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ETFs & Stocks for Higher Yields

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The one question that has been driving the markets mad for months is the actual timeline of the first Fed rate hike since 2006. Though a soft start to 2015 due to a harsh winter and congestion in West Coast port poured water on the guesswork for a while, strong job numbers, sturdy retail reading, decent automobile sales rise and optimistic housing numbers in the ongoing second quarter have once again heightened speculations for sooner-than-expected policy normalization.

Most market participants now expect the Fed to tighten its policy in September. In anticipation of the rate hike, interest rates rose in June. Following the latest spate of stronger readings yields on U.S. benchmark 10-year notes touched the 2.50% mark – the highest point of this year – on June 10, though it started slipping from the very next day on a safe haven appeal due to ‘Grexit’ concerns. However, the respite was short-lived as easing Greek debt deal worries stole the safe-haven charm from Treasuries and caused rise in yields again.

As yields on benchmark government debt started to rise, several income generating avenues fell out of investor favor.  Many investors started to move out of the income-producing securities and look for benchmark treasury yield beating options that offer decent capital gains in a choppy market.

Below, we have highlighted two ETFs and stocks yielding around 4% or more. These could be interesting plays for investors in the days to come:

iShares Global High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (GHYG)

This fund tracks the Markit iBoxx Global Developed Markets High Yield Index. The index captures the performance of the global high yield corporate bond market (read: Assets Swing To and Fro Junk Bond ETFs).

The fund’s effective duration stands at 4.11 years suggesting moderate interest rate risk. GHYG is an overlooked choice with $94.0 million in assets and average daily volume of about 10,000 shares a day. It charges an expense ratio of 40 bps and yields around 4.99%. The fund has added about 2.4% so far this year. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook (see all High-Yield/Junk Bond ETFs here).

SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF (WDIV)

For investors seeking a global exposure, WDIV seems an intriguing pick. This fund follows the S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Index, which measures the performance of the companies that have raised dividends for at least 10 years consecutively. The product is an overlooked choice, having amassed just $73 million in AUM. It charges an annual fee of 40 bps. Volume is light under 10,000 shares a day on average, resulting in higher trading costs (read: Guide to Dividend Aristocrat ETFs).

Holding 103 stocks, WDIV also provides a nice balance across each component with none holding more than 2.62% share. Financials and utilities take the top two spots at 24% and 15%, respectively, while consumer staples, industrials and energy make up for next three spots with 10% share each. The fund has gained 2.3% so far this year and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 or with Low risk outlook. The fund yields about 4% annually.

Stock Picks

Among stocks, we recommend two by using the Zacks Screener that fits our two criteria: a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and dividend yield above 6%. Here are the details:
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC)

HSBC Holdings plc with a solid Zacks industry rank (in the top 27%) is a major global banking and financial services firm. With widespread global footprint, HSBC provides an array of financial services.

The stock was up about 10% in the last three month. Though a still-soft European economy and ‘Grexit’ worries might drag the company’s results, a low-rate environment should boost loan demand.  Also miscellaneous sources of revenue generations and an extensive international presence will likely support the company’s activities ahead. The stock yields 8.41% annually and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Select Income REIT (SIR)

Select Income REIT is a real estate company which owns and invests in net leased, single tenant properties. It has properties in Oahu, Hawaii and the mainland U.S. Notably, REITs are known for their high-yield nature. The stock also enjoys a solid Zacks industry rank (in the top 36%). SIR yields 6.17% annually and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1.

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