The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLY), the largest exchange-traded fund dedicated to the consumer discretionary sector, was up nearly 18% year-to-date at the start of June 11, putting it nearly 240 basis points ahead of the S&P 500.
Consumer discretionary is the fourth-largest sector weight in the S&P 500. The primary reason why traditional, cap-weighted consumer cyclical ETFs like XLY are thriving this year is Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). That stock is up almost 24% year-to-date and is carrying many consumer cyclical funds because it is by far the largest holding in those ETFs.
For example, XLY allocates 24.57% of its weight to shares of Amazon, more than double the weight assigned to the fund’s second-largest component.
Sure, some of the best ETFs in the consumer cyclical space have large weights to Amazon. That is to be expected. On the other hand, some of the best ETFs offering exposure to this sector have surprisingly small weights to Amazon, offering investors unique and potentially rewarding approaches to consumer-related stocks.
Here are some of the best ETFs for exposure to the consumer discretionary to consider over the next few months.
Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary ETF (FDIS)
Expense Ratio: 0.084%, or $8.40 annually per $10,000 invested
The Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary ETF (NYSEARCA:FDIS) is the least expensive consumer discretionary fund on the market today. Adding to the case for this being one of the best ETFs for investors to consider in this sector is that Fidelity clients can trade FDIS commission-free, which adds to their cost savings.
Like the aforementioned XLY, FDIS is a cap-weighted fund, so it has a massive weight to Amazon, 25.48% to be precise. FDIS is also home to Home Depot (NYSE:HD), McDonald’s (NYSE:MDC), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) — four of the Dow Jones stocks that are up at least 10% this year.
Investors considering FDIS right now should be advised that the consumer discretionary sector has a tendency to struggle in the summer months, but long-term investors that can catch a pullback in FDIS could be rewarded because consumer cyclical stocks usually bounce back in the latter stages of the third quarter and soar in the last three months of the year.
Amplify International Online Retail ETF (XBUY)
Expense Ratio: 0.69%
The Amplify Online International Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XBUY) debuted earlier this year as the international counterpart to the popular Amplify Online Retail ETF (NASDAQ:IBUY). Online retail and e-commerce are themes dominated by Amazon in the U.S., but these themes are global, making XBUY one of the best ETFs to consider in this space.
XBUY holds 46 stocks and tracks the EQM International Ecommerce Index. That benchmark “seeks to measure the performance of equity securities issued by non-U.S. companies that derive at least 90% of their revenue from online business transactions or e-commerce platforms,” according to Amplify.
XBUY’s holdings include traditional retailers, online travel providers and marketplace companies, such as Shopify (NYSE:SHOP). XBUY is one of the best ETFs for tactical investors seeking ex-U.S. exposure because online shopping has significant tailwinds.
“Ecommerce represented a growing share of the retail market in 2018, taking a 14.3% share of total retail sales last year, up from 12.9% in 2017 and 11.6% in 2016,” notes Digital Commerce 360. “More significant is that ecommerce sales represented more than half, or 51.9%, of all retail sales growth. This is the largest share of growth for purchases made online since 2008, when ecommerce accounted for 63.8% of all sales growth.”
ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN)
Expense Ratio: 0.58%
The ProShares Online Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:ONLN) is one of the best ETFs for investors looking for umbrella exposure to the biggest names in online retail. Case and point: ONLN allocates over 40% of its combined weight to Amazon and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). ONLN is just 11 months old, but the fund is already displaying the potency of dedicated online retail investments as it is up nearly 23% year-to-date.
While ONLN is essentially a bet on two stocks due to the largest weights assigned to Amazon and Alibaba, there is no denying the favorable fundamental data that underpins this fund, making it one of the best ETFs in this market niche.
“With nearly all of the constituents of the ProShares Online Retail index reporting, sales growth came in at nearly 20% and earnings growth came in at nearly 55%,” according to ProShares.
As ONLN’s performance indicates, investors should embrace purity when it comes to online retailers.
“Some retail observers note the increased online presence of legacy bricks-and-mortar retailers as evidence that the online/brick and mortar bifurcation of the retail universe is becoming less relevant. However, this ignores the evidence that expanding the online businesses of legacy bricks-and-mortar players isn’t benefiting their bottom lines. In the first quarter, Walmart’s online sales grew 37%; however, Walmart’s first quarter earnings shrank nearly 1%,” according to ProShares.
As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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