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Stock ETFs Ignoring Washington's Fiscal Drumbeat

Stocks in this article: HEDJ EWS EELV XLP XLY SPY

The ETFs not burdened by the cliff and how they performed between Nov. 6 and Dec. 13 include:

  • WisdomTree Hedged Europe Equity (HEDJ), 5.0%
  • iShares MSCI Asia (RIMM) (AIA) 4.8%
  • iShares MSCI Singapore (EWS), 3.9%
  • PowerShares Emerging Market Minimum Volatility (EELV), 3.1%
  • SPDR Select Consumer Staples (XLP), 1.8%
  • SPDR Select Consumer Discret (XLY), 0.1%

By comparison the S&P 500 SPDR Trust (SPY) was off 0.2%

News junkies may well recall that fiscal cliff fears began the evening of the election results. The next day, stocks plummeted in one of the worst showings in 2012. Ever since, the S&P 500 SPDR Trust has bounced up, down, around and sideways on each bit of budgetary gossip.

In contrast, there are a number of stock ETFs that have not moved on the daily Boehner-Obama-Reid updates. For example, low-volatility and lesser volatility foreign stock vehicles have been more in tune with China's pledge to maintain 7.5% GDP growth in 2013. PowerShares Emerging Market Minimum Volatility has prospered with its heavy allocation to non-cyclical segments (e.g., 30% Consumer Staples, 28% Utilities, 15% Health Care, etc.) in the developing nations. WisdomTree Hedged Europe Equity has profited from eliminating currency fluctuations , while concentrating on multinational brand names.

China's resurgence as a place for investment dollars has also benefited the Asian neighbors . Both the iShares MSCI Singapore Fund and the iShares Asia Fund have continued to register fresh 52-week highs, in spite of the U.S. government's tribulations.

Several sector ETFs have also managed to stay "on task." Defensive stocks via SPDR Select Consumer Staples have actually gained considerable ground since the election. Even discretionary stocks via SPDR Select Consumer Discretionary are faring nicely, as ultra-low interest rates have bolstered both a desire and an ability to make elective purchases.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.

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