NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The current bull market is marking its sixth birthday, and a few slices of the stock market have more reason to celebrate than others.
Who really deserves to whoop it up? Biotech and pharma ETFs, value ETFs that aim to find bargains, and ETFs targeting consumer-discretionary or retail stocks.
The 10 ETFs that have performed best since the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.39% closing low on March 9, 2009, are all from those areas, according to data from ETF.com and XTF.com.
Biotech and pharma stocks benefited from factors such as M&A activity, promising new treatments and growing demand. MarketWatch columnist Jeff Reeves argues biotech is one of the best sectors to own to make the most of the stock market in 2015, though Michael Brush outlines six reasons why biotech stocks may soon tank.
The table below details exactly how these slices of the market have rewarded investors. By way of comparison, the biggest ETF tracking the market’s main benchmark — the SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY, +0.41% — has returned 245% over the same period.
10 best-performing ETFs in the past 6 years
First Trust NYSE Arca Biotech ETF
Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Value ETF
Guggenheim S&P 600 SmallCap Pure Value ETF
PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceutical ETF
Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight Consumer Disc. ETF
iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF
SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF
SPDR S&P Retail ETF
Guggenheim S&P 400 Midcap Pure Value ETF
First Trust Consumer Disc. AlphaDEX ETF
Source: XTF.com data from 3/9/09 close through 3/6/15 close for all nonleveraged U.S. ETFs active over that period
The worst-performing ETFs over the past six years are a varied bunch of fixed-income ETFs that have struggled during a historic bull market for stocks.
The table below details the 10 worst-performing U.S. ETFs over the past six years.
10 worst-performing ETFs in the past 6 years
SPDR Barclays 1-3 Month T-bill ETF
iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF
PowerShares VRDO Tax-Free Weekly ETF
iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF
iShares Short-Term National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF
SPDR Nuveen Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF
SPDR Barclays Intermediate Term Treasury ETF
iShares Agency Bond ETF
Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF
Market Vectors Short Municipal ETF
Source: ETF.com data from 3/9/09 close through 3/6/15 close for all nonleveraged U.S. ETFs active over that period
Continue at source: