ETF Trends
ETF Trends

As the earnings season kicks off, U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds could find second quarter results better than what many analysts have expected.

For example, Bank of America Merrill Lynch argues that since oil prices and the U.S. dollar have been more stable over the second quarter, earnings-per-share for the energy sector and large multi-national companies may have come in above analysts’ estimates, reports Julie Verhage for Bloomberg.

Investors can also use broad ETFs to tap into these categories ahead of the second quarter results. For instance, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSEArca: VDE) and iShares U.S. Energy ETF (NYSEArca: IYE) track large integrated energy companies.

These integrated energy companies have operations in exploration, production, refinement and distribution of oil and gas. Additionally, due to their diversified operations across upstream and downstream businesses, these integrated companies are more capable of weathering changes in oil prices. [If You Want Energy Exposure, Focus on Integrated Oil ETFs]

Since the U.S. dollar pulled back over the second quarter, investors can also take a look at ETFs that track larger U.S. companies with a greater international footprint. Consequently, ETF investors who also believe a weaker USD could help prop up larger companies can focus on large- and mega-cap ETFs. [Dollar’s Loss May Be Large-Cap ETFs’ Gain]

For instance, the SDPR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF’s (NYSEArca: DIA) tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average and includes a 90.9% tilt toward mega-cap stocks and 9.2% in large-caps.

Investors can also track S&P 500 names through the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV). The three S&P 500 ETFs include similar weights, including about 52% mega-caps, 35% large-caps and 12% mid-caps.

Moreover, BofA Merrill Lynch strategist Savita Subramanian argues that healthcare is the most attractive sector play based on EPS and sales revision ratios, management guidance and previous quarterly surprises on the upside.

“For 2Q15 earnings season we found that that healthcare screens as most attractive, while materials screens as least attractive,” Subramanian said. “Healthcare has now screened as the most attractive sector the last three quarters, and has continued to surprise to the upside.”

Healthcare sector ETFs have been among the best performing area of the market this year. Year-to-date, Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLV), gained 10.6%, iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF (NYSEArca: IYH) rose 11.5%, Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEArca: VHT) increased 12.3% and Fidelity MSCI Health Care Index ETF (NYSEArca: FHLC) advanced 12.2%. [Investors Can Still Find Growth in Healthcare ETFs]

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