The markets seem to feel a spring renewal and the S&P 500 has gained 6% in the last month and 8.4% year-to-date. Still, some areas of the market are doing even better than that. These exchange traded funds have outperformed the S&P in the past month.
Turkey. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan believes that the economy may have expanded by more than 10% in the first quarter. Turkey’s young demographic could help sustain high levels of growth since a greater number of young people may be put into industries that are more productive. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Ahmet Akarli has estimated that Turkey’s economy could move ahead of Germany’s to become the third-largest in Europe by 2050. Additionally, the Turkish economy minister stated that the government might revise upward 2010 growth rate forecast to more than 3.5% in a medium-term outlook. [Turkey ETF: Turkey’s Economy Picking Up Pace.]
- iShares MSCI Turkey Index (NYSEARCA:TUR), up 15.4% in the last month
Homebuilders. Existing home sales spiked 6.8% in March. Analysts believe that the selling season this spring may very well be the best seen in years. Also in March, home construction rocketed up a cool 1.6% to the highest level in 16 years. The gains were led primarily by growth in single-family home construction. Buyers are scurrying to qualify for an Obama administration cash incentive by signing deals ahead of an April 30 deadline in an effort to bank the $8,000 tax credit. Record low mortgage rates are also luring buyers. Furthermore, homebuilder sentiment this month rose four points to 19, the highest reading since September. [Signs of a Real Estate ETF Turnaround, But Can It Stick?]
- SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEARCA:XHB), up 14.9% in the last month
Shipping. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) has spotted opportunities for growth in Asia – the company is considered an economic bellwether because it ships such a wide variety of items. Congress created a transportation re-authorization bill to both modernize freight transportation and clean it up by favoring certain innovations. A roadmap for modernizing the U.S. freight system, making it more reliable and faster, and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution, is in the works. [Shipping ETFs Sailing on an Open Course.]
- Claymore/Delta Global Shipping (NYSEARCA:SEA), up 10.8% in the last month
Financials. Despite the hubbub regarding the Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) snafu, strong first quarter earnings results of $4.1 billion in sales compared with $1.4 billion a year ago from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has lifted the banking sector. The financial sector has seen a tremendous rally off the lows, but it’s really no surprise when you consider that the most beaten-down sectors tend to perform the best in recoveries. [Financial ETFs to Watch as SEC’s Investigation Continues.]
- SPDR KBW Bank (NYSEARCA:KBE), up 11.8% in the last month
Media. Gannet Co. (NYSE:GCI), the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, says net income surged 51% in the first quarter year-over-year and ad revenue diminished at its smallest rate in more than a year at 8%, according to the Associated Press. Previously, analyst only a 41% increase for Gannet Co. but TV revenue helped push up earnings, writes Burt Helm for Businessweek. Lee Enterprises (NYSE:LEE) reported its third profitable quarter in a row, with ad revenue only dropping about 8% as compared to the 16% drop in the fourth quarter. Media General Inc. (NYSE:MEG) announced that first quarter losses narrowed with a drop of only 9% in the first quarter as compared to 14% in the previous quarter.
- PowerShares Dynamic Media (NYSEARCA:PBS), up 9.2% in the last month
Max Chen contributed to this article.