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This Just In: The Media ETF is Soaring


There was a time earlier this year when the declines in consumer discretionary and media stocks, both old and social media, were so severe that the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (PBS) was found among 2014’s 10 worst non-leveraged ETFs.

On the back of a legitimate rebound by momentum stocks, PBS has reversed its laggard ways. The ETF is up 5.4% in the past month and 8.3% since the start of May. PBS now resides just 4% below its 52-week high with several catalysts that could drive the ETF to new highs.

This is a mid-term election year and as has been noted before regarding PBS, the ETF has a confirmed track record of delivering positive returns in election years due to increased advertising revenue for the ETF’s old media constituents. PBS debuted in June 2005, so it has been around for four U.S. election years – 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014. With 2008 being the outlier because of the global financial crisis, PBS posted double-digit gains in the other election years, including a 20.2% gain in the 2010 mid-term cycle. [An Election Year ETF Idea]

Although the ETF offers some exposure to new or social media stocks, including an almost 5% weight to Facebook (FB), PBS has benefited on multiple fronts from its exposure to more traditional media names.

That includes the ETF’s exposure to consolidation in the cable and satellite television industries. Additionally, PBS has an almost 5% weight to Walt Disney (DIS) one of just eight members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to post a year-to-date gain of at least 10%. [The One ETF for Satellite TV M&A]

There are other reasons to consider PBS, including compelling valuations in and signs of a legitimate rebound by the lagging consumer discretionary, the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year. The sector is attempting to shed that laggard status as highlighted by a 6.2% gain for the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) since the start of May.

A less considered catalyst that could still prove to be efficacious for PBS is short-covering. Recent data show CBS (CBS), Gannett (GCI) and Cablevision (CVC) are among the most heavily shorted stocks by hedge funds. Those names combine for about 10.6% of PBS’ weight, according to PowerShares data.

PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio


Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Facebook.