Economists expect U.S. consumer spending to grow as gasoline prices fall with oil at six-year lows and lower joblessness.
That may create opportunities to invest in the retail industry by buying exchange-traded funds that provide broad-based exposure to many kinds of department stores and chains, according to Zacks Investment Research.
“Given a rebounding U.S. economy, the retail space is bubbling with optimism,” the research firm says in a Seeking Alpha blog post
. “A gradual recovery in the housing market and manufacturing sector, along with an improving labor market and lower gasoline prices, are favoring the economy and playing key roles in raising buyers' confidence.”
Retailers are investing in technology infrastructure and improved merchandise to capture a greater share of consumer spending.
Zacks found 3 retail ETFs that allow individual investors to gain exposure to the industry.
Playing the Retail Sector Through ETFs
- SPDR S&P Retail (XRT): This fund "seeks investment results corresponding to the S&P Retail Select Industry Index. This fund consists of 104 stocks, the top holdings being Wayfair, Pep Boys and Abercrombie & Fitch. The fund's gross expense ratio is 0.35 percent, while its dividend yield is 1.12 percent."
- Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH): This fund "tracks the performance of Market Vectors U.S. Listed Retail 25 Index. The fund comprises 26 stocks, the top holdings being Amazon.com, Home Depot and Wal-Mart Stores. The fund's net expense ratio is 0.35 percent and dividend yield is 0.37 percent."
- PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR): This fund “is made up of 30 stocks that are primarily engaged in operating general merchandise stores such as department stores, discount stores, warehouse clubs and superstores. The fund's top holdings are Kroger, Costco and L Brands. The fund's net expense ratio is 0.63 percent, while its dividend yield is 0.71 percent.”
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