U.S. equities are bouncing back as investors return to a risk-on mindset. However, industrial sector exchange traded funds have been left out to dry.
Over the past week, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 3.1% and attracted $5.3 billion in inflows.
On the other hand, the iShares Dow Jones US Industrial Sector Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYJ) has been the least loved ETF in the past week, experiencing $636 million in outflows. IYJ gained 2.9% over the same period.
The industrials sector has been lagging behind the broader market so far this year, with IYJ down 2.4% year-to-date, compared to the 0.9% dip in SPY.
The U.S. industrial sector has slowed down amid crippling winter storms. Industrial output dipped 0.3% in January, compared to economists’ average forecast for a 0.1% advance. [Eastern Chills: Blizzard Bowls Over Some Sector ETFs]
“U.S. industrial production for January was as dismal as most of the recent data,” Rob Carnell, chief international economist of ING Bank NV, said, Bloomberg reports. “It looks awful, but has to be taken with an enormous snow shovel of salt. Unfortunately, with bad weather ongoing in parts of the U.S., it may be some time before the real underlying picture of U.S. economic strength re-emerges.”
Economic bellwether General Electric Co (NYSE: GE), and IYJ’s largest component holding at 10.2%, dropped 9.2% year-to-date, weighing on the overall industrials sector.