Utilities

The lackluster earnings season and ongoing economic weakness have caused exchange traded fund investors to shift away from riskier equity markets into more conservative, safe-haven assets. According to EPFR data, investors redeemed over $10 billion from U.S. equity funds in the week ended February 4, the fifth constitutive week funds have recorded an outflow, reports […]

As volatility spikes and markets gyrate, some investors have turned to more conservative stocks and defensive sector exchange traded funds to ride out the storm. For instance, many have traditionally turned to defensive sectors like utilities, consumer staples and health care – sectors that would hold up in any economic cycle as U.S. consumers will […]

As the equities market experienced its worst start to a new year, exchange traded fund investors fled growth sectors and jumped into defensive stocks, along with betting on a valuation play. Investors’ eyes are on the tech space this week amid a spate of fourth quarter earnings results, but the technology sector was among the […]

As global markets plunged deeper into a correction, investors exited stock exchange traded funds for the third straight week. According to EPFR data, U.S. stock funds experienced $4.2 billion in withdrawals for the week ended January 20, which added to the worst three-week period of outflows since April, Reports Eric Platt for the Financial Times. […]

As the markets digest fourth quarter earnings results, U.S. markets are expected to fall further into an earnings recession, with S&P 500 companies likely to show decline in profits for the third consecutive quarter. Nevertheless, there some sectors and related exchange traded funds that may pull through. Profits are expected to decline by 7.2% in […]

Investors who believe volatility may persist through the year and the Federal Reserve may hold off on quick interest rate hikes may want to take a second look at defensive utilities sector exchange traded funds. “For investors who hold a contrarian view on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s future actions on interest rates, a utilities-sector investment […]

Interest rate-sensitive assets and related exchange traded funds were relatively unfazed by the Federal Reserve’s announced first rate hike since 2006, suggesting that the markets may have already priced in higher rates. The Federal Open Market Committee announced that it will raise the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to between […]

U.S.-listed exchange traded funds continued to attract billions of dollars in November as low-cost passive strategies enticed investors in a volatile market. Erik Oja, S&P Capital IQ equity analyst covering asset managers, argues that long-term trend away from active funds to passive funds was exacerbated during the recent volatility, with BlackRock benefiting the most from […]

The month of December has been one of the strongest periods of the year for equities, and some areas of market and sector-related exchange traded funds may stand out during the Santa Claus rally. Over the past month, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 […]

The U.S. economy is chugging along, with employment numbers strengthening. However, the improved economic environment is fueling bets that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates next month, dragging on rate-sensitive utilities sector exchange traded funds. The utilities sector was among the worst performing areas of the market Friday. The Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: VPU) […]

Markets and exchange traded funds jostled late-Wednesday after the Federal Reserve referenced a December interest rate hike. “In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” the Fed said in a […]

Investors interested in positioning their portfolios ahead of changes to major market trends may target specific market segments with sector-specific exchange traded funds. For instance, on the recent webcast, How Well Do Your Know Your Sectors?, David Mazza, V.P. and Head of Research at State Street Global Advisor, pointed out that the utilities sector was […]

All sectors are not created equal. Investors who seek to adapt their investment portfolio to prevailing market trends may target specific areas of market through sector-related exchange traded funds. On the upcoming webcast, How Well Do Your Know Your Sectors?, State Street Global Advisor’s David Mazza, V.P. and Head of Research, Research Strategist Jared Rowley […]

Stodgy and defensive utilities exchange traded funds may have been uninspiring so far this year, but the sector shined in the third quarter as volatility dragged on riskier segments of the market. Over the past three months, Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) rose 3.6%, Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: VPU) gained 2.9% and iShares U.S. […]

With the U.S. dollar strengthening and the Federal Reserve looking at tightening its monetary policy, the various U.S. market sectors and related exchange traded funds could behave differently in a strong USD environment. The Trade Weighted U.S. Dollar Index has increased 15% over the past year and is at its highest level in over 10 […]

Reaves Asset Management is testing the exchange traded fund waters after launching the first actively managed ETF to cover the utilities sector. According to a press release, the Reaves Utilities ETF (NasdaqGM: UTES) will invest in utilities without regard to market cap or dividend yield but seeks to deliver risk-adjusted total returns, employing a relative […]

The equities market and stock exchange traded funds jumped after the Federal Reserve announced it will be standing pat on record low U.S. interest rates for now in light of the weak economy, stubbornly low inflation and unstable global markets. Fed officials voted nine to one in favor of keeping current interest rates, stating Thursday […]

After a sudden market correction, investors my want to single out some sector-specific exchange traded funds to ride a potential rebound. According to Barclays, historical trends suggests that the equity market recovery has more room to run, reports Jamie Chisholm for the Financial Times. Barclays’ equity strategy team found that since 1940 there have been […]

High-yield dividend stocks and related exchange traded funds have been underperforming the market on speculation of higher interest rates, but without an immediate Federal Reserve rate hike, the income-generating assets could shine. According Barclays analysts led by Jonathan Glionna, utilities, master limited partnerships and real estate investment trusts deserve a second look as the markets […]

I do the “ETF of the Week” for MarketWatch every week on Chuck Jaffe’s MoneyLife Show where I highlight big movers and disappointments among exchange traded funds. On Thursday, I looked at the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLU). The utilities sector provides a defensive, dividend-generating play during uncertain market conditions. Click here to […]

The month of August has historically been a poor month for equities. Nevertheless, exchange traded fund investors may do well with focusing on more conservative sectors while growth sectors languish. According to data analytics platform Kensho, August has been the worst month of the year for the S&P 500, with the indexing falling 0.8% on […]

The Federal Reserve has not explicitly stated it will hike rates, pushing off its decision to a later time. If the Fed keeps kicking the can down the road, investors may revisit high-dividend-paying stocks and exchange traded funds. “Remember that a year ago, 75 percent of the Street said we were going to get a […]

As mentioned in our ETF Options recap this morning, XLU (SPDR Utilities Select Sector, Expense Ratio 0.15%) August 44 calls traded actively yesterday during a larger than normal sell-off in the sector ETF. XLU has approximately $6.2 billion in assets under management, including a fresh $134 million that has been added in the trailing one […]

Utilities sector exchange traded funds jumped Tuesday, trading back above its short-term trend line, as a major player raised dividends and the risk-off environment pushed investors back into conservative, yield-generating assets. On Tuesday, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) rose 2.6%, Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: VPU) gained 2.5% and iShares U.S. Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: […]

The month of July has historically been better than June for the equities market, but some areas and sector exchange traded funds can be left behind. According to analytics firm Kensho, the month of July has averaged stock market gains across major U.S. indices over the past 10 years, reports Dominic Chu for CNBC. However, […]

Utilities stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds are the worst performing area of the U.S. markets this year, but the sell off may be overdone. “We know the relationship [between yields and utilities] is inverse, but at some point a lot of it becomes priced in, at least in an intermediate basis,” technical analyst Carter […]

Once the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, U.S. dividend stocks and exchange traded funds could experience a meaningful correction after investors piled into the yield-paying assets during the low rate environment. “With investors desperate for yield, dividend-paying stocks have become more attractive and in some cases have been bid up to unsustainably high valuations,” writes […]

The equities market is headed into its worst month of the year, and exchange traded fund investors should take particular care with financial sector stocks. According to MKM Partners market technician Jonathan Krinsky, over the past decade, June has been the worst month of the year for stocks, with the S&P 500 averaging a 1.32% […]

After years of chasing high-yield stocks, investors are finally pulling out of real estate investment trusts and utilities exchange traded funds ahead of a potential Federal Reserve interest rate hike. Money managers have withdrawn $3.5 billion from REITs and utilities funds this year, reports Dan Strumpf for the Wall Street Journal. Year-to-date, the Vanguard REIT […]

Investors can capitalize on a shifting market and changing business cycles through sector-specific exchange traded fund plays. On the recent webcast, Strategizing with Sectors, Jared Rowley, Research Strategist for State Street Global Advisors, pointed out that different sectors show varying correlations to the benchmark S&P 500 index. [Sector ETFs to Capture Cyclical Trends] For instance, […]