An Energy ETF With Some Momentum

The latter half of March has brought plenty of chatter regarding severe price retrenchment in several previously hot momentum sectors.

That list is populated most notoriously by biotech stocks and exchange traded funds, but familiar constituents also include Internet, social media and solar ETFs. [Momentum Stocks, ETFs Take a Beating]

Rapid deterioration in momentum sectors should serve as a reminder that momentum investing, particularly with ETFs, does not always mean direct bets on glamorous but volatile high P/E growth sectors. Actually, momentum can be derived from inexpensive sectors perceived to be value bets. [Marry Momentum With This ETF]

Take the energy sector as a prime example of a perceived value bet that is now displaying some noticeable, positive momentum. Some investors have already hear that ETFs such as the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE) and the Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSEArca: VDE) are being boosted by compelling valuations. Another option for seizing the energy sector’s new found “momo” is with the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum Portfolio (NYSEArca: PXI).

The $196 million PXI is one of the 10 PowerShares ETFs that recently made the transition to Dorsey Wright momentum-driven indices. Although PXI fits the definition of a smart beta ETF, the fund is not excessively allocated to value or small-cap stocks. Small-caps account for about 28% of the ETF’s weight while large-caps represent 40%.

Importantly, many of the large-cap energy names that are viewed as value stocks are not a significant percentage of PXI’s weight. For example, Chevron (NYSE: CVX) is just 3% of the fund’s weight while Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) are not found in PXI.

Investors should not PXI is a highly focused ETF compared to competitors such as XLE and VDE. PXI holds just 30 stocks, or not even 20% of the number holdings found in VDE. The smaller lineup is not holding PXI back.