Market Rout’s Winning & Losing ETFs

August 24, 2015

Loser: Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF (ASHS | F-68)

As ground zero for the market's current woes, it's unsurprising that China-related ETFs have taken a beating. The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF (ASHS), which tracks the volatile small-cap segment of the country's mainland market, has been walloped to the tune of 30 percent since Aug. 18, but is still up 6.7 percent year-to-date.

If China's stock market continues to crash, naturally, ASHS will follow suit, as it tracks the market lower.

Winner: iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX | B-62)

The biggest gainers by far since the market correction began are VIX ETNs such as the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX). The exchange-traded note, which tracks the CBOE Volatility Index, is up a whopping 54 percent since this correction began, but is still down 22 percent on a year-to-date basis.

The VIX, or Volatility Index, is widely considered one of the best gauges of fear in the market.

Loser: iShares Russell 2000 (IWM | A-89)

Within the beaten-down U.S. market, small-cap stocks have been some of the worst hit during this market correction. The biggest, most liquid small-cap ETF, the iShares Russell 200 (IWM), is down 13 percent from its all-time highs. That compares with 10 percent for the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-99) and 12.2 percent for the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Trust (DIA | A-83).

On a year-to-date basis, IWM is down 6 percent; SPY is down 5.9 percent; and DIA is down 8.8 percent.

Winner: SPDR Gold Trust (GLD | A-100)

Gold made headlines earlier this year when it hit five-year lows. But the yellow metal has made a comeback, rising almost $100 from those lows, near $1,072. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which tracks prices of physical gold, has followed suit to the upside. GLD is up 3.8 percent since Aug. 18, and down 2.1 percent year-to-date.

Loser: Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO | B-89)

While China has dominated the headlines, it's not the only emerging market feeling the pain recently. From Brazil to Russia to South Africa to Turkey, much of the developing world has been gripped by economic troubles. stemming from weak growth, plunging commodity prices, political crises and in some cases, high inflation and interest rates.

Most economists believe that these countries are in better fiscal shape than they were in the ’90s during the last emerging market crisis, but that hasn't stopped investors from fleeing the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO). The ETF is down 11.8 percent since last Tuesday, and 18.8 percent since the start of the year.

Contact Sumit Roy at [email protected].

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