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