With the Dow Jones Industrial Average poised for another triple digit loss and the S&P 500 heading for a weekly loss north of 2%, finding pockets of strength in this market is not impossible, but it is becoming increasingly difficult.
As we noted on Thursday, a scant percentage of exchange traded funds touched new 52-week highs. The number is even smaller Friday with just three ETFs reaching new 52-week highs. That group is comprised of the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX) , the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) and the PowerShares High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers Portfolio (PEY) . [Palladium ETF Soars on Russia Sanctions]
Regarding the $380.4 million PEY, it is the only member of that trio that is trading lower at this writing, though only modestly so. As is the case with many of the other dividend ETFs that have recently been showing strength in the face of lousy market conditions, the secret to PEY’s success is a large allocation to the high-flying utilities sector. PEY allocates 25.2% of its weight to that sector, 650 basis more than its second-largest sector weight, consumer staples. [What These ETFs are Saying About the Market]
There is plenty of competition I the high yield dividend ETF space, but PEY compares favorably against its rivals. Over the past three months, six months, year and two years, the PowerShares offering has outpaced the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) , according to ETF Replay data.
PEY has been slightly more volatile than its large-cap focused counterparts because it allocates over 36% of its weight to small-caps, but the bulk of that exposure is to small-cap value.
That is an important point because PEY has a deep value bias, an advantage that has proven useful at a time when some broad market exchange traded funds that emphasize value stocks are acting growthier than their growth ETF counterparts. Over the trailing three- and five-year periods, the NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers 50 Index, PEY’s underlying index, has outperformed the S&P 500 Value Index, according to PowerShares data.
That index is comprised of 50 stocks selected principally on the basis of dividend yield and consistent growth in dividends, notes PowerShares. With a trailing 12-month yield of 3.36% PEY charges 0.57% per year and pays a monthly dividend.
PowerShares High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers Portfolio