Yesterday in options trading we saw an influx of bearish put buyers in iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT) as the exchange traded fund itself traded very heavy volume over 1 million shares versus its typical average.
IYT has slightly lagged the broad U.S. equity market year to date, as the ETF is up 6.15% year to date versus the S&P 500 Index up 7.40% so it is possible that holders of the ETF are purchasing downside protection through the puts, or the activity could also be outright bearish speculation.
Current top holdings in IYT are UNP (12.08%), FDX (9.06%), NSC (8.31%), UPS (8.06%), and ALK (8.00%) and the fund remains one of four current alternatives in the ETF space that are in the “Transportation” sector.
SPDR S&P Transportation (NYSEArca: XTN) is newer to the ETF universe, as the fund debuted a little over a year ago, in late January of 2011. Unlike IYT which tracks a Dow Jones Transportation Average index, XTN is based on an S&P index. Since XTN’s inception, IYT has outpaced it handily, up 5.29% versus XTN losing 0.35%.
Two other funds that fall within the “Transportation” category are not broad based plays like IYT and XTN, but instead are focused specifically on the Airlines and Shipping industries.
Guggenheim Shipping Index (NYSEArca: SEA) and Guggenheim Airline (NYSEArca: FAA) are the two funds and are designed more for those portfolio managers whom are looking to zero in on specific exposure to these two industries, whereas IYT and XTN offer exposure to some Airlines and Shipping names, but also companies involved in the Railroad and Trucking industries for example.
iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average
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