Gas ETFs Rise Amid Record July 4 Travel

Gas ETFs Rise Amid Record July 4 Travel

Around 71 million people are expected to travel this week, according to AAA.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: James Rubin

Around 71 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home over the Fourth of July holiday, according to AAA.

The forecast, which encompasses “the entire July 4th week, plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday,” predicts that there will be a 5% increase in travel versus last year.

If the numbers are accurate, it would even represent a gain of 8% versus 2019, the year before Covid hit and decimated the travel industry.

Of those 71 million, AAA projects that a record 60.6 million will travel by car, up 2.8 million from last year and 5.3 million from 2019.

Air travel is also expected to hit a record, with 5.74 million people flying on planes, while other modes of transportation—including buses, cruises and trains—will rise to 4.6 million, but fall short of 2019’s 4.79 million record, according to AAA.

Gasoline futures have been rising recently, perhaps in anticipation of the surge in demand this week. The $105 million United States Gasoline Fund (UGA) rose by 11% over the past month and is up nearly 15% since the start of the year.

However, those gains lag the one-month and year-to-date returns of 13% and 23%, respectively, for the $1.3 billion United States Oil Fund (USO).

JETS Descending

Meanwhile, despite record air travel, the US Global Jets ETF (JETS), with $1.2 billion in assets under management, hasn’t done much. It’s down 2.3% over the past month and up 5% since the start of the year—well below the S&P 500’s 16% gain.

Likewise, the Defiance Hotel Airline and Cruise ETF (CRUZ), which has $29 million in AUM, is flat over the past month and up 3% on a year-to-date basis. 

AAA noted that “with new ships coming onto the market – and going for a premium – some cruise lines have been offering targeted discounts to fill older inventory for remaining cabins.”

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays,’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.