ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Traders have been exiting a homebuilder exchange traded fund in droves as the housing sector weakens. However, investors may just be dumping the homebuilder ETF along with other consumer sector bets.

Investors pulled a record amount of cash from SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) after the ETF hit an eight-year high in February, Bloomberg reports.

XHB experienced $376.3 million in outflows over April, according to ETF.com. Moreover, short sellers in XHB have increased their bearish bets to the highest level in over six months.

Pressuring the housing market, mixed economic reports are weighing on the growth outlook, and the Federal Reserve’s eventual interest rate hike is also adding on to concerns. [Factors That Are Holding Back Housing, Homebuilder ETFs]

“Housing stocks are in an interesting position right now,” James Gaul, a portfolio manager at Boston Advisors LLC, said in the artlce. “We’re in a bit of a logjam for multiple factors. Until this logjam breaks, it’s going to be hard for national homebuilders to have sustained outperformance.”

However, investors may be exiting XHB as more of a response to potentially weaker consumer spending habits ahead.

XHB follows a more equally weighted indexing methodology, with its largest top ten components making up a little over 3% each, and includes a greater tilt toward consumer sector stocks. Specifically, XHB holds 33.0% homebuilders, 28.9% building products, 16.0% home furnishing retail, 10.0% home furnishing, 6.1% household appliances and 6.1% home improvement retail.

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