ETF Trends
ETF Trends

On CNBC’s “The Call” this morning, anchors Melissa Francis and Larry Kudlow, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Rick Dillon of Diamond Hill Investments, and I discussed the reasons behind today’s market jump. Is it investor optimism on an impending stimulus plan, or is it that we’ve reached the bottom? We all had a different take on the matter.

There was some talk this morning that we might be spying a turnaround in certain areas, particularly those in which President Barack Obama is poised to sink billions of dollars into.

The three ETFs highlighted in the segment are areas of the market that are showing signs of strength and could benefit when an economic recovery takes place. The key is to either look for those areas moving above their trend lines, or those areas that Obama has pledged to improve – they could be an investor’s best opportunity to make some money.

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 2% over past week.

  • Gold continues to be viewed as a safe haven, as economic uncertainty remains the order of the day and investors are still tentative about fully emerging from their foxholes.
  • Central banks around the world are cutting interest rates, which could lead to an abundance of paper money. Meanwhile, economic stimulus plans at home and abroad could lift inflation.
  • GLD continues to hit new highs – its total holdings are 10% higher than a month ago, a signal that the yellow metal is still in great demand.

iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB) is up 2.3% over past week.

  • The biotech sector stands to benefit from a rash of expiring patents, because it’s giving the pharmaceutical companies an extra push to create new drugs that will replace them.
  • Meanwhile, the FDA has more money and resources at its disposal, which could quicken the drug approval process.
  • Obama has stated that he supports research, development and tax credits for research.

Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) is down 1% over past week, but the tide could be changing for this sector soon.

  • The fundamentals of the utilities sector are intact – these companies have solid credit and a supportive regulatory environment. Infrastructure is a major opportunity for the sector, because we could use some improvement, and there’s room for a lot of it.
  • Obama wants to sink $11 billion into this area that would go toward creating smarter electrical grids.
  • One particular benefit of this ETF is that it has an attractive 4.2% yield, good for income investors.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.