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Is SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Free Report) made its debut on 06/19/2006, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund that provides broad exposure to the Consumer Discretionary ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on market capitalization weighted indexes that are designed to represent the market or a particular segment of the market.

Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well for investors who believe in market efficiency.

But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

Methodologies like equal-weighting, one of the simplest options out there, fundamental weighting, and volatility/momentum based weighting are all choices offered to investors in this space, but not all of them can deliver superior returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by State Street Global Advisors. XRT has been able to amass assets over $1.23 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Consumer Discretionary ETFs. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the S&P Retail Select Industry Index.

The S&P Retail Select Industry Index represents the retail sub-industry portion of the S&P TMI. The S&P TMI tracks all the U.S. common stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ National Market and NASDAQ Small Cap exchanges. The Retail Index is a modified equal weight index.

Cost & Other Expenses

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor. And, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.69%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Most ETFs are very transparent products, and disclose their holdings on a daily basis. ETFs also offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, though it's still important for investors to research a fund's holdings.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Consumer Discretionary sector - about 87.10% of the portfolio. Consumer Staples and Energy round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Revolve Group Inc Class A (RVLV - Free Report) accounts for about 1.27% of the fund's total assets, followed by Buckle Inc. (BKE - Free Report) and Etsy Inc. (ETSY - Free Report) .

XRT's top 10 holdings account for about 11.64% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 50.96% and it's up approximately 87.35% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 09/06/2021), respectively. XRT has traded between $48.53 and $98.18 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 1.39 and standard deviation of 32.30% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 108 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


SPDR S&P Retail ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Consumer Discretionary ETFs segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN - Free Report) tracks PROSHARES ONLINE RETAIL INDEX and the Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report) tracks EQM Online Retail Index. ProShares Online Retail ETF has $917.83 million in assets, Amplify Online Retail ETF has $1.07 billion. ONLN has an expense ratio of 0.58% and IBUY charges 0.65%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Consumer Discretionary ETFs.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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