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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: FCG, XRT, PSCD, VFH and VIOV

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 4, 2021 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund FCG, SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary ETF PSCD, Vanguard Financials ETF VFH and Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF VIOV.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top ETFs Up At Least 25% So Far This Year

After enjoying a huge rally for most of the year, Wall Street was caught in wild trading in the recent weeks thanks to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, inflation fears, prospects of tightening policies, budget wrangling in Washington and slowing growth in China.

U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers last week projected that they are ready to raise rates in 2022 and that the bank is likely to begin reducing its monthly bond purchases as soon as November. Meanwhile, the Fed warned of higher inflation that will likely remain in the coming months. The Chinese regulatory crackdown as well as concerns over the financial contagion due to the potential failure of China’s Evergrande property group added to the chaos (read: 5 Inverse ETFs Jump Most on Market Sell-Off).

However, the biggest vaccination drive, expanded stimulus and resumption of corporate earnings growth have been major catalysts driving the market higher. The recovering job market as well as reopening economies and businesses also added to the strength. The combination of all the factors led to a pent-up demand, resulting in higher demand for all types of products and services in the economy.

While the stock market gains have been broad-based, several ETFs have easily crushed the market by wide margins so far this year and have a solid Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Below, we have presented a bunch of top-performing ETFs from different industries that are likely to continue outperforming should the trends prevail.

First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund – Up 92.8%

Natural gas is surging on tightening supplies and low inventories, providing an upside to the natural gas stocks and ETFs. FCG offers exposure to U.S. companies involved in the exploration and production of natural gas. It follows the ISE-REVERE Natural Gas Index and holds 40 stocks in its basket.

The fund has amassed $345.4 million in its asset base while charging 60 bps in annual fees. The product has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: Best Performing Stocks of the Top US ETF of September).

SPDR S&P Retail ETF – Up 41.1%

With the vaccination of millions of Americans and the economy reopening, consumers are feeling more optimistic about the economy, leading to increased spending. With AUM of $1.2 billion, this product targets the broad retail sector by tracking the S&P Retail Select Industry Index.

It holds 108 securities in its basket with key holdings in the Internet & direct marketing retail, apparel retail, automotive retail, and specialty stores. The fund charges 35 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 with a Medium risk outlook.

Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary ETF  – Up 32.6%

The consumer discretionary sector is seeing a smooth ride on an improving economy and rising spending. The upcoming holiday season will also provide a boost to this sector. The fund targets the small-cap segment of the broad consumer discretionary space by tracking the S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Consumer Discretionary Index.

It holds 88 securities in its basket with specialty retail taking the largest share at 32.4% while household durables, and hotels, restaurants and leisure account for a double-digit exposure each. The product has attracted $63 million in AUM and charges 29 bps in annual fees. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: 5 Top-Ranked ETFs to Buy on the Dip).

Vanguard Financials ETF – Up 29%

The financial sector has benefited from the rise in yields. This is because the steepening yield curve would bolster profits for banks, insurance companies and discount brokerage firms. With AUM of $11.2 billion, this fund provides exposure to a basket of 396 stocks by tracking the MSCI US Investable Market Financials 25/50 Index.

Diversified banks account for 23.6% of the portfolio, followed by regional banks (14%), asset management & custody banks (10.2%) and investment banking & brokerage (9%). The product charges 10 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 with a Medium risk outlook.

Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF – Up 25.2%

As small-cap companies are more domestically tied, these are poised to outperform when the economy improves. These pint-sized stocks generate most of their revenues from the domestic market, making them great choices during an uptrend.

This ETF follows the S&P Small-Cap 600 Value Index, which is composed of the value companies in the S&P 600. It holds 479 securities in its basket with key holdings in financials, industrials and consumer discretionary. The fund has amassed $1.3 billion in its asset base and charges 15 bps in annual fees. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT): ETF Research Reports
First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH): ETF Research Reports
Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary ETF (PSCD): ETF Research Reports
Vanguard S&P SmallCap 600 Value ETF (VIOV): ETF Research Reports
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