VPU - Vanguard Utilities Index Fund ETF Shares

NYSEArca - NYSEArca Delayed Price. Currency in USD
136.44
-1.62 (-1.17%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close138.06
Open0.00
Bid0.00 x 900
Ask0.00 x 800
Day's Range0.00 - 0.00
52 Week Range
Volume0
Avg. Volume193,117
Net Assets5B
NAV136.43
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
Yield2.92%
YTD Return17.42%
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.31
Expense Ratio (net)0.10%
Inception Date2004-01-26
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Utility ETFs Skyrocket on Market Volatility and Low Rates (Revised)
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    Utility ETFs Skyrocket on Market Volatility and Low Rates (Revised)

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  • Utilities ETF (VPU) Hits New 52-Week High
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    Utilities ETF (VPU) Hits New 52-Week High

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  • ETF Trends

    Utilities, REIT ETFs for a Period of Heightened Volatility

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  • Successful Crisis Investing (With Dividends!)
    InvestorPlace

    Successful Crisis Investing (With Dividends!)

    One of the most important questions that investors need to ask is how their portfolios will fare during times of crisis. When the S&P 500 Index takes a dive, will their investments dive alongside it? Or will hold up or even rally?Source: Shutterstock My approach in Profitable Investing is to present an allocation to both stocks and fixed income which provides growth and income along with shock absorbers to steady the gyrations of the general stock market.This comes with lots of income from my recommended dividend stocks, as well as the heavy income from coupons and interest paid by bonds, preferred stocks and related funds.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut I can offer further perspective on investments that work better during general stock market sell-offs. It only takes a few bits of financial history to see what worked when the S&P 500 Index wasn't your friend. How to Invest in a CrisisTake for example its recent move from its high on July 26 through Thursday. The S&P 500 Index dropped by 4.7% in price, and yet there were plenty of investments which were not just holding up, but rallying. * 8 Dividend Aristocrat Stocks to Buy Now No Matter What I'll start with real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs continue to be a go-to investment sector during many of the challenging market times over last year and through 2019, including the drop from July 26. The Bloomberg US REIT Index was up 1.4% during the recent plunge.S&P 500 Index July 26 to Date Total Return (White) Against REITS (Orange) Utilities (Yellow) US Bonds (Red) and Franco-Nevada (FNV) (Green) Source BloombergREITs continue to fare well because of their solid, real assets which generate dependable revenue flows which in turn fuels ample dividend income. In addition, most U.S. REITs are either totally focused on the U.S. market or are mostly focused on the U.S. property market. This insulated them from the global economic malaise as well as trade tensions between the U.S. and China.Next up is the U.S. utilities market. Utilities as tracked by the S&P Utilities Index rallied by 0.34%. That's not much, but it beats losing money. Utilities continue to benefit from the dependability of solid regulated businesses which provide set profit margins. And they also benefit from additional growth and income from unregulated operations, providing ancillary operations from power generation and transmission to other larger-scale essential services.They therefore have dependable income for better dividends than for the general stock market with the addition of growth prospects from the continued improvement in the general US economy.Then there's the bond market. I've always been a fan of bonds. That was one of my focuses in my professional life. U.S. bonds continue to benefit from low and falling inflation, rising demand, limited new supply and improving credit conditions from many issuers of bonds. The Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate US Bond Market Index rallied for the period by 1.8% as traders got further on board as stocks were sinking.And of course, U.S. bonds are ever more attractive in their yield as more and more of the major global bond markets have ever deepening negative yields.And last up in my suggested arsenal of crisis investments is gold. But just owning gold isn't as good as my preferred way of owning gold which pays a dividend. Gold of course did rally for the same time period. But gold costs money to buy and store it. Even the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) costs 