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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF, iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth ETF and Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - September 28, 2015 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. ETFs recently featured in the blog include the Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF ( VOT ) , iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth ETF ( JKH ) and Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF ( IVOG ) .

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

3 Mid-Cap Growth ETFs to Buy for Q4

Increasing uncertainty pertaining to the China turmoil, global growth worries, slumping commodities and timing of the interest rates hike in the U.S. are general concerns. In this backdrop that has lasted for quite some weeks now, the broader U.S. market has trapped itself in a nasty web of trading.

While the U.S. economy is on a firmer footing, calling for a rates hike sometime later in the year, the fundamentals in other developed and developing markets are deteriorating. This is especially true given the slowdown in Japan, sluggishness in Europe, technical recession in Canada and weak growth in emerging markets. Additionally, investors are wary of third-quarter earnings, which are expected to drop 5.8% on 3.9% lower revenues for the S&P 500 index, as per the Zacks Earnings Trends .

Moreover, the ongoing battle over the funding for Planned Parenthood between Republicans and Congress could lead to the possible shutdown of the federal government at the end of the month. All these conditions are increasing the volatility in the market, putting the stocks' returns at risk. However, the bullish sentiment for U.S. stocks remains intact given the substantial improvement in the economy and a healing job market (read: 5 High Quality ETFs for an Uncertain Market ).

In such a scenario, investors seeking to participate in the growing economy, but are worried about uncertainty, should consider mid-cap stocks in the basket form.

Why Mid Caps?

While large companies are normally known for stability and smaller ones for growth, mid caps offer the best of both the worlds, allowing growth and stability in portfolios simultaneously. These middle-of-road securities are arguably safer options and have the potential to move higher in turbulent times, especially if political issues or financial instability creeps into the picture.

Further, honing in on growth securities in this capitalization level allows investors to earn more returns. This is because growth stocks refer to those high quality stocks that are likely to witness revenues and earnings increase at a faster rate than the industry average. These stocks harness their momentum in earnings to create a positive bias in the market, resulting in rocketing share prices (read: 3 Sector ETFs to Watch on Revenue Growth Potential ).

There are currently a number of ways to tackle this overlooked part of the market segment through ETFs, giving exposure to various styles including broad, value and growth. With such a large number of choices, it may be difficult to choose the right funds. After all, many of these products target the same securities though they have different tilts, weighting schemes or focus for their portfolios.

How to Pick Right ETFs?

One way to narrow down the list is to utilize the Zacks ETF Rank. This system looks to find the best ETFs in a given market segment based on a number of factors such as industry outlook and expert surveys; and then apply ETF-specific factors (like expense ratios and bid/ask spreads).

And given the rise of the outlook for mid caps of late, it shouldn't be too surprising that a few have moved to the top Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) from Zacks ETF Rank 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) in the latest ratings' update. Below, we have highlighted these three surging funds in brief detail for investors seeking a way to make a great play on the overlooked mid cap growth space in basket form (see: Our Zacks ETF Rank Guide ):

Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF ( VOT )

This fund follows the CRSP US Mid Cap Growth Index. Holding 177 securities in its basket, it is highly diversified across each component with none holding more than 1.5% share. In terms of sector exposure, industrials occupies the top position at 19.3%, followed by consumer services (19.2%), technology (14.7%), and consumer goods (14.2%). The product has managed nearly $3.4 billion in its asset base and trades in moderate volume of around 177,000 shares. Expense ratio came in at 0.09%. VOT has lost 1.6% in the year-to-date timeframe.

iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth ETF ( JKH )

With AUM of $217.4 million, this product tracks the Morningstar Mid Growth Index. In total, it holds 204 mid cap securities with none accounting for more than 1.53% of assets. Information technology, industrials, consumer discretionary, health care and financials are the top five sectors with double-digit exposure each. The ETF charges 30 bps in annual fees and trades in a light volume of less than 5,000 shares a day. It has shed 2.2% so far this year (see: all the Mid Cap ETFs here ).

Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Growth ETF ( IVOG )

This ETF tracks the S&P MidCap 400 Pure Growth Index, charging investors 20 bps in fees per year. It has amassed $379.3 million in its asset base while sees a light volume of less than 13,000 shares. The fund holds 229 stocks with a well-diversified portfolio as each firm holds no more than 1.4% of total assets. However, it is skewed toward financials with one-fourth share while information technology, consumer discretionary, industrials and health care round of the top five. The ETF has gained 1.6% in the year-to-date timeframe.

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Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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VANGD-MC GROWTH (VOT): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-MO MC GR (JKH): ETF Research Reports

VANGD-SP4 GRWTH (IVOG): ETF Research Reports

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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