The start of August has been solid for the U.S. stock market though uncertainty surrounding fresh government stimulus threatens to crimp the recovery. Notably, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has jumped 3.8% — its biggest percentage gain since Jun 5 — and the S&P 500 has added 2.5% — its biggest percentage gain since July 2. Meanwhile the Nasdaq Composite Index topped the 11,000 milestone, having gained 2.5% last week (read: Nasdaq Hits Record Mark 11,000: Can ETFs Rally Further?).
Better-than-expected earnings releases and rounds of economic data, which indicate that the American economy is recovering, primarily drove the gains. The latest industry gauge indicates that U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than a year. The unemployment rate dropped to 10.2% in July, below June's 11.1% mark. Apart from these, the rise in mergers and acquisitions also led to a spike in the stock market.
While the rally seems broad-based, a few sectors outperformed the market at the start of August. Below we have highlighted four such ETFs that raked in double-digits gain last week and could be better plays if the trend prevails.
Invesco Solar ETF (TAN - Free Report) – Up 13.7%
The solar industry has been on fire buoyed by solid earnings coupled with the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s push for clean energy and infrastructure plans. This ETF offers global exposure to the solar industry by tracking the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, holding 27 stocks in the basket with each making up for not more than 9.1% of the assets. American firms dominate with half of the fund’s portfolio, followed by China (23.7%) and Spain (7.2%). The product has amassed $1.1 billion in its asset base and trades in a solid volume of around 466,000 shares a day. It charges investors 71 bps in fees per year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook (read: Top and Flop ETFs to Start Third Quarter).
ETRACS Alerian Natural Gas MLP Index ETN (MLPG - Free Report) – Up 12.7%
Most MLPs are engaged in the processing and transportation of energy commodities such as natural gas, crude oil and refined products. As such, they are not directly linked to the price of oil and are likely to be the major beneficiaries of an oil boom in the long term. Acting as toll takers, these MLPs earn revenues on volumes that flow through pipes and not on the commodity price. MLPG is designed to track an investment in the Alerian Natural Gas MLP Index, and pay a variable quarterly coupon linked to the cash distributions associated with the underlying MLP constituents, less investor fees. It charges 85 bps in annual fees and has managed $2.8 million in its asset base. The note trades in an average daily volume of 1,000 shares.
Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF (PSCE - Free Report) – Up 11.7%
Oil price logged in weekly gains on a weakening dollar, which has made dollar-denominated assets cheap for foreign investors. This fund provides exposure to the U.S. small-cap segment of the energy sector by tracking the S&P Small Cap 600 Capped Energy Index. It holds 41 stocks in its basket with AUM of 15.9 million. The fund trades in average daily volume of 72,000 shares and charges 29 bps in fees per year. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #5 (Strong Sell) with a High risk outlook (read: 4 ETF Zones Making the Most of a Weakening Dollar).
Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (BETZ - Free Report) – Up 9.8%
The digital shift has led to the rapid adoption of esports and increased video game usage. This ETF debuted in early June has already attracted $88.2 million in AUM. It is designed to offer retail and institutional investors exposure to sports betting and iGaming industries by tracking the Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming Index. The fund holds 37 stocks in its basket with each accounting for less than 5.9% of assets. It charges 75 bps in annual fees and trades in average daily volume of 481,000 shares.
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