With the sector being the best performer in the S&P 500 this year, and by a healthy margin at that, there should be plenty of health care exchange traded funds making new highs.
That was not the case Wednesday when even as U.S. Stocks soared, just seven ETFs made all-time highs and of those seven, just one was a health care fund: The SPDR S&P International Health Care Sector ETF (NYSEArca: IRY).
While IRY is framed as an international fund, and it is, a global health care ETF is bound to be somewhat Europe heavy and IRY obliges. With Europe ETFs ranking among the more attractive developed market plays to start 2015, IRY has benefited.
While IRY is not a currency hedged ETF, it is exposed to the strong dollar theme because several of the fund’s major holdings derive a substantial portion of their revenue from the U.S. That allows the companies to repatriate strong dollars into the weaker local currency, including euros and francs, thereby buying more of the home currency. [Two Reasons to Like This ETF]
IRY has surged 17.1% this year, one of the best showings among the health care ETFs that can be deemed “traditional.” What makes that performance all the more impressive is IRY’s industry weights, particularly what the ETF is light on.