Lap Up Leisure

Published 6/21/2011 2:54 p.m. EDT

I've been bullish on the PowerShares Leisure and Entertainment ETF ( PEJ) for some time , as a weak dollar and recovering global economy is helping to draw both global and U.S. investors to spend more on leisure.

PEJ's holdings include firms such as Disney ( DIS), Wynn Resorts ( WYNN), Panera Bread ( PNRA) and Yum! Brands ( YUM).

In the year-long period ending June 20, the fund gained nearly 20%.

While leisure and entertainment stocks have taken a hit along with the broader market during the last four weeks, signs still exist that global consumers are alive and well.

A recent MarketWatch article highlighted recent analysts' comments regarding the Australian gaming industry.

Australians are the world's biggest gamblers, according to the article, which notes, "A report by global gaming-industry consultants H2 Gambling Capital released last month found Australians had the highest annual gambling losses in the world, at nearly 1,300 Australian dollars ($1,377) per resident". Taking note of this pocket of gambling, analysts are becoming increasingly positive about some of Australia's biggest gaming firms.

While Australia is just one locale where the thriving business of gambling seems to underscore a broader recovery, I continue to be bullish on increased consumer spending worldwide. One overlooked fund that offers access to global gaming is the Market Vectors Gaming ETF ( BJK), which has outpaced PEJ so far in 2011. PEJ offers exposure to some gaming firms, but if you're a risk-tolerant investor looking to get bullish on gambling, BJK is a solid fund to consider if you're looking to make longer-term trades.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management held no positions in any securities mentioned.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.


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