By Matthew McCall
On the back of the news out of Washington last night the S&P 500 has continued its rally and has traded above the all-time closing high of 1725, which it recorded last month. The confirmation of the breakout would be a close above the previous high when the bell rings at 4pm ET.
As the S&P 500 prepares to hit yet a new record level, there is a growing number of ETFs that have already reached new heights. In a strong bull market, it is important to ride the momentum of the ETFs that are showing relative strength. The ETFs leading the market higher will likely continue that trend and should be where investors look to invest their money.
Here is a short list of ETFs already trading at new highs.
iShares Russell Microcap Index ETF (NYSEARCA:IWC)
The basket of over 1350 stocks continues to outperform its larger peers with a gain of 34 percent this year. It should not be a surprise that the smaller capitalization stocks are doing well in a bull market as investors are willing to take on above-average risk.
Not only is the ETF hitting new highs prior to the S&P 500, it has also held up much better during all pullbacks in 2013. This is yet another signal of relative strength.
First Trust ISE Natural Gas Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FCG)
The ETF has been on a tear recently and is up 29 percent since the beginning of the year. A major reason for the outperformance has been the expansion of the U.S. as a major player in oil and natural gas via fracking. The ETF hit a new 52-week high in September and continued higher right through the debt ceiling debate.
The future of energy begins with the natural gas companies that are able extract both natural gas and oil from the shale in the U.S. Other than a short-term, overbought pullback, FCG looks like it will continue to outperform.
SPDR Euro STOXX 50 ETF (NYSEARCA:FEZ)
The three countries that make up the majority of the ETF are France, Germany, and Spain. All three are hitting new highs and therefore there is no surprise FEZ is joining them on the list. The ETF was able to breakout to the best level in over two years last week and the rally has continued.
The ETF is now up 16 percent on the year and has plenty of room to run to get back to the pre-crisis level. A short-term pullback may be around the corner for the European stocks after a big rally the last two months. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing because it can be viewed as a buying opportunity.
As an investor and human being it is naturally more comfortable to buy when an ETF is up and hitting highs. When it comes to making money, the best strategy is to buy on weakness. Look for pullbacks in ETFs hitting highs and do not fear buying when there is red on the screen.
Disclaimer: Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.