Buoyed by some solid earnings reports from marquee components, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLP), the largest exchange traded fund tracking the consumer staples sector, jumped more than 4% last week.
Some market observers believe the sector could be poised to cool off over the near-term. Some analysts believe the group’s comeback is the reveals investors’ willingness to pay a premium for protection against unexpected pullbacks during a times of greater uncertainty, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The traditionally defensive group benefited in part from blowout earnings from Procter & Gamble, which reported its biggest quarterly sales gain in five years. Investors turned to the group earlier in the week, too, amid broad market volatility,” reports CNBC.
Investors typically shift into consumer staples during bouts of market volatility because of the sector’s relatively generous dividend payouts and the slow-and-steady nature of the consumer staples business – consumers usually continue purchase basic products that staples firms sell regardless of market or economic conditions. Consequently, investors view the staples sector as a relative haven in the equities market that may help somewhat insulate a portfolio from risks like rising interest rates and increasingly restrictive trade policies under the Trump administration.
XLP and rival consumer staples have been plagued this year by the strong dollar and trade spats between the U.S. and other nations, among other factors.