For more coverage from TheStreet.com Ratings team, check out TheStreet.com Ratings section.The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index spiked to a new high on Thursday of 81.17. The rise in the VIX -- which serves as a benchmark measure of the implied volatility of S&P 500 options -- signals not just extreme bearishness but also massive uncertainty in the market. In this environment, TheStreet.com Ratings' top 10 rated exchange-traded funds steer investors toward the relative safety of the bond market and favor inverse stock funds. All these funds are rated A+, and each of the returns cited below reflect the one-year period ending Sept. 30.
7. The Short S&P SmallCap 600 ProShares ( SBB) is inversely related to the S&P Small Cap 600 Index. Topping all other ETFs on the list, this fund pulled in 13.21% as it bet against companies like Waste Connections ( WCN), Piedmont Natural Gas ( PNY) and Flowers Foods ( FLO). 8. While it is not possible for an ETF to own every single U.S. bond in existence, the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF ( BND) ended the period up 4.57% tracking the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index. It's modeled to approximate the performance of a wide variety of U.S. fixed-income securities. 9. The second inverse, or short, stock ETF to make the list is the Short Russell2000 ProShares ( RWM). It appreciated 12.43% as the 1,960 members of the Russell 2000 Index fell. The aggregate price-to-earnings ratio of this index is currently negative as the accumulated losses from these companies outweigh the earnings. Some of the higher-priced stocks in the index are Seaboard Corp ( SEB), Alexander's ( ALX), United Therapeutics ( UTHR) and Deckers Outdoor ( DECK). 10. Lastly, Vanguard Short Term Bond ETF ( BSV) inched up 5.41% on investments tracking the Lehman Brothers 1-5 Year Government/Credit Index of government, U.S. corporate and investment grade international debt with maturities of five years of less.
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