40 basis points (0.4%) per year to deal with its underlying assets. But for me, I like the idea of just buying the proceeds of ongoing gold production. This is called gold streaming. And one of the best in the business is Franco-Nevada (NYSE:FNV).This Canadian-based company has shares that easily trade on the U.S. exchanges. It doesn't mine gold, it buys and owns royalty and other interests in gold and other mineral production which streams income to the company. It then pays out part of the proceeds in the form of a dividend which currently yields 1.06%.And for the trailing year, Franco-Nevada outperformed GLD, with 33.1% in total return against 22.8%. And this isn't just a recent development, as the company has generated a return over the trailing five years which is better than GLD by a margin of 6.22 times better.Now, let's take a look at a stormier period of time for the S&P 500 Index -- the fourth quarter of 2018. The Index dropped by 14%, and yet the utilities rallied by 1.4%, U.S. Bonds rallied by 1.64% and my gold play in Franco-Nevada rallied to return 12.56%. Only REITs dropped, but by a much better margin than the S&P 500 Index. they lost 6.1%, far better than the plunge of the general stock market.Fourth Quarter 2018 Total Returns (Same as Above) Source BloombergNow, many REITs did much better than the overall U.S. REITs market. including one of my favorites -- WP Carey (NYSE:WPC) which generated a positive return for the fourth quarter by 3.21%. And during the plunge of Aug. 5 -- WPC held and rallied by 0.23% while the S&P 500 fell by 2.97%.For the general REIT market -- the easy-peasy way to gain crisis protection can by found in the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ). This provides synthetic exposure to the US REIT market at a ultra-low cost.And for U.S. utilities, Vanguard again is a good go-to source. Its Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU) which provides good synthetic exposure to U.S. utilities at a low cost.For gold, I've already made part of my case for Franco-Nevada as the best gold play in the U.S. market.And for U.S. bonds I have another specific investment recommendation which subscribers of Profitable Investing will recognize. US bonds are performing very well this year with inflation low and falling with the core Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE) falling over the trailing year to a current 1.60% - well below the Federal Reserve Bank Open Market Committee (FOMC) target above 2%.Core PCE Source BloombergU.S. bonds continue to perform well with the lower inflation and improving supply-and-demand conditions noted above. And when looking at the rest of the major global bond markets, the U.S. yields are still very much in the attractive positive range while the amount of negative yielding bonds keeps soaring in amount as non-U.S. bond investors are so desperate that they are effectively paying to own bonds. The total amount as tracked by Bloomberg & Barclays is now at $15.62 trillion.Amount of Negative Yielding Bonds Around the Globe Source Bloomberg & BarclaysNow, U.S. bonds have been good performers during crisis and prosperity this year with the overall return as tracked by Bloomberg Barclays at 8%. But I continue to advocate buying corporate higher-yielding bonds which have turned in a better return of 9.4% year to date.And one of the best means to capitalize on U.S. corporate higher-yielding bonds is to buy the BlackRock Credit Allocation Income Trust (NYSE:BTZ). This closed end fund yields 6% and yet trades at a whopping discount to its net asset value by 9.1%. And year to date, it has generated a return of 23.9%.Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate and High Yield Returns Compared to BlackRock Credit Allocation Income Trust (BTZ) Year to Date Source BloombergNow I've presented my way to invest during the recent times of crisis, perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. For more - look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more.In addition, if you find yourself in San Francisco on Aug. 15-17, please join me at the MoneyShow, where I'll be presenting my economic and market analysis and my latest investment themes and recommendations. For more information, click here: https://www.moneyshow.com/Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 8 Dividend Aristocrat Stocks to Buy Now No Matter What * 7 Stocks to Buy to Ride the Vegan Wave * 4 Safe Stocks to Buy Amid Trade War Turbulence The post Successful Crisis Investing (With Dividends!) appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Mixed Q2 Earnings Results Put Utility ETFs in Focus
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  • 9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio
    InvestorPlace

