Last week was a holiday-shortened trading week for U.S. markets, but that didn't make it any less of an eventful week. Between the unofficial kick off of earnings season, the U.S. dropping the "mother of all bombs" on Syria, and the United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) PR fiascos, traders had no shortage of news to trade.
Here were the hottest leveraged sector ETFs that traders took advantage of last week.
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Bank earnings were a driver of leveraged ETFs last week, a theme that should linger into this week as more banks report. Last Thursday, Dow component J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) delivered a first-quarter EPS of $1.65 (vs. a $1.52 estimate) along with revenue of $25.59 billion (vs. a $24.9 billion estimate.) This marks its sixth consecutive quarter for EPS and revenue beats.
Traders looking to profit from moves in bank stocks this week and have some familiar names to turn tothis earnings seasonnamely the Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:FAS) and the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (NYSE:FAZ) ETFs. Last week, FAS slid more than 5 percent while FAZ, the triple-leveraged bearish bank ETF, jumped 4.5 percent.
Amid fears of increased geopolitical volatility, gold prices rose last week, taking miners and the related ETFs along for the ride. Already the best-performing member of Direxion's stable of triple-leveraged bullish ETFs this month, the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:NUGT) jumped 10 percent last week.
NUGT's small-cap counterpart, the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:JNUG), slid 6.6 percent last week.
Previewing some leveraged sector ETF ideas for the week ahead, a spate of financials step into the earnings confessional, meaning FAS and FAZ belong on traders' radars. Some titans of technology, the largest sector weight in the S&P 500, also report.
These earnings should provide opportunity with the Direxion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:TECL) and the Direxion Daily Technology Bear 3X Shares (NYSE:TECS). TECL attempts to deliver triple the daily returns of the Technology Select Sector Index while TECS seeks daily returns that are triple the inverse performance of that benchmark.
On a related note, volume has recently increased in the Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:SOXL) and the Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (NYSE:SOXS), according to issuer data.
As Benzinga reported last week, the semiconductor dollar content per smartphone stands at around $50 per unit versus more than $350 per car. In other words, the semiconductor market for cars is a lot bigger than even the highest-end smartphones and the new age of smart cars is just getting started.
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