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BUZZ Kill: Social Sentiment ETF Sinks on First Trading Day

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What You Need to Know

  • The VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF attracted lots of volume but never returned to its opening high.
  • The ETF consists of the top 75 large-cap stocks receiving the most positive chatter online.
  • Many of the stocks that it owns also fell Thursday.

Before the VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF, aka BUZZ, debuted on Thursday, there was lots of talk — ahem, buzz — about its introduction, especially by Dave Portnoy, who founded Davey Day Trader Global (DDTG), a YouTube channel where he live-streams his market sentiment, and Barstool Sports, which produces online sports and pop-culture content.

Portnoy is a partial owner and director of Buzz Holdings ULC, the business entity that licenses the strategy to VanEck, and the ETF’s holdings include Penn National Gaming, which holds a large stake in Barstool Sports.

After its opening Thursday at $24.40 a share, BUZZ fell 3.6%, finishing the trading day at $23.52, losing momentum along with many of the stocks that it owns, which are predominantly tech stocks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell more than 2% Thursday.

As of Monday morning, the fund had not rebounded to its opening price.

More than 18 million shares were traded on the ETF’s inaugural day, making it one of the most traded ETFs on opening day, according to Bloomberg.

The ETF consists of the top 75 large-cap stocks receiving the most positive chatter online.

“An ETF’s return is driven by the stocks inside it, particularly when what it owns are large-cap growth stocks and the fund is quite small,” said Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA.

He noted, however, that the high trading volume was “a great sign of the initial demand and is likely indicative that as the fund becomes available to trade on more platforms assets will grow.”

Dave Nadig, chief investment officer and director of research at ETF Trends, tells ThinkAdvisor that BUZZ’s first trading day was “very very business as usual” from what he could tell from today’s tape as the ETF traded near fair market value.

Portnoy tweeted that he bought 2 million shares of BUZZ at the open. At day’s end he posted: “Today was a bad day. That’s fine. We’ll be back.”

Pictured: Dave Portnoy. (Photo: Bloomberg)

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