    9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio

    Many investors want a simple set-and-forget portfolio which will provide a balance between growth and income over time. And particularly if you are just beginning to build a portfolio, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) provide an easy and less expensive means to do this.Source: Shutterstock Inside my Profitable Investing, I have a large collection of model portfolios which are offered to achieve my goal of all-weather performance with lots of income and risk-controlled growth using stocks, bonds and funds -- including ETFs.For ETFs, your portfolio should be weighted to the best sectors of the U.S. markets, with shares in specific stock sectors that are geared to provide growth and income over time. As such, the stock ETF allocation should be set at 56% of your overall portfolio. I continue to recommend a roughly equal weighing for each of the funds you choose.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThis same method applies in the fixed-income sectors that are focused on corporate bonds and preferred stock, as well as the buoyant municipal bond markets. The fixed-income allocation should be set at 44% overall, including an 11% allocation to cash. And like with the stock-based funds, the individual fixed-income ETFs should be weighted evenly. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 And note, the municipal bond ETFs can be bought in tax-free accounts. Some brokerages give warnings about this, but there are no restrictions to doing it. You will give up some of the tax-free income advantage, but the total return prospects for this market remain compelling. Stock AllocationsI'll start with the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEARCA:VYM), for access to the general market with a dividend focus. VYM continues to do well year to date with a return of over 14%. Expenses are 0.6%, or just $6 annually for every $10,000 invested.That is the baseline for the stock market. Now let's move into one of the more attractive and defensive market sectors. REITs continue to gain from improving property values and rising income, fueling increasing dividends. Step into this sector safely with the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ). This ETF has resulting in a return year to date of 22% and expenses of 0.12%.Next we move on to the utilities market, which is also gaining from the security of essential services businesses. These, in turn, fuel ample and rising dividends. This sector should be bought with the Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU), which has turned in a return year-to-date of 15.7% and carries expenses of 0.1%.Healthcare traditionally has been a reliable growth market through thick and thin. Americans continue to need more and more healthcare and related products -- again providing security in revenues and reliable dividends. This sector has, though, been affected by concerns over potential government changes in healthcare rules. But these concerns, while valid, are still well into the future, probably well beyond the 2020 election. You can invest here with the Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT), which has generated a return to date of 10.8%. The expense ratio is 0.1%.Then we move to the technology market. This sector is challenged by the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which may further impact supply chains in China as well as sales all over the world. But the innovation engines remain on a fuller throttle, resulting in a return that dwarfs the general stock market. Buy in here with the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT) with a return to date of 31.3% and expenses of 0.1%.The petroleum and energy markets remain uncertain. The supply of crude oil outside the U.S. continues to be threatened by internal hostilities in many Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and externally, by sanctions on others including some attacks on ships and pipelines in the Middle East. In the US, shale producers are pumping lots and infrastructure to transport it is coming online -- but the stockpiles are holding down prices.In addition, a slowing global economy is putting supply and demand models into a case for less demand, which is also putting a cap on prices.All this said, the U.S. companies remain great sources of cash flows and are fueling U.S. regional economic growth. And in turn -- they are generating ample cash for bigger dividends. The sector should be represented by the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE) which has turned in a return year to date of 12.2%.Stock Sector Performance Year to Date Using Vanguard and SPDR ETFs Source Bloomberg Fixed-Income ETFs to Invest InAmong fixed-income allocations, you should have specific ETFs for corporate bonds, preferred stocks and municipal bonds.The U.S. economy continues to grow, with little inflation. This is providing excellent opportunities for specific sectors of the bond markets. Add in a docile Federal Reserve Bank which, while not cutting its target rate range for Fed Funds in the June meeting of its Open Market Committee (FOMC), is still expected to ease money conditions in the target range.Corporate bonds are doing well. The economy is bringing more revenues to companies, which in turn makes them better credit risks. And with yield above Treasuries, they drive more demand for these bonds. This sector should be bought with the SPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:SPIB) which has generated a return year to date of 5.5% and a 12-month yield of 3.1%. Expenses are 0.07%.Next is preferred stocks. Preferred stocks are the bonds of the stock market. They provide the certainty of largely fixed dividends that are paid before dividends to common stockholders. They are defensive and bigger income-producing investments -- perfect for the current market. The sector should be bought with the iShares Preferred & Income Securities ETF (NASDAQ:PFF) which has generated a return to date of 8.8% and has a 12-month yield of 5.8%. Expenses are 0.46%.Municipal bonds continue from last year to be a go-to market for improving prices with yield premiums to U.S. Treasuries. With the economy doing better, tax revenues for most state and local authorities are improving as well, which in turn drives up the credibility and bond prices. The sector should be bought for total return and not just tax-free income with the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:VTEB) which has turned in a return to date of 4.1%. Its 12-month yield is 2.3% and expenses are 0.08%.Fixed Income Sector Year to Date Performance using Index Sector ETFs Source BloombergNow I've presented my way to build an all-weather ETF portfolio, perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. For more - look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more: https://profitableinvesting.investorplace.com/Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy on College Students' Radars * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * The S&P 500's 5 Best Highest-Yielding Dividend Stocks The post 9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • 5 Unbeatable ETF Strategies for 2nd Half
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  • ETF Strategies to Follow If Fed Cuts Rate
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  • Utility ETFs in Focus on Mixed Q1 Earnings
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    Utility ETFs in Focus on Mixed Q1 Earnings

