October Treat: Junk Bonds & Gold ETFs Pop

October 16, 2015

The stock market rebound continued this week as the S&P 500 touched its highest level in nearly two months. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-99) is now up 5.8 percent in October, a strong performance in a month that has historically been the second-worst of the year (after September).

Gold & Silver Miners Dominate Jump

On Monday, we highlighted the best-performing exchange-traded funds of October. Those funds, comprising mostly copper and energy producers, are still doing well in the month.

However, a new group of ETFs have bullied their way into the top 10: gold and silver miners. In fact, precious-metals-related funds now make up six of the top 10 positions for October, as can be seen from the table below.

Top 10 ETF Of October

Ticker Fund Return (%)
SILJ PureFunds ISE Junior Silver (Small Cap Miners/Explorers) 27.86
COPX Global X Copper Miners 25.61
PLTM First Trust ISE Global Platinum 25.30
CU First Trust ISE Global Copper 25.23
SLVP iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners 25.07
SGDM Sprott Gold Miners 24.04
KWT Market Vectors Solar Energy 23.29
RING iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners 23.28
GDX Market Vectors Gold Miners 22.60
SIL Global X Silver Miners 22.41

Considering the big jump in gold prices this month, the performance of these ETFs hasn't been surprising. The yellow metal hit the highest point since mid-June this week, leading the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD | A-100) to a gain of 5.7 percent in October.

Miners tend to be much more volatile than the underlying metal, which explains their significant outperformance. Yet even as these ETFs rally, investors haven't been too keen on buying into them.

None of the top 10 price performers saw significant inflows, and in fact, investors pulled out $429 million from the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX | C-79) during the first half of the month.

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