Smart-Beta ETF Approach to a Reinforced Industrial Sector

ETF Trends

New orders climbed to the highest this year, revealing a robust manufacturing sector. With the added momentum in the industrials space, investors can consider smart-beta exchange traded fund options to capture returns.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index was at 55.3 last month, slightly lower than the five-month high of 55.4 in May, reports Lorraine Woellert for Bloomberg. Any reading above 50 signals an expansion.

“Manufacturing is back on track,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc., said in the article. “It’s growing at a solid pace.”

The gauge of new orders also jumped to its highest since December. The production measure was at 60, compared to 61 in May, for the best back-to-back levels since the end of 2013.

“It’s a good report for the overall economy,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said in the article. The ISM report “is consistent with the continued gains in industrial production.”

Looking ahead, traders will be watching the employment situation and jobless claims Thursday.

Investors interested in the industrials sector typically look at the largest ETF options in the space, including the the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) and Vanguard Industrials ETF (VIS) . The funds track market-cap-weighted indices. XLI is up 0.5% and VIS rose 0.9% over the past month. [Industrial ETFs Feast on Value Binge]

Meanwhile, over the past month, the PowerShares DWA Industrials Momentum Portfolio (PRN) has gained 3.6% and the First Trust Industrials/Producer Durables AlphaDEX Fund (FXR) is up 1.8%.

The PowerShares and First Trust offerings track alternatively weighted indices. Specifically, PRN identifies companies that show relative strength, or momentum. FXR picks out companies based on growth factors including three, six and 12-month price appreciation, sales to price and one year sales growth, and on value factors including book value to price, cash flow to price and return on assets.

Consequently, PRN and FXR have a greater tilt toward mid- and small-cap companies in the industrial sector. The PowerShares ETF’s market-cap include 4.5% mega-cap, 24.9% large-cap, 39.0% mid-cap, 21.2% small-cap and 10.5% micro-cap. FXR’s holdings include 3.6% mega-cap, 19.4% large-cap, 62.8% mid-cap and 14.2% small-cap.

For more information on the industrials sector, visit our industrials category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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