Talk about prime positioning.
Consumer discretionary stocks, tracked in the exchange-traded world by the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund, ticker XLY, could get another big boost next week after hitting a new 52-week high Monday, according to CFRA.
“We at CFRA are really expecting that Prime Day is going to be a record-breaking event for Amazon, ” Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA’s senior director of ETF and mutual fund research, said Monday of the XLY’s largest holding.
“We’ve seen other companies like Target or Best Buy that are trying to get some of that traffic, but you really do see a spike when we look at the historical data ” of past Prime Days, he told CNBC’s “ETF Edge.” “So, if you like XLY, you really want to be looking forward to the consumer discretionary sector doing well with Amazon’s Prime Day.”
Amazon’s stock represents more than 23% of the XLY’s portfolio, followed by Home Depot at just more than 10% and McDonald’s at about 7%. The fund as a whole has gained more than 23% year to date and 5% in the last month.
Much of that action has indeed been driven by these “heavyweights,” Rosenbluth said, emphasizing that investors who are seeking market-cap-weighted ETF investments, or ones that sort their holdings by size, would do well to consider funds like XLY.
“You really need to understand what’s inside a portfolio,” Rosenbluth said. “If you’re looking at market-cap-weighted … ETFs like XLY, then the heavyweights performing well is what you really want to have. Some of the smaller names in the S&P 500, if those underperform, then something like the Invesco Equal Weight portfolio, RCD, is going to lag. “
Jay Jacobs, senior vice president and head of research and strategy at Global X Funds, offered one of his firm’s 68 ETFs as an alternative way to play the consumer discretionary space.
“If you really want to laser in on some of these high-growth names, you can look at funds like [the] Millennials [Thematic ETF], which targets specific companies that are really trying to grow and target a new generation and look for more specific exposure, ” Jacobs said in the same “ETF Edge” interview.
That ETF, ticker MILN, counts the stocks of Disney, Starbucks, Facebook and Costco among its top holdings, and is representative of a strategy based on degrees of differentiation and unique offerings, Jacobs said.
“You have to ask, what are … small companies doing differently to separate themselves from the markets?” he said. “When you look at the Amazons of the world, they’re the innovative ones, not the small companies right now. So, it makes sense that some of these bigger names that are on the cutting edge of innovation are continuing to experience that outsized growth.”
The XLY cooled off after hitting its fresh high early Monday, ending the day practically flat. Shares of Amazon, which recently announced that Prime Day will be a two-day event this year, rose by less than 1%.