However, in the days following the discount giant's release, the party has continued with a number of other consumer-related household names stepping up to the plate. The performances seen from these industry giants may prove beneficial for ETF investors who know where to look.
In the opening months of 2012, we have witnessed an interesting shift in the once-resilient U.S. Shoppers have begun to tighten their belts. This easing, compounded with the pinch of rising fuel prices, paints a prime picture for companies that have the ability to offer goods at discounted prices.As a recent report from the Wall Street Journal notes, while the pie has not expanded, the largest and strongest members of the retail sector appear to be gaining or recovering market share from smaller competitors thanks to their ability to appeal to cash-strapped individuals. There are a variety of ways investors can take advantage of this shifting landscape. For example, ETFs like the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) lists companies like Home Depot, Macy's (M) and Staples (SPLS) on its roster. Meanwhile, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) counts Wal-Mart as its third-largest holding, representing nearly 8% of its assets.
These two ETF behemoths may be suitable enough for some. But investors looking for a well-balanced one-stop-shopping approach to these top consumer names may want to consider the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Services Index Fund (IYC). I've spent time talking about IYC's cousin, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods Index Fund (IYK), highlighting the fund as an attractive way to gain exposure to both staples and discretionary names including Ford (F), Procter and Gamble (PG), and Nike (NKE). IYC utilizes a similar strategy. However, it homes in on the services side of the consumer pie. The fund's top holdings include names such as McDonalds (MCD), Wal-Mart, Walt Disney (DIS) and CVS Caremark (CVS). In addition to these brick-and-mortar giants, the fund gives investors a taste of the blossoming online retail industry, with Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) in its line-up. In total, this top 10 accounts for slightly more than one-third of the fund's total assets.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV