Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Best Sector ETFs of Last Week

Read MoreHide Full Article

Last week, U.S. stocks were overall positive. Among the top ETFs, investors saw SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) adding 1.7%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) climbing 2.8% and PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ - Free Report) move higher by 1% in the last five days (as of Jun 8, 2018).

Rising and ebbing trade tensions, upbeat momentum from strong May jobs data, a small-cap rally, talks of ECB’s likely QE ending, Nasdaq’s hitting of an all-time high and a weekend G7 summit drove the week. Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few sector ETFs that were the top gainers.

Consumer Discretionary

A raft of upbeat economic data and a solid U.S. market reignited optimism in the consumer discretionary space. A moderation in the oil price rally probably fed in to the rally in consumer stocks. Apart from economic growth, there have been some developments in the retail space that are driving stocks.

Omni-channel retailing, which is a combination of e-commerce and physical retail, has been coming to the forefront lately. Several traditional retailers are expanding in the online space, putting an end to widespread talks of a demise in brick-and-mortar retailing. 

A pickup in the economy is great for a cyclical sector like consumer discretionary or retail. Such sectors perform better in a rising rate environment that we are witnessing currently in the United States. If this was not enough, the retail sector came up with strong growth rates in Q1 (read: Here's Why the Rally in Retail ETFs Will Continue in 2H).

Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary ETF (PSCD - Free Report) ,SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Free Report) ,Invesco Dynamic Retail ETF ), Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report) and VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH - Free Report) added in the range 4% to 7% in the past week (as of Jun 8, 2018).


Housing companies had a strong week. One of the reasons for this uptick is a decline in mortgage rates for two successive weeks in the latest Freddie Mac survey. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) and iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB - Free Report) gained in the 4.7% to 5.03% range in the week (read: Bet on These Sector ETFs & Stocks for Q1 Earnings).


After a rocky period, the healthcare sector is back in the limelight. While a few sector-specific factors have driven the rally, a seasonal tailwind is seemingly playing its role. Per a new Oppenheimer note, “health care has been the best-performing sector between June and August since 1990,” as quoted on

Also, President Trump’s announcement of the drug plans in May, which were in the best interest of pharma companies, favored the space. Also, on May 30, the President signed the 'Right To Try' bill into law, which will help patients suffering from terminal diseases to undergo experimental treatments and use drugs that are not yet approved by the FDA. Also, solid M&A activity gave a boost to the space and Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP - Free Report) added about 4% past week (read: Play the Best Sector of Summer With These ETFs & Stocks).

 Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>