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3 Consumer Discretionary ETFs Upgraded to Strong Buy

Zacks Equity Research

As market meltdown seems overdone since the bloodbath at the start of the year, investors may now take a look at some high growth investing areas like consumer discretionary and its related ETFs. This is especially true given the compelling valuation at the current level.

Added to this, U.S. consumer index came in at 91 in March. Though this is a tick-down from the prior-month’s reading of 91.7, it beat the preliminary estimate of 90. Agreed, the data is not a promising one; but a strong job market, low energy prices and still-subdued inflation levels should boost the scenario going forward.

Added to this, with expectations of a longer low-rate environment in the wake of a dovish Fed, investors can enjoy a few more months of cheap dollar, which in turn should boost buying. Plus, a softer dollar should drive earnings of companies with considerable exposure in foreign lands. Meanwhile, U.S. economic data points came in better hinting at the inherent strength in the economy.

The consumer discretionary space looks better-placed than many other sectors for the forthcoming earnings season. First-quarter earnings of the sector are likely to drop 1.4% on 2.5% lower revenues as per the Zacks Earnings Trend issued on March 29, 2016. Though earnings growth rate is negative, it is narrower than the steep earnings decline that many other sectors are likely to report (read: Earnings Recession Put These ETFs in Focus).

Notably, there are a few market watchers who expressed concerns over the overvaluation of stocks and asset bubbles. But Fed chief Yellen lately stated, “I certainly wouldn't describe this as a bubble economy.”

Still, investors interested in the valuation of the consumer discretionary sector, would be happy to know that it is not overvalued at all. It has a P/E of 18.4 (ttm) for 2016, just 5.7% to premium to the S&P 500. The sector’s P/E for 2017 stands at 16 times, a 3.9% premium to the S&P 500.

Given these positive developments, a look at some of the consumer discretionary ETFs in the space could lead investors to the best ways to target the segment. In order to do this, investors can check the Zacks ETF Rank and find the top-ranked consumer discretionary ETFs best suited for their purpose. We have highlighted three ETFs which were upgraded to a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) recently (see all consumer discretionary ETFs here).

Market Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) – #3 (Hold) to #1 (Strong Buy)

This product measures the performance of the global gaming industry. Holding 43 securities in its basket, the fund is concentrated on the top five firms – Sands China, Las Vegas Sands and Galaxy Entertainment Group, Paddy Power Betfair Plc and Mgm Resorts International.

From a country look, U.S. takes the top spot at 34.0% while Australia and China round off the top three with a double-digit exposure each. The fund has amassed $19.9 million in its asset base. It charges 66 bps in annual fees and has added about 5.2% so far this year (as of April 7, 2016) (read: Time to Buy Casino ETF on Value?).

Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) – #2 (Buy) to #1

This fund holds about 26 stocks in its basket. It is a large-cap centric fund and is heavily concentrated on the top 10 holdings with 64.3% of assets. The largest allocations go to Amazon.com, Home Depot and Wal-Mart (read: Retail ETFs on Fire After Robust Results, Upbeat View).

The fund has amassed $138.8 million in its asset base. Expense ratio came in at 0.35%. The product has tumbled 2% so far this year (as of April 7, 2016).

Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary ETF (FDIS) – #3 to #1

This fund holds a large basket of 389 U.S. consumer discretionary equities. From a sector perspective, Media takes the top spot in the fund with 23.9% of assets, followed by Specialty Retail (19.7%), hotels and restaurants (16.2%) and Internet (13.3%).

The product has amassed $257.7 million in its asset base. The fund has company-specific concentration risks with 40.33% assets going into the top-10 holdings. It charges 12 bps in annual fees. FDIS is down 0.4% so far this year (as of April 7, 2016) and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


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