Top performing Almanac Investor ETF sectors in March were: Semiconductors (+3.8%), Telecom (+3.0%), Utilities (+2.8%), Foreign Market (+2.7%) and Financial (+2.4%). Year-to-date, the first quarter of 2014, top three sectors were: Semiconductors, Utilities and Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical. Were it not for the 7.4% decline in March, Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical would have been the top sector. SPDR Biotech (XBI) shed 12.8% in March and was the worst performing Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical ETF and the worst performing ETF overall (excluding Bear/Short and Leveraged Long funds). From the Semiconductors Sector, Market Vectors Semiconductor (SMH), up 4.5% in March, was best.
Although March finished mostly in the green, 10 of the 29 ETF sectors tracked were down. In addition to Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical, Broadband/Networking/Internet,
Software and Natural Resources/Gold suffered notable declines. After gold peaked in mid-March, its steady decline through month-end also pulled down mining ETFs. The worst was Market Vectors Jr Gold Miners (GLDX), off 12.4% in March. However, GLDX is still up 16.7% year-to-date. If gold holds support in the upper $1200 per ounce price range, new long positions in gold-related ETFs could be considered.
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