The mood in the Wall Street seems to be optimistic as we entered the bull market. Last month marked the best August for the indices of Dow and the S&P 500 since 1984 and 1986, respectively. Notably, the Dow rose roughly 7.6% in August and 55.7% since its Mar 23 lows. Moreover, the index reclaimed 28,000 last week while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit highs at regular intervals. In fact, the Dow Jones industrial average turned positive for 2020 on Aug 28. Also, the S&P 500 saw around 7% gain in August and soared about 59.4% since its March lows due to the pandemic.
Notably, reports of new coronavirus cases in the United States seem to subside a bit, which is buoying investors’ enthusiasm. Also, President Donald Trump’s moves on coronavirus vaccine seem progressive. The US government signed a $1.5-billion coronavirus vaccine supply agreement with Moderna (MRNA) for the manufacturing and delivery of initial 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273.
The U.S. government has been inking such deals under its Operation Warp Speed program to purchase heaps of potential coronavirus vaccine doses from several companies, per The Economic Times article. The United States entered into advanced purchase agreements for potential coronavirus vaccine candidates with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), Pfizer Inc (PFE) and BioNTech, and Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The improving manufacturing numbers instilled investors’ confidence in the stocks. According to data firm IHS Markit, its flash composite purchasing managers index that measures both manufacturing and service activities, jumped to 54.7 in August from 50.3 in July, registering an 18-month high, per a Reuters' article.
The housing sector seems to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus crisis as the sales of existing homes in July witnessed the maximum monthly rise in the survey’s history since 1968. The recently-released data on the U.S. builder sentiment was upbeat as well. Another round of favorable data from the US housing market signals the sector’s regain of the momentum.
The U.S. economy started reopening in phases and there is a massive Fed and government stimulus to combat the pandemic-led crisis, which can help the economy rebound. The Federal Reserve officials currently hold the overnight borrowing rate in the 0-0.25% range after the Jul 28-29 meeting.
Moreover, last week, the central bank announced a new strategy to revive the full-employment scenario in the United States and drive inflation back to decent levels. Under the new scheme, the Fed will try to achieve inflation at 2%, on average, offseting the below-2% period with higher inflation "for some time". The change in the Fed’s tone suggests that its key overnight interest rate will stay at rock-bottom levels in the medium term as the central bank is striving to drive inflation.
However, with elections approaching, investors need to prepare for heightened volatility in the broader equities space. Also, it is believed that the earnings results for the third and the fourth quarter of the ongoing year might not repeat the second-quarter upswing as most analysts are done with adjusting estimates.
ETFs to Ride the Wave
Given this bullishness, investors who seek to capitalize on the strong trends should consider the following ETFs:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY - Free Report) — up 7% in the past month
This fund seeks to provide investment results that before expenses correspond generally to the price and the yield performance of the S&P 500 Index. Its AUM is $308.33 billion and the total expense ratio, 0.09% (read: S&P 500 on Track for Best Month in 34 Years: ETFs to Trade).
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV - Free Report) — up 7%
The fund seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of large-capitalization U.S. equities. Its AUM is $220.89 billion and the total expense ratio, 0.03%.
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO - Free Report) — up 7%
The fund seeks to track the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Its AUM is $165.81 billion and the total expense ratio, 0.03% (read: ETF Strategies to Play Market Optimism Amid Coronavirus Crisis).
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA - Free Report) — up 7.5%
The fund seeks to provide investment results that before expenses correspond generally to the price and the yield performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Its AUM is $25.83 billion and the total expense ratio, 0.16% (read: Dow Jones Turns Positive for 2020: 7 Stocks Driving ETFs).
Invesco Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF (DJD - Free Report) — up 4.4%
The fund is based on the Dow Jones Industrial Average Yield Weighted index. Its AUM is $87.5 million and the total expense ratio, 0.07% (read: IBM Tops Q2 Earnings & Revenues: ETFs to Surge).
iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF (IYY - Free Report) — up 7.2%
The fund seeks to track the investment results of a broad-based index composed of U.S. equities. Its AUM is $1.36 billion and the total expense ratio, 0.20%.
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