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Top-Ranked ETFs That Outperformed the Market in 1H

Wall Street wrapped up a blockbuster first half of the year. The S&P 500 index gained a whopping 14.5% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.8%. The Nasdaq Composite Index emerged as an outperformer, climbing 18.1%. The ongoing artificial intelligence craze, rate-cut bets and strong corporate profit growth were the biggest catalysts in driving the stocks higher and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. Wall Street analysts have become more bullish on stocks, citing these as a strong combination of factors. In the current scenario, investors should bet on ETFs that were winners in the first half and have a solid Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). These are VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ: SMH), iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF (ARCA:IGM), SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF (ARCA:SPYG), iShares Russell Top 200 Growth ETF (ARCA:IWY) and Invesco AI and Next Gen Software ETF (ARCA:IGPT). The "Magnificent Seven" was the biggest engine of growth for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. About 60% of the gains were driven by the "mega-cap" tech companies — NVIDIA, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta Platforms and Apple. NVIDIA alone accounted for 31% of the market's first-half advance. With the latest surge, NVIDIA, Apple and Microsoft are in the race to become the world's most valuable company and hit a market capitalization of $4 trillion on surging enthusiasm over AI capabilities. This technology-driven momentum is expected to continue at least through the summer. In the latest FOMC meeting, U.S. policymakers penciled in just one rate cut for this year and projected four cuts for 2025. The Fed altered language in its statement, noting "modest further progress toward the committee's 2% inflation ...