XLP - Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund

NYSEArca - NYSEArca Delayed Price. Currency in USD
60.32
-0.19 (-0.32%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close60.51
Open60.64
Bid60.38 x 38500
Ask60.46 x 36100
Day's Range60.32 - 60.78
52 Week Range48.33 - 61.92
Volume13,957,878
Avg. Volume14,064,211
Net Assets13.83B
NAV60.37
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
Yield2.63%
YTD Return21.17%
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.63
Expense Ratio (net)0.13%
Inception Date1998-12-16
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    The stock market took a gut punch recently as a number of on-again, off-again headwinds started to blow at the same time. Investors quickly turned tail, seeking out more protective positions. Unsurprisingly, this trend led to an influx of inflows into some of the best defensive exchange-traded funds (ETFs).The Federal Reserve knocked Wall Street off-balance with a recent quarter-point drop in its benchmark Fed funds rate. Yes, it was the first such cut since the Great Recession. But some investors were hoping for a deeper reduction, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's subsequent press conference kept experts guessing about whether future rate cuts were any more or less likely.The U.S.-China trade war escalated next. At the start of August, President Donald Trump threatened to slap a 10% tariff on another $300 billion in Chinese imports effective Sept. 1, prompting Beijing to threaten retaliation. So far, China has announced it will suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products and let its currency, the yuan, tumble to an 11-year-low. The latter move is expected to agitate Trump, who has accused Beijing of currency manipulation in the past.Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped quickly, losing almost 4% between the July 30 close (the day before the Fed announcement) and the Aug. 5 market open. Some investors are going to cash - but others are seeking out areas of the market that might rise as the market falls, or places to collect dividends while waiting out the volatility.Here, we examine 11 of the best ETFs to buy if you're looking for portfolio protection. This relatively small cluster of funds covers a lot of ground, including high-dividend sectors, low-volatility ETFs, gold, bonds and even a simple, direct market hedge. SEE ALSO: The Kip ETF 20: The 20 Best Cheap ETFs You Can Buy

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    When the market is turbulent, investors often embark on a flight to safety. That means investors will pile into risk-off assets, such as Treasuries, gold and consumer staples. Indeed, this is exactly what has happened over the last month. While the S&P 500 is off more than 2% in the last month, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:TLT) is up 9%, and the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD) is up 5%. And since Aug. 5, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLP) has gained 5%.Source: Shutterstock Given that backdrop, one would assume a food and product packaging company like Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE) would also have benefited from this August flight to safety. It did, for awhile. At one point in early August, SEE stock price was up nearly 10% in August. But the stock has since given up most of those gains, and now SEE stock price is more than 5% off its August highs, while TLT, GLD, and XLP are all at or right next to their August highs.In other words, while SEE stock was initially thought of as a great risk-off investment in this stumbling economy and turbulent market, investors have since second-guessed the relative safety of Sealed Air stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI totally get it. Ostensibly, SEE stock seems very stable, with a fairly attractive valuation and a steady yield. But at this point, it has optical issues which may keep SEE stock price relatively muted for the foreseeable future. * 7 Great Small-Cap Stocks to Buy As a result, I think Sealed Air stock is best left alone for now. Its fundamentals are strong enough that it's not a great short. Its optics are troubling enough that it's not a great long. In such a situation, the sidelines are the best place to hangout. Sealed Air's Fundamentals Are Pretty GoodThe fundamentals supporting SEE stock price are pretty good, and they're mostly favorable to the bull thesis.SEE is a global food and packaging company. Its business is pretty stable. No matter what the global economy is doing, the world is still going to have to transport staple food and goods. It's true that, as global economic activity slows, so will the trading of these goods. But the slowdown will be gradual, and it won't be that steep.Consequently, Sealed Air's performance over the past several years - a low-to-mid-single=digit-percentage revenue grower, excluding acquisitions, with slight margin expansion and low-to-high-single-digit-percentage EBITDA growth - will probably be largely duplicated over the next several years. Its growth will likely slow a bit as the global economy weakens. But Sealed Air should be able to grow its revenues at a low-single-digit rate over the next several years, on largely stable margins, which - when coupled with its buybacks of SEE stock - should produce high- single-digit-earnings per share growth.Sealed Air's EPS can reach somewhere around $4.80 by fiscal 2025. Based on a forward price-earnings multiple of 17, which is average for the packaged-goods sector, that implies a fiscal 2024 price target for SEE stock of over $80. Discounted back by 10% per year, that equates to a 2019 price target of about $50.SEE stock price is slightly above $40 today. Thus, the long term growth fundamentals currently say that Sealed Air stock is undervalued. The Optics Give PauseAlthough SEE stock is undervalued, the optics surrounding Sealed Air warrant this undervaluation for the time being. Specifically, there is an active SEC investigation overhanging Sealed Air which has created a lot of distractions. These distractions detract from Sealed Air's value as a risk-off investment during turbulent times.This SEC investigation has shifted into another gear in 2019. In May, Sealed Air was served a subpoena relating to a previously disclosed SEC investigation into the company's accounting practices. That additional subpoena has had an avalanche impact on the company.A month later, Sealed Air fired its CFO. Three months later, the company received a grand jury subpoena from a U.S. Attorney for documents related to the firing. A week after that, Sealed Air switched audit firms. And, a week after that, Upslope Capital Management, which was shorting Sealed Air stock, issued a report, citing the SEC investigation and accounting irregularities as two big reasons why it believed that SEE stock would head lower.Against the backdrop of all those distractions, Sealed Air's organic revenue growth has slowed to a multi-year low in 2019.In other words, SEE stock price is being weighed down by slowing growth trends against the backdrop of a ton of SEC/accounting noise that doesn't give investors confidence. Slowing growth plus a lack of confidence is not a winning combination.So despite SEE's favorable fundamentals, SEE stock price likely won't march meaningfully higher anytime soon. The Bottom Line on SEE StockIt's easy to look at SEE stock and see a stable consumer staples stock that should theoretically outperform during turbulent times. But that cursory analysis ignores the ugly optical risks overhanging the company. Those unfavorable optics will ultimately put a cap on near-term gains by SEE stock, making it unattractive for now.As of this writing, Luke Lango did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Sealed Air Stock Is Cheap, But Unattractive appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    The classic equity sectors to hunt for yield have been defense, consumer staples, and utilities. The idea has always been that these sectors provide less in the way of capital gains, compared to more volatile high-flying sectors like technology, but in exchange for the more moderate capital gains, investors get stability and yield.This year, however, as investors have tried to navigate the tail end of the business cycle and changing stances by the Federal Reserve, fund flows have gone to those classic defensive sectors. The result is double digit gains for the stock itself pre-dividend in year to date performance. Consumer Staples Select (NYSEARCA:XLP) is up almost 19%. The utility ETF Utilities SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLU) is not far behind, up 15%.Dividend yields have fallen under this scenario, and XLU yields just 3%, while XLP yields just 2.7%. It's clear then, that investors are going to need to look elsewhere for higher yields.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip Energy, being rather out of favor this year, is offering some compelling opportunities. Dividend Stocks to Buy: Energy Transfer LPDividend Yield: 8.2%Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET) has been steadily executing on the strategic front. They have expanded their presence to China to meet growing demand for LNG and NGL products by opening an office in Beijing earlier in the year. ET signed a letter of intent with Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) to enter into a joint venture on a diesel fuel pipeline to West Texas. They have sold interests in certain pipelines to raise capital at attractive prices.Regardless of how the overall market is treating the energy sector, especially midstream master limited partnerships (MLPs), ET has not missed a beat. Financials are in good order with a distribution cash coverage ratio of 2.07x. Fiscal year adjusted EBITDA forecast of $10.7 billion have been reaffirmed.All the while the business keeps expanding. Plans on a Bakken pipeline optimization project will start next year. And on the Permian side, ET is expanding its Permian Express pipeline system by an incremental 120,000 barrels per day. The Permian Express 4 expansion is expected to be in service by the end of the third quarter of 2019.Cash flows are extremely healthy. The dividend is secure. And new projects are fueling growth. The future for ET looks better than good. DCP MidstreamDividend Yield: 10%DCP Midstream (NYSE:DCP) reported a strong first quarter yet yields remain sky high. This presents a great opportunity for patient investors who understand that equity sectors go on rotation and that there will be a day when the market wakes up and realizes how cheap companies have gotten.DCP owns and operates more than 60 plants and 64,000 miles of natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines across 9 states. On this diverse base of assets, the company generated record distributable cash flow of $224 million in the first quarter. This puts the distribution coverage ratio at 1.45 times. So, despite difficult times for the sector, a best-in-class operator will still produce best-in-class results.NGL Energy Partner's (NYSE:NGL) pipeline throughput volumes was extremely strong, increasing approximately 30% year-over-year. In particular, Sand Hills and Southern Hills drove higher volumes. As a result, adjusted EBITDA set a record as well for the quarter. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond Somehow DCP is just sitting there yielding 10%. Take advantage of the mispricing. BPDividend Yield: 6%BP (NYSE:BP) has a plan in place to secure long-term cash flow distributions to shareholders. Oil prices have been volatile, but their turnaround strategy is well underway.There are a number of ramp-up projects, three of which came on stream in Q1, and another that is scheduled to come on stream in Q2. These ramp-ups should make up for some lost volume that has certain analysts concerned.The good news is that most of the major turnarounds are behind BP, so the company is now in more of a steady state. There will be some impact in Q2 but not to the extent that the market seems to be pricing in.Lubricants, which has been a great business, has recently run into some issues with base oil prices, but management indicates that is leveling off. BP has made major efforts starting late last year to make that department more efficient, so there are ways to work around the headwinds.A recovery across a couple of BP's business lines going forward, in addition to the refinery system readying to go "full tilt" in 2020, has positioned the company well both from a growth and cash flow standpoint. Being paid 6% for the company's thought through strategy to play off isn't a bad deal. As of this writing, Luce Emerson was long shares of Energy Transfer LP. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip * 7 Services Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 6 Stocks to Buy and 1 to Sell Based on Insider Trading The post 3 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy in the Energy Sector appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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