Main Street investors have not bought into the rally even though some indicators are looking up. Labor reports are better, economic momentum is evident and the earnings picture is healthy, reports CNBC on Yahoo Finance.

The rally has been spurred on by the big hedge funds and institutional investors that have access to large chunks of capital. As more small investors begin to follow, and trickle back into the equity markets, the effect should be a longer, more sustained recovery within the S&P 500.[S&P 500 Poised For Highest Level Level Since 2008.]

The S&P 500 is hovering around the 1,333 mark, which it has not broken through since mid-February, says Angela Moon for Reuters. With earnings season looming, analysts are looking for the famous index to break through the resistance to 1400 by mid-May. As of last Friday, the S&P 500 recorded its best two-week period since December. Look for earnings reports next week, which will give a better picture of the vigor in the markets.

Various ETF plays on the S&P 500 include:

  • SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY): Up 4.9% over past 3 months. It’s not only the granddaddy of all ETFs, it’s the largest ETF, period. If you want exposure to the 500 largest companies and play the economic recovery, then this fund delivers it with a competitive 0.10% expense ratio.
  • iShares S&P 500 (NYSEArca: IVV): Up 4.9% over the past three months; Tracks the same index as SPY, with top holdings ranging from Exxon Mobil, 5.2%; Procter & Gamble (PG), 2.4% and General Electric, 2.2%. IVV charges less than SPY.
  • Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF (NYSEArca: SCHG): Up 5.2% over past three months; Schwab’s large-cap ETF comes in with an expense ratio of 0.13%. It also gives almost the same level of exposure to large-caps that SPY does, with 432 holdings.
  • Rydex S&P Equal Weight ETF (NYSEArca: RSP) Up 6.6% over past three months; RSP has nearly identical holdings to the S&P 500, but gives an equal weighting to each individual stock, 0.20% to each of the 500 stocks.   In periods where small-caps are outperforming – generally in recoveries – this strategy can be favored.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

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