The industrial sector has been a solid performer for much of this year. In recent weeks, the group has added momentum and some of that upside is attributable to transportation stocks.
For example, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (NYSEArca: IYT) is up more than 11%, giving devotees of the Dow Theory reason to smile.
According to the Dow Theory, IYT may still plod along as the Dow Jones Industrial Average trades above key levels. The Dow Theory stipulates that if an upward trend in one of its industrial or transportation averages increases above a previous high, it is accompanied by a similar advance in the other index.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, the volume of freight transported by road, rail, air, barge and pipelines has been flattening or lower since the end of 2014, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, stubbornly low energy prices may help the transportation industry cut down on costs.
Although the aerospace and defense industry is perceived as being beholden to Uncle Sam’s whims, the allure of late-cycle sectors, including industrials, in a rising rate environment remains in place. Industrials perform well when interest rates rise because rising rates can go hand-in-hand with economic growth.
In addition to political rhetoric, potential catalysts for aerospace ETFs include include, renewed airline pricing power evidenced by higher ticket prices, and more fees paid per traveler, increased airline profitability, new aircraft program launches and continued demand for aircraft models and technology.