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Mid-Cap ETFs to Bet On Amid Growing Market Concerns

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Wall Street started the week on a disappointing note as all the major indices closed in red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.7% on Oct 11. The other two broader indices, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite also lost about 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively. In fact, eight out of the 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the trading session lower.

In another disappointing development, Goldman Sachs (GS) has decreased its U.S. economic growth prediction. The investment bank now expects an economic growth rate of 4% from 4.4% in 2022 (according to a CNBC article). It has also revised its 2021 estimate down to 5.6% from 5.7%. It has cited various factors like the diminishing fiscal stimulus support from the Congress and the slow pace of recovery in consumer spending for its decision.

Goldman economist Joseph Briggs said that “For activities like going to a movie theater, many individuals don’t anticipate resuming normal spending patterns for at least another 6 months, suggesting a full normalization in economic activity may take some time,” per a CNBC article.

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has resulted in a section of market analysts and financial experts curtailing their forecast for third-quarter U.S. economic growth.

The latest jobs report for September has turned out to be disappointing as the U.S. economy has added the lowest so far this year. Notably, 194,000 jobs were added in September, missing the forecast of 500,000. Nonfarm employment has risen by 17.4 million since April 2020 but is down 3.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Investors may have to handle certain issues like inflationary pressure, supply-chain challenges, possibilities of the Fed tapering the fiscal stimulus, China’s Evergrande crisis along with concerns over a debt-ceiling breach in October. These factors can also keep the stock market volatile. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also signaled that the central bank will begin tapering its $120 billion per month bond-buy program possibly this year, and the first hike in interest rates may happen as early as the second half of 2022.

Meanwhile, the optimism on positive updates on  Merck (MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ investigational oral antiviral medicine, molnupiravir, can support the sector. The update supports the spaces expected to gain from the reopening of economies as molnupiravir will help fight against COVID-19, if approved by the FDA.

U.S. consumer sentiment marginally improved despite rising concerns about coronavirus cases and inflation levels. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment inched up to 71 in September from 70.3 last month, per a BloombergQuint article.

According to the Bespoke Investment Group, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 60% of the time in October over the past 50 years, averaging an increase of 0.5% (per a CNBC article). The market index was negative with an average loss of 0.9%, most of the time in September.

Mid-Cap ETFs to Consider

Considering the mixed sentiments, mid-cap funds are gaining attention as they provide both growth and stability in comparison to the small-cap and large-cap counterparts. As such, investors seeking to capitalize on the strong fundamentals but worried about uncertainty should consider mid-cap ETFs. Below, we have presented five popular mid-cap ETFs:

Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO - Free Report)

The fund seeks to track the performance of the CRSP US Mid Cap Index, which measures the investment return of mid-capitalization stocks. It has AUM of $52.65 billion. It charges a fee of 4 basis points (bps) (read: Tax Hike Worries Drive Last Week's Inflows: 5 Hot ETFs).

SPDR S&P MIDCAP 400 ETF Trust (MDY - Free Report)

The fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. It has AUM of $20.42 billion. It charges a fee of 23 bps (see: all the Mid Cap ETFs here).

iShares Russell Mid-Cap Value ETF (IWS - Free Report)

The fund provides exposure to mid-sized U.S. companies that are thought to be undervalued by the market relative to comparable companies and tracks the Russell MidCap Value Index. It has AUM of $14.31 billion. It charges a fee of 23 bps.

Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF (VOT - Free Report)

The fund seeks to track the performance of the CRSP US Mid Cap Growth Index, which measures the investment return of mid-capitalization growth stocks. It has AUM of $11.62 billion. It charges a fee of 7 bps.

Schwab U.S. Mid-Cap ETF (SCHM - Free Report)

The fund’s goal is to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the total return of the Dow Jones U.S. Mid-Cap Total Stock Market Index. It has AUM of $9.79 billion and charges a fee of 4 bps.