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Soft Retail Sales in November: ETF Winners & Losers

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U.S. retail sales increased 0.2% sequentially in November, materially lower than a revised 0.4% increase in October and falling shy of market expectations of 0.5%. Purchases of motor vehicles and higher gasoline prices, which drove October’s number, remained sluggish in November. Year over year, retail sales have grown 3.3% versus 3.2% in the previous month (read: October Retail Sales Show Subdued Strength: ETFs in Focus).

With this, growth worries in the United States flared up all over again in the key holiday season. Just seven of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month increases. Consumers lowered purchases of clothing and other discretionary items like hobby, musical instrument and book stores, giving signs of a moderately strong holiday shopping season. Miscellaneous store retailers also witnessed a decline in sales (down 0.4%) in November.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few ETFs that may benefit from the spending pattern in the month of November and the ones that could lose ahead.


Online Stores

Online and mail-order retail trade jumped 0.8% in November, faster than 0.6% in the previous month.

Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report)

The underlying EQM Online Retail Index utilizes a rules-based methodology to select a globally diverse group of companies with 70% or more of online and virtual sales. The fund charges 65 bps in fees (read: Time to Flock to E-commerce ETFs Ahead of Holiday Season?).

Electronics & Appliance Stores

The segment witnessed a sales surge of 0.7% after a 0.8% decline in October.

VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report)

The underlying MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in semiconductor production and equipment. The fund charges 35 bps in fees (read: Trade Deal Cut in Principle? Sector ETFs to Soar).

Food & Beverage Stores

Sales at food & beverage stores grew 0.3% in November versus 0.2% in October.

Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF (PBJ - Free Report)

The underlying Dynamic Food & Beverage Intellidex Index comprises stocks of 30 U.S. food and beverage companies. These are companies that are principally engaged in the manufacture, sale or distribution of food and beverage products, agricultural products and products related to the development of new food technologies.



Sales at clothing stores fell 0.6% after a 0.3% decline in October.

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

The underlying S&P Retail Select Industry Index represents the retail sub-industry portion of the S&P TMI. Apparel Retail takes about one-fourth of the fund.

Health & Personal Care Stores

Spending at health and personal care stores dropped 1.1% in November versus 0.5% gains in October.

The Obesity ETF 

The underlying Solactive Obesity Index tracks the performance of global companies focusing on obesity-related diseases, weight-loss programs, weight-loss supplements and plus-sized apparel.

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