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Investors Return to Equities But Not Industrial ETFs


U.S. equities are bouncing back as investors return to a risk-on mindset. However, industrial sector exchange traded funds have been left out to dry.

Over the past week, the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) rose 3.1% and attracted $5.3 billion in inflows.

On the other hand, the iShares Dow Jones US Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) has been the least loved ETF in the past week, experiencing $636 million in outflows. IYJ gained 2.9% over the same period.

The industrials sector has been lagging behind the broader market so far this year, with IYJ down 2.4% year-to-date, compared to the 0.9% dip in SPY.

The U.S. industrial sector has slowed down amid crippling winter storms. Industrial output dipped 0.3% in January, compared to economists’ average forecast for a 0.1% advance. [Eastern Chills: Blizzard Bowls Over Some Sector ETFs]

“U.S. industrial production for January was as dismal as most of the recent data,” Rob Carnell, chief international economist of ING Bank NV, said, Bloomberg reports. “It looks awful, but has to be taken with an enormous snow shovel of salt. Unfortunately, with bad weather ongoing in parts of the U.S., it may be some time before the real underlying picture of U.S. economic strength re-emerges.”

Economic bellwether General Electric Co (GE), and IYJ’s largest component holding at 10.2%, dropped 9.2% year-to-date, weighing on the overall industrials sector.

Additionally, Federal budget cuts are beginning to make an impact on aerospace and defense stocks, a sub-sector of industrials, with Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) revealing a 14% drop in fourth-quarter profits. The aerospace industry accounts for 17.7% of IYJ’s holdings. [Aerospace ETFs Grounded as Budget Cuts Take a Toll]

iShares Dow Jones US Industrial Sector Index Fund

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

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of SPY.

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.