As U.S. equities experienced swings over recent weeks, utilities stocks and utility ETFs have outperformed.
Over the past month, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) rose 2.2%, Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: VPU) gained 2.3% and First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXU) increased 2.5% and Reaves Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: UTES) added 2.0%. In contrast, the S&P 500 dipped 2.1%.
In the equities space, utilities have traditionally acted as a safe sector bet and have been seen as a reliable source of income.
“Investors looking for income should take another look at utilities,” Jay Rhame, co-portfolio manager of the Reaves Utilities ETF, said in a note. “Like MLPs, the utilities sector has long been a reliable source of dividends, but for investors choosing between the two, utilities offer some clear advantages.”