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  • How Edison International Stock Looks after Its Q1 Earnings
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    How Edison International Stock Looks after Its Q1 Earnings

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  • How PG&E Stock Fared Last Week
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    How PG&E Stock Fared Last Week

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  • The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks — What to Buy Now?
    InvestorPlace

    The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks — What to Buy Now?

    Stocks are up over 16% so far this year, as tracked by the S&P 500 Index. That's astonishing given that last year, from the start to the top on Sept. 20, 2018, the S&P 500 Index was up only 9.62%.S&P 500 Index Total Return Source BloombergInvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSo, what's driving all of the buying?I'll start with FOMO. Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator in the markets -- the idea that if you don't get in and buy, you'll miss out on the big rally. I believe that's a big part of getting more investors, from hedge funds to individuals, to reduce their money market funds or buying power in their brokerage accounts and shift to stocks.And as the market builds on gains and the financial and Main Street media reports more and more on the upward progress, it only fuels the buying. And this isn't a new thing. Take any of the past big up market moves of the past decades and you'll see FOMO kick in and remain until fear takes over after some big down days. We saw examples of that at the start of February and October of last year. * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Next is the Federal Reserve and its Open Market Committee (FOMC). The FOMC bungled its messaging last year. It laid out the plan to watch core inflation as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE) and said it wanted to see the PCE reach 2% and then some before it would need to act. Then it acted anyway, reducing the bond portfolio and stoking fears of more aggressive actions alongside raising its target range for Fed Funds.Then, with the stock market slipping and politics coming in on the play, it punted, and now it's pretty clear that it's going to be passive for a while. This means that the bond market will continue to be supported with the FOMC keeping its bond portfolio more or less intact. And with easy money with interest rates still not far from post-crisis levels, the credit market supports a buoyant stock market.Moving it forward is the concept of Modern Monetary Theory or MMT. This is a spin on an old theory attributed to many, including German economist George Knapp. And in very brief summary, MMT holds that the government that issues fiat money can do so largely at will and can control inflation via taxes or bond issuance. This way, government can spend at nearly at will.Of course, this works until it doesn't, when money isn't recognized, and no one will buy government bonds except the central bank.But it is being rolled out as a politically pleasing means of not only keeping the FOMC's bond portfolio, but potentially for having even larger government budgetary spending for all sorts of things.Next up is the bond market. The U.S. 10-year Treasury is sitting near 2.59% and remains well bought in the market. This, in turn, is aiding the market for mortgages, which lenders and traders use as benchmarks for modeling prices and yields. So, mortgage rates should remain low, providing further economic stimulus as well as consumer confidence all good for stocks.And it isn't just because of the FOMC. Demand by bond buyers, from wealthy investors to insurance companies and pension funds, remains strong. And given the demographics of the U.S. market aging further, that demand should keep a lid on yields for a while.And in turn, with lower Treasury yields, the corporate and other bonds, including municipal bonds, look even more attractive for the same bond investors -- all helping the economy and the general stock market.And last up is the U.S. dollar. The dollar, as measured by the Bloomberg US dollar Index, which tracks a basket of 10 major currencies, is up nearly 7% over the past year. That makes the U.S. a prime destination for global investment.This shows up in U.S. Treasury tracking of foreign government and private inflows of capital that are buying U.S. stocks and bonds. And while there were some outflows in the downturn in the fourth quarter for U.S. stocks, overall, the net amount of foreign investment