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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples Sector ETF (IPS) and SPDR S&P International Consumer Discretionary Sector ETF (IPD) got Ratings' highest marks among 15 exchange traded funds that received new coverage.

The funds, given initial ratings of at least A, carry "buy" recommendations.

The SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples Sector ETF's portfolio of 50.5% food, 17.5% beverages, 12.5% agriculture and 8.3% retail stocks provides a defensive position during what has turned out to be the longest recession in more than half a century.

The largest consumer-staple holdings include


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British American Tobacco

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The SPDR S&P International Consumer Discretionary Sector ETF has auto makers as its biggest positions. They include

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( DAI).

Research Methodology Ratings condenses available fund performance and risk data into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows the unbiased identification of those funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market. While there is no guarantee of future performance, the ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions. The funds below have reached their one-year anniversary, accruing enough of a track record to receive ratings.

Funds rated A or B are considered "buy." Those at the C level are rated as "hold," while underperformers at the D and E levels are ranked as "sell."

For more information, check out an

explanation of our ratings


Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.