The S&P 500 rose to a five-year high this week and investors continue to shovel cash into equity mutual funds. U.S. stocks are off to a great start in 2013 but some are worried overbought conditions could trigger a pullback.
Investors can take a look at some sector ETFs to stay in the market, but with a more defensive posture.
“ I haven’t seen readings this overbought since early 2011. If you remember, we made new highs in April, then waffled around at the highs into July and then promptly dropped 20% from intraday peak to intraday low in October,” Teeka Tiwari for ETF Editor wrote.
The utilities sector is a classic defensive play. People need utilities no matter what cycle the economy is in, plus many of these companies pay out a decent dividend. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) has a 4.14% yield and the sector is low-volatility all around. Take note, should the stock market run up, returns from a sector such as this will not be as impressive. [Stable ETFs for Fiscal Cliff Padding]
The commodity sector is not traditionally a defensive play, however, the PowerShares DB Agriculture (NYSEArca: DBA) is a safe haven type play on the food sub-sector. Prices of cocoa, cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat and sugar are all included in this ETF. The idea of using a commodity play as defense is that the sector is generally uncorrelated to the equity market, giving a portfolio proper diversification. [ETF Spotlight: Agribusiness]