The financial sector’s rally to start the year has provided a boost to exchange traded funds tracking preferred stock, which already pay hefty yields.
The $7.2 billion iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock (NYSEArca: PFF) has jumped nearly 4% over the past week. The ETF is yielding about 7%. [Search for Yield Leads Some to Preferred Stock ETFs]
Other funds in the category include PowerShares Financial Preferred (NYSEArca: PGF), PowerShares Preferred (NYSEArca: PGX) and SPDR Wells Fargo Preferred Stock (NYSEArca: PSK). [Preferred Stock ETFs Lure Yield Hunters]
The funds have benefited from their heavy concentration in the financial sector, which is off to a strong start in 2012.
For example, iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock has about 80% in the sector, which includes financial institutions, banks, and insurance and real estate companies. The recent rally has pushed the ETF above its 200-day exponential moving average, a bullish development.