July was a lethargic month for U.S. stocks with the S&P 500 adding just 0.2 percent for the month, but the Nasdaq Composite impressed with a gain of 2.8 percent.
Still, six of the top 10 asset-gathering exchange traded funds for the month of July were U.S.-focused equity funds. Investors were somewhat less enthusiastic about international ETFs as just two ranked among the top asset gatherers while four such funds were among the month's worst in terms of lost assets. Speaking of lost assets, gold ETFs fell out of favor in a significant fashion last month with the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD) bleeding $1.11 billion in assets. Just two other ETFs lost more assets last month.
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Looking to the first week of August, ETFs that bear monitoring include the PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ:QQQ), the Nasdaq-100 tracking ETF. As was noted at the outset, the Nasdaq jumped nearly 3 percent last month, but the bulk of those gains are coming from a small number of stocks.
Year-to-date and in alphabetical order, Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Gilead Sciences, Inc.(NASDAQ:GILD), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Netflix, Inc.(NASDAQ:NFLX) account for overhalf of the Nasdaq's gain.
Those stocks combine for about 34 percent of QQQ's weight. The ETF added $1.38 billion in new assets last month, accordingto PowerShares data.
Not to beat a dead horse here, but the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLP), the largest and most heavily traded consumer staples ETF, is an ETF to keep an eye on the week ahead. As noted several times last week, XLP had a banner July, surging about 4 percent.
CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) and Kellogg (NYSE:K) are among the XLP holdings due to report this week.
Speaking of consumer ETFs, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLY) and rival consumer discretionary ETFs will be in play this week as Dow component Walt Disney Co(NYSE:DIS) steps into the earnings confessional on Tuesday. Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) follows on Wednesday both stocks are top 10 holdings in XLY.
Stop us if you've heard this before, but the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE:GREK) will command attention this week. Greek equity markets are expected to reopen after being closedfor five weeks and media reports out over the weekend say Greece is looking for 24 billion euros as the first step in its latest bailout package.
For investors insisting on dancing with emerging markets ETFs, India might be the place to look. Somewhat quietly, two India ETFs were found among the top 15 non-leveraged ETFs in July. The Market Vectors India Small-Cap ETF (NYSE:SCIF) jumped almost 10 percent while the EGShares India Consumer ETF (NYSE:INCO) climbed 5.2 percent.