When all of the monthly total return data for May is aggregated by fund objective, stock funds generally outperformed fixed income -- and energy and utilities sectors rose above the rest, averaging 5.39% and 3.35% respectively.
The best energy and natural resource ETF in May is the
Market Vectors Coal ETF
, returning 22.04% for the month. There were unbelievable one-month returns of 90.77% in
Western Canadian Coal
, 71.35% in
James River Coal
, and 67.89% in
Alpha Natural Resources
The second-best ETF fund objective for May is the utility sector. With 200% leverage to the Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Index, the
Ultra Utilities ProShares
garnered 6.06%. Making up for the underperformers, electric utility
generated 28.58%, energy pipeline company
National Fuel Gas
delivered 17.84%, and gas distributor
Domestic growth ETFs, led by
ProShares Ultra QQQ
at 11.94%, averaged 3.12% as a group. The fund targets twice the return of the Nasdaq-100 index, which had a top-performing member in May in
Marvell Technology Group
An interesting global equity ETF making a comeback in May is the
Market Vectors Nuclear ETF
. Mining company holdings specializing in non-ferrous metals like
Aurora Energy Resources
, up 57.57%;
, up 51.93%; and
, up 50.22% celebrated a good month.
The non-U.S. equity group turned red into green, with the
Market Vectors Russia ETF
adding 17.59% to an already parade-worthy year. The four largest holdings that combine to 50.2% of assets -- Lukoil, Gazprom OAO, Sberbank, and MMC Norilsk Nickel -- are making the most of Russia's increasingly centralized economy.
For an explanation of our ratings,
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.