Markets

Time for Dow ETFs?

Dow Jones Industrial Average has been the worst performing index among the popular trio - S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq - thanks mainly to a freefall in oil prices and rising rate worries in the U.S. Added to this, fears of a hard landing in China and its ripples throughout the world sent this key index into the correction territory in August. So far this year (as of October 9, 2015), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) is down about 4%.

However, things seemed to have been set right for the Dow Jones lately on the oil price jump and the diminishing prospect of a rate hike this year. Oil prices regained some of the lost ground as the U.S. count of oil and gas drilling rigs slipped to a five-year low (read: Four Energy ETFs Rallying Hard on Oil Rebound ).

Also, the Energy Information Administration ( EIA ) expects a remarkable drop in U.S. crude production through the middle of next year before a turnaround in late 2016. Oil output is estimated to fall from 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015 to 8.9 million bpd in 2016. Needless to say, the rise in oil prices supported energy stocks greatly in recent sessions.

On the other hand, a weak September job data pushed the speculative timeline of the Fed rate lift-off to early next year. After all, the year-to-date monthly pace of job gains now averages 198K and the pace for the last three months is much lower at 167K. This compares with the monthly average of 260K for 2014, hinting at the lost momentum in U.S. economic growth.

And the stocks surged in hopes of incessant cheap money flows. Moreover, a soft job report curbed the dollar strength which in turn provided a long-awaited boost to the commodities and material stocks. Though all the major benchmarks are correlated and got the boost they needed in October from the Fed and energy-centric optimism, Dow remained relatively more beaten-down and thus is more prone to a sturdy reversal.

If this was not enough, a dovish Fed pushed the interest rates down to a lower territory. This in turn brightened the appeal for more yielding securities. Notably, among the top ETFs, Jones Industrial Average-based DIA yields 2.33% annually (as of October 9, 2015) against the S&P 500-based SPY 's 2.02% and Nasdaq-100 based QQQ 's 1.08% (read: Head-to-Head: S&P 500 ETFs vs Dow ETFs ).

Below we highlight a few Dow Jones-based ETF options which could be intriguing options to play:

DIA in Focus

DIA seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index. The index is price weighted and measures the performance of 30 large cap stocks traded in the U.S. markets.

Industrials, Financials, IT, Consumer Discretionary and Health Care all hold double-digit exposure in the fund. However, it is subject to company-specific concentration risks as it invests more than half of its portfolio in the top 10 holdings.

This $11.6 billion-fund trades in large volumes of over 5 million shares daily and charges 17 bps in fees. It advanced 4.8% in the last 10 trading sessions (as of October 9, 2015). The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF ( IYY )

This $941.1 million-ETF also tracks the Dow Jones U.S. total market index. This fund has a proportionate exposure in almost all sectors with maximum emphasis on IT (19.77%), Financials (17.47%), Health Care (13.91%), Consumer Discretionary (13.55%), and Industrials (10.66%) (read: 5 Sector Favorites for Q3 Earnings & Their Hot ETFs ).

Unlike DIA, this 1,280-stock fund invests less than 15% share in the top-10 holdings. IYY charges 20 basis points as fees and added 4.2% in the last 10 trading sessions.

ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (SDOG)

This fund applies the 'Dogs of the Dow Theory' on a sector-by-sector basis using the S&P 500. This could be easily done by selecting the five highest yielding securities in each of the 10 GICS sectors and equally weighing them. These higher yielding stocks will appreciate in order to bring their yields in line with the market, leading to outsized gains (read : 5 Investor-Friendly Dow Dog ETFs for 2015 ).

This approach results in a portfolio of 51 stocks with each security accounting for less than 2.33% of total assets. The fund focuses on yield in the large cap market while giving investors roughly equal exposure to all sectors. SDOG has accumulated $1.1 billion in AUM and trades in good volume of more than 180,000 shares. It charges 40 bps in annual fees and has an annual dividend yield of 3.63%. The ETF was up over 5.9% in the last 10 days.

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SPDR-DJ IND AVG (DIA): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-DJ US IF (IYY): ETF Research Reports

ALPS-SEC DV DOG (SDOG): 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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