Back to top

Image: Bigstock

3 Sector ETFs to Shine Despite Soft October Retail Sales

Read MoreHide Full Article

Retail sales in the United States gained 0.3% sequentially in October 2020, following a downwardly revised 1.6% gain in September. October sales also missed the market expectation of a 0.5% rise.

Consumer spending makes up about 70% of U.S. economic activity and thus gives a clear picture of the direction in which the economy is moving. The latest retail sales data showed that the resurgence in COVID-19 infections put a brake on consumer demand. Government’s unemployed benefit programs are also set to decease, per tradingeconomics. This along with renewed lockdowns could mar sales in November too.

Below we highlight a few areas and the related ETFs that benefited despite the downbeat retail sales for the month of October.

Winning Sectors

Online Stores

Online and mail-order retail trade jumped 3.1% sequentially in October and 29.1% year over year. Inc. (AMZN - Free Report)

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is one of the largest online retailers. Its division Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become a dominant name in the cloud-computing market.

Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report)

The underlying EQM Online Retail Index utilizes a rules-based methodology to select a globally diverse group of companies with 70% or more of online and virtual sales. The fund charges 65 bps in fees.

Electronics and Appliances

Sales of this category surged 1.2% sequentially. Year over year, sales were down 3.9%. Consumers’ interest in buying electronics products should keep demand for semiconductors higher.

Aarons Inc.

Through its various business segments, the company primarily deals in sales and lease ownership, apart from specialty retailing in furniture, home appliances, consumer electronics and accessories. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

 VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report)

The underlying MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in semiconductor production and equipment. The fund charges 35 bps in fees (read: Q3 Solid Earnings Push Semiconductor ETFs to New Highs).


Spending at motor vehicles & parts dealers gained 0.4% sequentially and 10.7% year over year.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP - Free Report)

The American automotive aftermarket parts provider has a Zacks Rank #3.

First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF (CARZ - Free Report)

The underlying NASDAQ OMX Global Auto Index is designed to track the performance of the largest and most-liquid companies engaged in the manufacturing of automobiles.

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>