Bear markets are typically bad news for small-cap stocks, and there is now just one exchange traded fund focused on smaller companies that is positive for the year. Todd Sohn, technical and ETF strategist at Strategas, said in a note on Tuesday that the Invesco S & P SmallCap Energy ETF (PSCE) is only small-cap fund that is up in 2022. “On a rolling 6-month price return basis, it’s the worst reading we can find since the nadir of the Financial Crisis, where none of the then 39 listed small-cap ETFs had posted a positive return over the prior 6-months,” Sohn wrote. The outperformance of the Invesco fund, which is up about 37% year to date, is perhaps no surprise, given the strength of energy stocks in 2022. The fund’s performance is close to that of its bigger counterparts in the SPDR S & P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) and Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) . The success of the Invesco fund has not led to a surge of investor interest. The fund, which has a management fee of 0.29%, had only about $155 million in assets under management as of Friday, according to Invesco. “We’re surprised the fund has seen only $11 million inflows YTD and is reflective of the overall animosity towards Energy. While under pressure last week, the sector still ranks 1st in performance by an extensive amount, yet is 5th in sector flows (even behind Utilities),” Sohn wrote. “Put another way, funds such as ARKK, ESGU, 3x leveraged QQQ, and Treasury Bonds (TLT) have taken in more flows than the XLE this year,” he added.
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