ETFs Show Funds Bearish To End Q1 (SPY, SDS, SSO, DXD, DIA, KO, ORCL, MCD, BRK.A, PM, BRK.B)
While it’s always interesting to take a closer look at the top holdings of closely watched Pros like Warren Buffett, John Paulson, Bruce Berkowitz, and the many others, often aggregated holdings data from professional investors can be quite telling as well. Thanks to the proliferation of exchange-traded funds, and their popularity among some of the Street’s professional asset managers, investors are now privy to a broad measure of market sentiment among Pros, and in Q1 the trend said “get out.”
Based on the top U.S.-listed equity holdings of nearly 3,000 13F-filing asset managers, tickerspy data indicates that more Pros were cutting stakes in the popular SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) from their top-15 holdings than doing the opposite during Q1. Meanwhile, Pro holder adds for the Ultrashort S&P500 ProShares (SDS) reverse ETF, which tracks double the inverse of the benchmark, outnumbered removes nearly three to one for the period as traders began to hedge their bets.
One look at a year-to-date S&P chart shows that the S&P quickly gave back its February and March gains over the last two months, and while there’s no telling when in the first quarter the Pros’ buys and sells were made, its safe to say those who sold out are likely glad they did.
As of the latest regulatory filings, the UltraShort S&P 500 ProShares ETF was the most popular component of the Leveraged ETFs Index among Pros based on the above criteria. More than four times as many Pros held the double-short ETF in their top-15, U.S.-listed equity holdings than the Ultra S&P500 ProShares (SSO), which tracks double the daily performance of the benchmark, and thus gains when the broad equity market appreciates. Interestingly, and perhaps counterintuitively, no Pros held the UltraShort Dow30 ProShares (DXD) among their top bets from the end of Q1, while 16 institutional money managers added to stakes in the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA).
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF is currently ranked 23rd in Pro popularity on tickerspy, just behind Coca-Cola (KO) and Oracle (ORCL), but ahead of McDonald’s (MCD), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), and Philip Morris (PM). Investors can see more of the Pros favorite stocks from the end of Q1 and sort by a number of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
Pro portfolio performance is based on institutions’ top-15 holdings as disclosed in quarter-end filings with the SEC. Pro performance does not take into account additional holdings beyond the top 15 nor does it include positions that are not required to be disclosed by the SEC. As such, Pro portfolio performance should be considered an approximation and not a precise record of how an institution has performed over time.
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