The broad market indices, S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, continued to decline with losses of about 1.1% each on Aug 18. The major reason behind the downside is stemming from speculations surrounding the chances of Fed tapering the fiscal stimulus support and some weak economic data.
The central bank recently published its minutes from the July meeting and has hinted about chances of gradually withdrawing its monthly bond purchases this year. The minutes noted that “Looking ahead, most participants noted that, provided that the economy were to evolve broadly as they anticipated, they judged that it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year,” per a CNBC article.
Going on, U.S. retail sales declined 1.1% sequentially in July 2021, following a revised 0.7% gain in June and compared with the market consensus of a 0.3% decline, due to a fall in auto purchases and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that hurt consumer demand.
Also, the increasing concerns about the surging coronavirus cases due to the delta variant continue to dampen U.S. consumer sentiments. The metric surprisingly slid to a pandemic-era low level in early August when compared to a reading of 70.8 recorded in April 2020. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 70.2 in August from 81.2 last month.
With the present market scenario, let’s take a look at some ETFs that investors can consider adding to their portfolio:
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF ( VIG Quick Quote VIG - Free Report)
Dividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long history of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities in comparison to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields.
These products also form a strong portfolio, with a higher scope of capital appreciation as against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver a nice combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are mostly good for risk adverse long-term investors.
This fund tracks the NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index. The product has amassed $63.46 billion in its asset base. It charges 6 basis points (bps) in annual fees from investors (read:
ETF Investing Areas to Consider for August). Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF ( SPHD Quick Quote SPHD - Free Report)
Demand for funds with “low volatility” or “minimum volatility” generally increases during tumultuous times. These seemingly-safe products usually do not surge in bull market conditions but offer more protection than the unpredictable ones. Providing more stable cash flow than the overall market, these funds are less cyclical in nature.
This fund tracks the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index. The product has amassed $3.06 billion in its asset base. It charges 30 bps in annual fees from investors (read:
Bet on Low-Volatility ETFs to Combat Rising Delta Variant Scares). iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF ( QUAL Quick Quote QUAL - Free Report)
Quality stocks are rich in value characteristics with a healthy balance sheet, high return on capital, low volatility and high margins. These stocks also have a track record of stable or increasing sales and earnings growth. In comparison to plain vanilla funds, these products help lower volatility and perform rather well during market uncertainty. Further, academic research has proven that high-quality companies constantly provide better risk-adjusted returns than the broader market over the long term.
This fund tracks the MSCI USA Sector Neutral Quality Index. The product has amassed $24.85 billion in its asset base. It charges 15 basis points in annual fees from investors (read:
ETF Strategies to Combat Delta Variant Woes & Market Uncertainty). The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund ( XLV Quick Quote XLV - Free Report)
The pandemic has triggered a race to introduce vaccines and treatment options, opening up investing opportunities in the healthcare sector. Moreover, the space has been gaining increasing attention lately, largely due to the resurgence in COVID-19 infections due to the highly-contagious delta variant. This has made investors jittery, compelling them to shift toward defensive investments.
The fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Health Care Select Sector Index. It has AUM of $33.43 billion and charges 12 basis points in annual fees (read:
Stocks at Record: Buy 5 Top Cheap ETFs With High Potential). Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF ( VDC Quick Quote VDC - Free Report)
Investors can consider parking their money in the non-cyclical consumer staples sector during economic recession. This high-quality sector, which is largely defensive in nature, has been found to have low correlation factor with economic cycles.
Research has shown that stocks within the consumer staples sector have been mostly found to outperform during market turbulences. Thus, the space generally acts as a safe haven for investors during periods of political and economic turmoil. Moreover, consumer staples stocks have been found to have more stable profit levels in a contracting economy.
This fund tracks the MSCI US Investable Market Consumer Staples 25/50 Index. The product has amassed $5.90 billion in its asset base. It charges 10 bps in annual fees from investors (read:
Climb the "Wall of Worry" With These ETFs).