Stock rally not enough to save ARK from record 7-month losing streak

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FILE PHOTO: 2022 Milken Institute Global Conference

By David Randall

NEW YORK – A sharp rally in the broad U.S. stock market over the last week in May was not enough to save star stock picker Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation Fund from notching its seventh straight month of losses, extending the longest losing streak in its history.

The ARK Innovation fund, which garnered billions of dollars from retail investors in 2020 as it soared during the COVID-19 pandemic rally, fell 6.6% in May. That decline came on the heels of a nearly 29% tumble in April, the worst in the fund’s history.

The fund’s 9.6% gain in October 2021 was its most recent positive monthly performance. The fund is down nearly 53% for the year to date. It gained 1% in morning trading on Wednesday.

ARK’s portfolio of high-growth companies has been hit hard by the hawkish path of interest rate hikes set out by the Federal Reserve, which have raised the cost of capital and left investors focused more on profits than revenue growth.

Zoom Video Communications Inc, ARK’s top holding, is down nearly 42% for the year to date, while Tesla Inc, its second-largest position, is down 28%. The benchmark S&P 500 is down 13.3% over the same time.

ARK did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite those losses, investors have largely stuck with the fund, sending positive net inflows for six of the past seven weeks. Investors pulled a net $69.7 million from the fund the week that ended May 25, its first weekly loss since April 6.

The dedication on the part of investors may be a sign that they are willing to stomach losses from ARK Innovation because they see it as a way to diversify their overall portfolios, said Todd Rosenbluth, head of research at ETF Trends.

“Many investors that own ARK ETFs combine them with broad market index-based products, dedicating a slice of the equity exposure to the higher risk, but higher potentially rewarding thematic investment approach,” Rosenbluth said. “As such they are willing to be more patient that the strategy can and will bounce back.”

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Will Dunham)