Stocks staged a convincing turnaround this week as a proposed deal to bail out Greece gained traction alongside surprisingly upbeat earnings announcements. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) gained over 2 percent this week, while the technology-oriented PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (ETF) (NASDAQ:QQQ) jumped over 5 percent.
QQQ has been driven by solid momentum in Internet stocks such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). However, the standout performer on Friday was Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which reported better than expected earnings and hit a new 52-week high.
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Next week promises to bring another deluge of earnings announcements that will likely guide traders to push stocks to new highs or face another period of interminable consolidation.
The following ETFs represent a sample of the best- and worst-performing funds over the last five trading sessions.
BEST: Small-Cap Biotechnology Stocks
The ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (NYSE:SBIO) is no stranger to being in the top of Benzinga's weekly rankings, as biotechnology companies continue to press higher. This exchange-traded fund gained more than 9 percent since last Friday and continues to be one of the strongest industry-focused ETFs on a year-to-date basis.
SBIO tracks 73 small- and mid-cap companies engaged in early stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical research. This unique index screens for stocks with suitable cash flow, trading volume, market cap size and other factors.
SBIO is now up more than 58 percent so far this year and has accumulated $164 million in assets since its debut.
WORST: Volatility Futures
The CBOE Vix Volatility Index (VIX) experienced a remarkable decline from its recent highs, as investors put money back to work in stocks. This resulted in a 16 percent drop in the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN (NYSE:VXX) over the last week.
VXX fell to fresh all-time lows as anxiety dimmed in the face of soaring stock prices and diminished worries over global contagion from Greece and China. This index is now down more than 47 percent in 2015 and continues to beat a path lower on every leg higher in the market.
Nevertheless, the VIX has been a key contra-indicator of investor sentiment this year and will be closely watched in the future for opportunistic turning points.
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