Last year, the railway industry weakened on lower rail traffic after the drop in energy prices, notably from oil and coal companies. Over the first 35 weeks 2015, U.S. railroads experienced cumulative volume that was down more than 4% year-over-year. However, the pressures may have already been priced in, and the industry has a number of factors that will help support further growth.
Market observers are optimistic about a cyclical recovery where U.S. consumers and businesses spend more, which would add to increased activity through railways and transportation sectors. Railroads are popular plays among some of the largest investors, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. [Sector ETF to Play Warren Buffett, Bill Gates’ Pick]
Bolstering the case for IYT is the recent strength of airline stocks in the face of rising oil prices. Airline equities are IYT’s second-largest industry weight 22.7%. Air freight and logistics represent the largest industry allocation in IYT at 29.5%.
iShares Transportation Average ETF