Ask most folks on the street to name the 10 most heavily traded stocks on U.S. exchanges and chances are the lists will all be comprised of 10 stocks. It makes sense that many investors would assume Apple (AAPL), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and General Electric (GE) dominated turnover at U.S. exchanges because these are widely held, highly recognizable names.
However, half of the 10 most heavily traded securities on U.S. equity exchanges are not stocks at all. As Barron's reported earlier today, ETFs now account for five spots on the 10 most heavily traded list.
The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), the world's largest ETF by assets, had a consolidated turnover worth nearly $346 billion last month, Barron's reported, citing data from NYSE Arca. That made SPY number on the most heavily traded list, well ahead of Apple, the world's largest company by market value.
The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), the world's second-largest ETF by AUM and the largest commodities fund, was in the sixth spot.
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