Metal Funds Rank Among Top 10 ETFs

Exchange-traded securities that invested in platinum, copper and other precious metals were among the top performers in February.

Each month, TheStreet.com Ratings looks at exchange-traded funds that generated the biggest returns. Last month, the SPDR S&P 500 fund ( SPY) fell 11%, while the Nasdaq 100-tracking PowerShares QQQ Trust ( QQQQ) declined 5.3%. Clearly, few stock strategies worked.

Funds that bet against the market climbed as much as 62% with the Direxion Small Cap Bear 3X Shares ( TZA) fund leading the group. Excluding so-called inverse funds, the 10 best-performing ETFs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 27 are listed below.

The B2B Internet HOLDRs Trust ( BHH) led the bullish funds, returning 17% for the month. This fund has two holdings left: Ariba ( ARBA) and Internet Capital Group ( ICGE), accounting for 91% and 9% of assets, respectively. Shares of Ariba, which sells risk-management software to businesses, climbed 15% last month after reporting its third-straight quarterly earnings gain.

Six of the 10 securities listed are "exchange-traded notes," or ETNs. They're similar to ETFs, except they track their underlying indexes without owning the member stocks or commodities.

The best-performing ETN, ELEMENTS Linked to the MLCX Precious Metals Index ( PMY) rose 8.7% on gains in precious metals prices. These notes were issued by Credit Suisse ( CS), which assumes the risk of the portfolio's value dropping below the index level.

The E-TRACS UBS Long Platinum ETN ( PTM) and the iPath Dow Jones-AIG Platinum Total Return Sub-Index ETN ( PGM), which follow platinum indexes, returned more than 8%. Platinum rose 8.7% in February to $1,073.50 an ounce.

10 Best-Performing Exchange-Traded Funds in February
Fund (Ticker) Rating
Total Return 1 Month
Total Return 1 Year
Objective
B2B Internet HOLDRs Trust (BHH) D-
16.67%
-24.32%
Internet & Telecom
ELEMENTS Linked to the MLCX Precious Metals Index (PMY) U
8.70%
N.A.
Commodity
E-TRACS UBS Long Platinum ETN (PTM) U
8.64%
N.A.
Commodity
iPath Dow Jones-AIG Platinum Total Return Sub-Index ETN (PGM) U
8.37%
N.A.
Commodity
Market Vectors - Russia ETF (RSX) E-
6.83%
-76.33%
Russia
iPath Dow Jones AIG Copper Total Return Sub Index ETN (JJC) E-
6.51%
-60.39%
Commodity
iPath Dow Jones-AIG Sugar Total Return Sub-Index ETN (SGG) U
6.50%
N.A.
Commodity
iPATH S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (VXZ) U
5.24%
N.A.
Equity Volatility
Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs Trust (IIH) C-
4.32%
-49.76%
Internet & Telecom
PowerShares Global Agriculture Portfolio (PAGG) U
4.05%
N.A.
Agriculture
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings and Bloomberg

For an explanation of our ratings, please read this methodology statement.

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.

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