Dow futures flash crashed overnight and were down nearly 200 points Friday morning after reports House Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans to head home for Christmas after he failed to garner enough support for the fallback “Plan B” fiscal-cliff deal.
Investors are gearing up with the fiscal cliff about a week away. Those who are risk-averse are seeking defensive areas of the market such as the following sector exchange traded funds.
“The defensive sectors generally act as a safe haven and can be a great option for investors who desire to play safe. When it comes to investing in defensive sectors utility and consumer staples come first to mind,” Zacks Equity Research wrote. [Investors Get Defensive with Consumer Staples ETFs]
Classic defensive sectors such as utilities and consumer staples are back in focus as investors seek stable, cyclical plays that can pad their portfolio from major damage, should the markets react to the expiration of government spending and tax cuts.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector Fund (NYSEArca: XLP) tracks the S&P Consumer Staples Select Sector Index, one of the oldest indices in this area. The fund invests its $6,483.7 million assets in a small basket of 44 stocks, and has lots of liquidity to keep trading in and out efficient, reports Zacks.The 0.18% expense ratio beat out the following Vanguard ETF. [Defensive ETFs to Shield Against the Fiscal Cliff]