Even with a multi-day bounce the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:
) is still off more than a third of a percent this month. That
glum performance indicates that, to this point, investors have
ignored seasonal trends for stocks while opting to focus instead
on the result of U.S. elections and the looming fiscal cliff.
Slack performance this month does not mean November has been a
wash for all
. In fact, some plain vanilla funds have notched solid runs in
what has been a challenging environment for the broader market.
Not only have the following ETFs been beacons of strength this
month, but that strength could be indicative of more bullishness
Best of all, this mix of pleasant November ETF surprises
offers something for all investors from the risk-averse to the
PowerShares Build America Bond Portfolio (NYSE:
As a bond ETF focused primarily on high-grade U.S. bonds, the
PowerShares Build America Bond Portfolio is not designed to
excite when it comes to near-term gains. A November gain of 0.4
percent indicates as much, but there is more to the story.
Prior to the presidential election,
BAB was highlighted
as a valid play on an Obama reelection because the President
wants to make the Build America Bonds program a permanent
fixture. Republicans do not have the same feelings for these
bonds, so BAB and its rivals were seen as in jeopardy if Mitt
Romney had emerged victorious.
Obviously, that was not the case. Now investors can enjoy
BAB's conservative posture with significantly diminished
political risk. They will also be compensated for waiting for
capital growth as BAB has a 30-day SEC yield of 4.3 percent and
pays a monthly dividend.
WisdomTree Australia & New Zealand Debt Fund (NYSE:
The WisdomTree Australia & New Zealand Debt Fund represents
yet another bond play that has proven quite sturdy this month. Up
nearly one percent for the month, AUNZ is useful on multiple
fronts. First, the ETF helps investors establish a risk-on
outlook because the Australian and New Zealand dollars are viewed
as high-beta currencies relative to the U.S. dollar.
Second, the yield is decent and AUNZ pays a monthly dividend.
Third, although AUNZ gives investors an obvious hedge against
declines in the U.S. dollar, that hedge does not come with
increased credit risk. All of AUNZ's holdings are rated AAA or
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:
In theory, the election result and subsequent fiscal cliff fears
should have been disasters for XLY and other ETFs tracking
discretionary names. Indeed, XLY did slump earlier this month,
but the ETF has started obeying the strong seasonal trends for
the sector it tracks.
In the process, XLY has rallied enough over the past several
trading sessions to not only erase all of the losses accrued
earlier this month, the fund is now up nearly 2.3 percent for the
month. If retailers report robust Black Friday results, that
should bode well for XLY's near-term health and it could mean the
ETF sets a new 52-week high before the end of this year.
First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (NYSE:
The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund deserves a lot of
credit for soaring nearly two percent this month. Google (NASDAQ:
), the fund's largest holding with a weight of almost 10 percent,
has endured a rough November, but other FDN constituents have
stepped up to lift the ETF.
Gains by Amazon (NASDAQ:
), eBay (NASDAQ:
) and Priceline (NASDAQ:
), a trio that represents over 19 percent of FDN's weight, have
boosted the fund. It does not hurt that FDN is known as one of
the ETFs that offers exposure to both
) and LinkedIn (NYSE:
). Facebook alone is up nearly 14 percent this month.
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