5 ETFs To Buy As Consumer Confidence Surges To 18-Year High

Despite the worries over Trump’s protectionist trade policy, Americans continue to be optimistic as evident from 18-year high consumer confidence in August. The Consumer Confidence Index, by the Conference Board, jumped to 133.4 - the highest level since October 2000 - from the revised 127.9 in July and is much above the expected 126.6.

The upbeat data underscores the economy's strong fundamentals and consumers’ enthusiasm to spend more. The historic tax cuts, steadily rising wages as well as booming economy led to lofty savings and increasing take-home pay that increased consumers’ power to spend more and will likely to do so in the coming months. Notably, consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

With unemployment near a two-decade low and U.S. stocks at record highs, increase in consumer confidence will drive growth of the economy going forward. GDP growth expanded 4.1% annually in the second quarter, representing the fastest pace of growth in nearly four years. With this, GDP expanded 3.1% for the first half of the year and is on track to hit the 3% annual growth. Trump said “We're on track to hit the highest annual growth rate in over 13 years."

Rising consumer confidence bodes well for household spending in the coming months and is expected to have a positive impact on the consumer discretionary sector, which attracts a major portion of consumer spending. As such, investors could tap the encouraging trend in the basket form through consumer discretionary ETFs.

Below, we have highlighted five of these that target the broad consumer market and have a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy). These funds are enjoying strong momentum this year and have potentially superior weighting methodologies.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY - Free Report)

This is the largest and the most popular product in the consumer discretionary space with AUM of $15.2 billion and average daily volume of around 5.3 million shares. It tracks the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index and holds 80 securities with higher concentration on the top firm – Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) – at 24.6%. Other firms make up for a nice mix with each holding no more than 7.40% of the assets. From a sector look, Internet & direct marketing retail takes the top spot with 33.4% of assets, followed by specialty retail (18.2%), media (17.2%), and hotels restaurants & leisure (12.5%). The fund charges 13 bps in fees per year and has gained 18% so far this year.

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