Exchange traded funds (ETFs) for the consumer-staples sector could see elevated volume Wednesday after quarterly results from Altria Group (NYSE: MO).

Altria said earnings climbed 15% even though cigarette sales continued to decline, the Associated Press reported. Altria shares traded lower before Wednesday’s opening bell.

The stock is a top holding in Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLP) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC).

Consumer staples are seen as a defensive sector, but a strategist this week said he instead favors healthcare stocks, since consumer companies are seeing input prices rise.

Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF is up 5.6% so far in 2011.

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund

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