9%) and Tesla  (TSLA)  (2.75%).