Utilities sector exchange traded funds jumped Tuesday, trading back above its short-term trend line, as a major player raised dividends and the risk-off environment pushed investors back into conservative, yield-generating assets.
On Tuesday, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) rose 2.6%, Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: VPU) gained 2.5% and iShares U.S. Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: IDU) increased 2.6%, breaking above their 50-day simple moving averages. [Utilities ETFs for Bargain Shoppers]
Utility stocks were rising as investors turned to the more attractive yield-generating assets in response to the falling yield in benchmark 10-year Treasuries.
The 10-year Treasury note yields dipped to 2.23% Tuesday, falling about 24 basis points since the end of June, after Greece passed over a debt deadline and continued uncertainty pushed investors back into safe-haven assets.
Meanwhile, the traditionally defensive utilities sector, with its higher yields, is attracting greater attention. For instance, XLU has a 3.72% 12-month yield, VPU has a 3.65% 12-month yield and IDU has a 3.6% 12-month yield.
Additionally, further supporting utilities sector gains, Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), the largest component in utilities-related ETFs, raised its quarterly dividend by 4% on Tuesday, reports Chris Lange for 24/7 Wall St.
DUK makes up 9.0% of XLU, 7.7% of VPU and 8.0% of IDU.