Techs and small caps led stocks higher Thursday, while Bitcoin continued its torrid rise.
X Small caps led with iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) and iShares Core S&P Small Cap (IJR) up 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) advanced 0.4%, while SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) added 0.3% apiece.
Biotech, homebuilders and retail led the upside among sector funds in the stock market today. But gold miners, consumer staples and utilities lagged.
West Texas intermediate crude prices reversed from a 3% loss to a 1% gain and was recently trading at $56.61 a barrel. Gold futures dipped, falling 1% to $1,253.10 an ounce.
But Bitcoin continued its torrid pace ahead of CBOE’s launch of the cryptocurrency futures on Sunday. Bitcoin soared right past $15,000 and $16,000. It spiked above $16,615 and was recently around just below $16,000, according to Coindesk. Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which aims to track the price of Bitcoin, soared 8% and is near record highs.
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First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (FDN) pulled back to its 50-day moving average Tuesday before finding support at the line. A solid move Wednesday puts the ETF in a potential buy zone. Shares rose 12% from a late September bounce off the 50-day to their Nov. 27 intraday high.
The $5.3 billion fund was last featured in this Oct. 24 ETF column while it was in buy range from the 50-day pullback, as well as from a breakout from a flat base. It tracks the Dow Jones Internet Composite Index, which is composed of companies that generate at least 50% of annual revenue from the internet. Component stocks must also meet other parameters, including a minimum three months trading history and three-month average market cap of at least $100 million.
Information technology accounted for the biggest sector weighting as of Dec. 5, at 69% of assets. Consumer discretionary followed with 19% exposure; financials, health care and telecom services made up the rest. Its top 10 holdings included Amazon, Facebook, PayPal (PYPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOGL).
Techs have pulled back recently, but most remain near their highs. For instance, Amazon is 4% off its high and extended from a 1083.10 buy point. Facebook, also 4% off its peak, regained its 50-day after slipping below the line Tuesday.
FDN returned 34.4% year to date through Dec. 6, according to Morningstar Direct, well ahead of the S&P 500’s 19.7% gain. Its average annual returns of 20.5%, 23.1% and 15.2% over the past three, five and 10 years also lead the benchmark index, which produced gains of 10.5%, 15.7% and 8.2% during those same periods.
The ETF bears a 0.54% expense ratio.
Wednesday’s pick, Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), is also in a buy zone after rebounding off its 50-day line.