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Greenberg: What’s the Biggest ETF Holding?

From the mindless trivia department: The biggest ETF of all is the SPDR S&P 500 Index, with $93 billion in assets.

But what assets to ETFs own most?

Using the database of XTF.com, an ETF research firm, the winner is: Gold, which comprises 6 percent of all ETFs globally. (Interesting considering that the SPDR Gold Trust—the second biggest ETF—has around $53 billion in assets—a distant second to the S&P 500 Index.)

No. 2, with a little over 1 percent, is Apple, followed by Exxon, also a little over 1 percent, and Silver.

Shouldn’t Exxon , with a larger market cap than Apple , be in the lead?

Make sense, especially since most ETFs are market cap-weighted indices. However, not all stock ETFs own all stocks. Beyond the broad indices, there are sector funds and others that can may own more of one than the other.

And to confuse you more: According to XTF, Apple is owned by 108 of the 10,449 components of 667 stock ETFs, while Exxon is in 125.

Among stocks least held: Open Text, in just 5 ETFs and NPS Pharmaceuticals, in 30.

Moral of the story: ETFs holdings are definitely are part popularity contest.

Questions? Comments? Write to HerbOnTheStreet@cnbc.com

Follow Herb on Twitter:

@herbgreenberg

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