As Japanese and other nuclear experts tried to contain the threat of plant meltdowns following Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami, ETFs with a focus on the nuclear-power field fell sharply on Monday.
The Market Vectors Uranium & Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR) fell nearly 14% on very high volume Monday to trade below $22.
The iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy ETF (NUCL) dropped 12% and was trading at $39.25 mid-day Monday, and the PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy ETF (PNK) declined about 12.7% to $18.20.
Year to date, the three ETFs tracking the nuclear industry have under-performed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is up about 4%. NUCL has risen about 3%, while the PKN is up about 1.5% and NLR 1%.
Over the past six months, however, NLR has outperformed the Dow. It’s risen about 20%, while, NUCL and PKN have moved at about the same pace as the Dow and are up roughly 14%.