in the U.S. is vastly higher in the most recent data than were it was back in 2016.And all of this comes as the underlying themes that I've been writing about recently about consumer comfort and business confidence to invest in long-term capital spending remain intact. The Big WorryNow, where will the cracks show up?I think that the biggest risk for the U.S. stock market is the reality of company performance. One of the reasons for the selloff in the fourth quarter last year was the fear that sales growth and, more importantly, earnings growth would slow from the stellar numbers of last year into 2019.For the fourth calendar quarter of 2018, the members of the S&P 500 Index reported sales growth, on average, about 6% and earnings growth around 12%. But what may be coming for the coming quarters looks a lot slower. And so far, as earnings for the first calendar quarter are rolling in, it has been a mixed bag with more risks on the horizon in the coming weeks. Tech Stocks -- Stocks to Buy, or Topping Out?This is particularly threatening for the information technology sector. This segment of the S&P 500 Index has been a big driver of the performance of the index this year, and is one of the more highly valued. Any disappointments in the earnings from the first calendar quarter of this year will most likely have a negative impact on the overall index -- and the market.So, while many companies turned in some nice numbers from the fourth quarter, the risk is that as more folks take a look at the expectations for slowed growth in sales and earnings, the compelling case to buy fades and selling comes back.Source: BloombergAnd at the core of the risk sector would be the information technology stocks, particularly found in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) such as Vanguard's Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT). This ETF has soared, with a price gain alone from Dec. 24, 2018 to date of over 35%. It is the underlying, synthetically represented stocks that have the greatest risk for earnings disappointment.This is why I continue to recommend plenty of safer, more income-focused investments and defensive investments in the model portfolios of my Profitable Investing.But that said, I do believe that even in some downturns for the general market that there are plenty of stocks in industries that worked in tougher times and will work going forward. But above all else -- keep your focus on the dividend and income paying investments right now.Source: BloombergIn particular, look at a few key segments stating with real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs have been one of the stellar performing sectors but still remains a value. The Bloomberg US REITs Index has generated a trailing year's return of 19% and was one of the better-performing indexes, losing less during the broad U.S. stock selloff in the fourth quarter of 2018 than many peers. One of the easiest means for synthetic exposure is in the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ).Source: BloombergNext is the utilities market sector. Again, like with REITs, utilities provide defense with better yield and the added benefit of having both regulated and unregulated businesses. The S&P 500 Utilities Index has a trailing year's return of 19% and was again a better performer during the selloff late last year. The go-to ETF for exposure can be found in the Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU).Source: BloombergAnd last up is the healthcare sector. With U.S. healthcare spending solidly on the rise -- regrettably due to an ever-aging and more unhealthy population -- this makes for a defensive sector with growth still in the works. The ETF for broad synthetic exposure is the Vanguard Health ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT).The key to dealing with a toppy-looking market is to be aware of what got it there, the threats that are rising and where to begin to diversify ahead of the next pull-back or sell-off.Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks to Buy for Spring Season Growth * This Is How You Beat Back a Bear Market * 7 Dental Stocks to Buy That Will Make You Smile Compare Brokers The post The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks -- What to Buy Now? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • XLU: Where Utility Stocks Might Go from Here
    Market Realist

    XLU: Where Utility Stocks Might Go from Here

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  • Why Sempra Energy Looks Strong Ahead
    Market Realist

    Why Sempra Energy Looks Strong Ahead

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