Exchange-traded funds tracking basic materials were among the best performers of May's first full week following Monday's bid for a potential blockbuster deal between two major industrial concerns.
As the week started, Pittsburgh-based aluminum giant
said it was launching an effort to buy Canada's
for $27 billion. Alcoa jumped 6.8%, and Alcan surged more than 31%.
Ultra Basic Materials ProShares
ETF added 3.7% to $87. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Basic Materials
ETF was higher by 1.7% at $68.93. The
Materials Select Sector SPDR
gained 1% to $39.78.
Semiconductor-related ETFs were also among the winners of the week, thanks to positive earnings news out of
Thursday. Excluding items, the company earned 42 cents a share, comfortably ahead of the Thomson Financial target. The chipmaker also offered a positive second-quarter forecast, and the stock rose 4.2% for the week.
Ultra Semiconductor ProShares
ETF climbed 2.5% at $82.89. The
added 1.3% to $37.98. The
SPDR S&P Semiconductor
ETF gained 1% to $53.39, and the
iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor
ETF ended higher by 0.8% at $66.16.
On the losing side, the
HealthShares Emerging Cancer
ETF was the week's largest decliner. Holding
plummeted 68.5%, most of that after the Food and Drug Administration said it required more test data for the company's drug Provenge.
The HealthShares Emerging Cancer ETF finished the week lower by 16.2% to $22.54.
Gold-related ETFs also declined for the five sessions. Futures ended down 2.5% at $672.30 an ounce. The
streetTRACKS Gold Shares
ETF eased 2.5% to end the week at $66.48. The
iShares Comex Gold Trust
closed down 2.5% to $66.52, and the
Market Vectors Gold Miners
ETF slipped 1.9% to $39.92.
Elsewhere, ETFs tracking silver were among the worst performers. Silver futures fell 1.7% over the five days to close at $13.30 an ounce. The
iShares Silver Trust
slid 1.8% to $131.47. The
PowerShares DB Silver
ETF shed 1.7% to $26.04.