Some investors see opportunity with rate-sensitive assets such as XLU and real estate ETFs, noting that 10-year yields are overbought and sentiment against the likes of XLU is at bearish extremes, which could create opportunity from the long side with the utilities sector. [Rethinking Rate Sensitive ETFs]
Treasury yields rise and the utilities sector falls. With market participants pricing in an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve, perhaps as soon as this month, the rising yields/slumping utilities sector scenario is playing out. [Crunch Time for Rate-Sensitive ETFs]
Looking at the utilities profit outlook, Capital IQ estimates that the sector could post earnings growth of 0.9% for the third quarter and 1.7% for all of 2015.
In contrast, the S&P 500 is expected to see earnings decline of 4.5% for Q3, which was downwardly revised since the start of the third quarter, according to FactSet data, as energy and multinational sectors weighed on the broader index. Those data points underscore the predictable though often slow-growth profit outlooks seen in the utilities sector.
Utilities Select Sector SPDR