As we are in the final stretch of the Q1 earnings season with results from about 87% of the S&P 500 companies already out, it is time to evaluate overall performance. As per Zacks Earnings Trends issued on May 4, 2016, the growth picture is appalling with the S&P 500 likely to suffer a 7.1% decline in earnings on 1.1% lower revenues for Q1.
But several companies came up with positive surprises for both the top and the bottom lines. As much as 71.4% of S&P 500 members beat on earnings while 56.4% made it to revenues. In terms of earnings beat, auto, construction, transportation and the consumer segment scored higher while aerospace, conglomerates, medical, construction and industrial production impressed with revenue beat (read: Upbeat Aerospace & Defense Results Lift ETFs).
However, there are certain sectors that gave average performances in the season. One such sector is technology. Total earnings for these tech companies fell 5.8% on 1.0% higher revenues, with 65% beating EPS estimates and 50% surpassing revenue expectations. The finance sector gave a more bearish performance with total earnings falling 7.6% on 0.5% higher revenues, 61% beating EPS estimates and 51.9% outdoing top-line estimates.
In such a situation, investors would definitely want to go for the better-performing sector ETFs. But another way to earn quick gains is to follow the investment advice of big brokerage houses like J.P. Morgan.
What is J.P. Morgan Suggesting?
As per the firm, investors should be bullish on some definite corners of the U.S. market. As of now, the bank suggests investing in selective corners of the broader tech sector.
Notably, the barrage of downbeat earnings from technology bellwethers like International Business Machines (IBM - Free Report) , Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) stoked concerns over the sector.
To make matters worse, tech bellwether Apple Inc. (AAPL) posted lower-than-expected earnings and revenues in second-quarter fiscal 2016, and reported its first quarterly revenue drop in 13 years along with the first-ever decline in iPhone sales. With this, technology ETF XLK lost over 2.8% in the last 10 trading days (as of May 6, 2016).
But J.P. Morgan is bullish on areas such as cloud computing, mobility and big data. So, investors can definitely play this zone via pure play ETFs.
Cloud Computing – First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY - Free Report)
As we know, cloud computing is a process by which data or software is stored outside of a computer, but can be easily accessed from anywhere at any time via the Internet. Lately, enterprise cloud computing has beenis rising at a rapid pace.
Industry statistics also bear out the relatively bullish trend. IDC expects global spending on public cloud services to grow at a CAGR of 19.4% from 2015 through 2019. Investors should note that the Industry Rank for most of the constituents of SKYY is within the top 40% segment of the Zacks universe. SKYY has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) (read: Can Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY - Free Report) Surge on Earnings Surprise?).
As per J.P. Morgan, the health care sector has the potential to outperform despite drug pricing issues. The overall medical sector is likely to record a 7% gain in earnings in the first quarter of 2016 on 9% expansion in revenues. In this space, JPMorgan mainly favors shares of higher-quality companies that deliver solid yields (read: Solid Q1 Earnings Fail to Boost Pharma ETFs).
Here we highlight a few healthcare ETFs which are presently offering higher yields than the 10-year U.S. Treasury notes (1.79% as of May 6, 2016). PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio (PJP) yields about 4.56%, one of the highest in the healthcare ETFs space. PJP has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.
Another one VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH) has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook and about 2.47% dividend yield. If you want to go beyond pharma and focus on the broader healthcare ETFs, we have Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF (IYH). IYH yields about 2.17% annually (as of May 6, 2016) (read: Healthcare Q1 Earnings Look Solid: ETFs to Benefit).
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