ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The Consumer Staples Select SPDR (NYSEArca: XLP) is one of this year’s best-performing sector exchange traded funds. That is just one example, but leadership from XLP and other consumer staples exchange traded funds confirms investors have been partial to defensive sectors this year.

Consumer staples stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) can be considered resurgent following a trying 2015. Last year, staples ETFs had their hands full with rising rate-related issues.

Related: Sticking With Staples ETFs: Is it a Good Idea?

The defensive consumer staples sector has been one of the year’s best performing areas of the S&P 500 as investors turned to more conservative plays in a volatile market, reports Stephanie Yang for CNBC.

Additionally, the time is right to consider consumer staples ETFs.

The sustainable nature of the consumer staples sector could help investors weather a potential storm in the summer months.

Related: Stuck on Staples ETFs Because They’re Working

Since April 30, 1945, the S&P 500 rose in price an average 1.4% from May through October, compared to an average 6.8% from November through April, writes Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Global Market Intelligence Director of ETF Research, in a research note.

“From the bad news perspective comes the massive volatility and uncertainty evident in the stock market in the opening months of 2016. The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index barely managed a positive gain of 1% for the first quarter of the year. These market conditions signal that investing in growth stocks is a riskier endeavor, and many investors are instead looking to adopt a defensive stance or hedging their investments by securing some dividend income. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF fulfills both of those desires; consumer staples stocks are generally considered a defensive investment, one with relatively lower volatility. Many consumer staples stocks, including this ETF, offer a solid dividend yield,” according to Investopedia.


Staples ETFs such as XLP, the largest consumer staples ETF on the market, and rivals, including the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC) and the Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (NYSEArca: FSTA), could be investor favorites if polls show a highly competitive presidential election as the summer months drag along.

“When equity market uncertainty rises, Consumer Staples typically outperforms while Information Technology lags. From a factor perspective, the past decade shows that when equity market uncertainty increases, stocks with high dividend yield and low volatility outperform. In contrast, both high growth stocks and low valuation companies underperform their respective counterparts,” according to part of a Goldman Sachs note posted by Ben Levisohn of Barron’s.

Related: Stuck on Staples ETFs Because They’re Working

“The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF is an attractive choice for investors in terms of overall returns on investment, in addition to the attractive dividend yield it offers. The five-year average annualized return, as of May 2016, was 13.82%, outperforming the consumer defensive category average of 12.36%, and also the S&P 500’s average five-year return of 10.2%,” adds Investopedia.

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR