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Top-Ranked ETFs to Bet on Amid the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

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Moscow's attacks on Ukraine have brought more volatility into the global markets.  Feb 25 will be the second day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is being attacked and blasts have been reported even during early-morning Feb 25. A CNN report has stated that a Ukrainian official mentioned Kyiv was attacked by cruise or ballistic missiles. There are reports of Russian troops and forces steadily moving toward Kyiv and are close to entering it.

The attacks have led to severe damages to Ukraine’s military infrastructure and military personnel. Another CNN reports highlights that about 137 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 316 injured since the Russian invasion began on Feb 24 (according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky).

In response to Russia’s move, the United States, European Union, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and Canada have announced a new set of stricter sanctions on Russia. Moreover, the United States has permitted sending more troops for taking positions in Germany to help NATO allies strengthen their defenses in Europe, per a CNBC article.

Despite the serious geopolitical concerns, Wall Street showed a solid reversal, with the broad market indices ending the day in green on Feb 24. Strong underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy along with investors considering the geopolitical tensions to be short-term, might have been the driving factors of yesterday’s rally. However, all three averages are trading in the correction territory.

Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some top-ranked ETFs that investors can consider to sail through the current market conditions:

iShares S&P 500 Value ETF (IVE - Free Report)

Value investing is looking to be more appealing, given the rebounding U.S. economy, the expectation of higher inflation and chances of Fed interest rate hikes. Moreover, value stocks seek to capitalize on market inefficiencies. They can deliver higher returns with lower volatility than their growth and blend counterparts. Additionally, value stocks are less exposed to trending markets and their dividend payouts offer a shield against market turbulence.

iShares S&P 500 Value ETF provides exposure to large U.S. companies that are potentially undervalued relative to comparable companies. With AUM of $23.83 billion, it charges 18 basis points (bps) in expense ratio. The fund carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with a Medium-risk outlook (read: Top-Ranked Value ETFs to Focus on Fed Rate Hike Worries).

Invesco KBW Bank ETF (KBWB - Free Report)

The shift toward a tighter monetary policy will push yields higher, thereby helping the financial sector. This is because rising rates will help in boosting profits for banks, insurance companies, discount brokerage firms and asset managers. The steepening of the yield curve (the difference between short and long-term interest rates) is likely to support banks’ net interest margins. As a result, net interest income, which constitutes a chunk of banks’ revenues, is likely to receive support from the steepening of the yield curve and a modest rise in loan demand.

Invesco KBW Bank ETF is based on the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index. The index is a modified-market capitalization-weighted index of companies primarily engaged in U.S. banking activities. It has AUM of $3.54 billion and charges 0.35% in expense ratio. The fund currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy), with a High-risk outlook (read: ETF Areas That Deserve Your Attention Now).

SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Free Report)

Consumers have been battling the rising inflation levels and geopolitical concerns. They seem to be upbeat about accelerated coronavirus vaccine rollout and recovering U.S. economy from the pandemic-led slowdown. High levels of consumer spending and improving employment conditions have kept the retail sector buzzing with opportunities.

With AUM of $416.7 million, SPDR S&P Retail ETF tracks the S&P Retail Select Industry Index. XRT holds 109 securities in its basket, with each accounting for not more than 1.37% of assets. Apparel retail, internet & direct marketing retail, automotive retail and specialty stores are the top four sectors with a double-digit allocation each.  SPDR S&P Retail ETF charges 35 bps in annual fees. The fund currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #1, with a Medium-risk outlook (read: What in Store for Retail ETFs in Big-Box Q4 Earnings?).

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE - Free Report)

Investors are closely tracking the energy sector, which is showing strength as global demand and economic growth levels are on the path of recovery from the pandemic lows. The coronavirus vaccine rollout gradually controls the outbreak's spread across the globe. The optimism surrounding global economies' reopening and increasing demand is painting a rosy picture for the cyclical sectors.

Oil prices have been rising since the beginning of 2022. The upside in crude oil prices is triggered by factors like easing Omicron variant concerns, supply shortages and the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical crisis.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund seeks to provide investment results before expenses that generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the Energy Select Sector Index. With AUM of $34.09 billion, the fund has an expense ratio of 0.10%. The fund currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2, with a High-risk outlook (read: Russia Attacks Ukraine: ETF Areas Grabbing Investor Attention).

VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report)

The growing adoption of cloud computing and the ongoing infusion of AI, machine learning and IoT is expected to create solid opportunities in 2022. Moreover, the revolutionary 5G platform is expected to act as a major catalyst for semiconductor revenues in the mobile phone market.

Going by a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) report, the global semiconductor sales hit a record high of $555.9 billion in 2021, climbing 26.2% year over year. Semiconductor sales came in at $440.4 billion in 2020. Notably, it marked the first time global semiconductor sales crossed the $500 billion level.

VanEck Semiconductor ETF provides exposure to 24 securities by tracking the MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index. The product managed assets worth $8.47 billion and charges 35 bps in annual fees and expenses. The fund currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #1, with a High-risk outlook (read: Nvidia ETFs to Tap on Upbeat Q4 Earnings).

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