As investors were caught in the throes of May’s volatility, they were seeking quality oriented assets to shield themselves from the wild swings in the prices of U.S. equities. As global growth remains a concern, investors can look to sector-specific plays–one of them being infrastructure.
“One market segment that has performed remarkably well of late—and one that may continue to perform well given the backdrop of potentially slowing growth—is infrastructure,” wrote Kieran Kirwan, Senior Investment Strategist at ProShares. “These stocks provide the essential transportation, energy, water and communication elements that allow our society to operate. Most people by now recognize a huge need exists for more infrastructure investment. And many are speculating that one item both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C., may ultimately agree on is an infrastructure spending package.”
One of the advantages in infrastructure is that regardless of what the global economy is doing, it’s a necessity. Furthermore, it’s less prone to the cyclical movements of the economy, which makes it a viable alternative as a defensive play.
“But regardless of what happens politically, listed infrastructure stocks tend to have unique investment characteristics, and may perform in this type of market,” wrote Hyman. “After all, we need infrastructure regardless of the precise level of economic growth or of the ultimate outcome on matters of trade. In addition, infrastructure performance is less cyclical, and the companies have more pricing power. Their cash flows tend to be more stable at a time when the market is experiencing decelerating earnings. Listed infrastructure stocks were essentially flat in May and handily outperformed the S&P 500 and the MSCI World over the year-to-date and one-year periods.”
A Transportation ETF That's Moving
The Dow Jones Transportation Average is up almost 20 percent year-to-date (YTD), which is keeping the Direxion Daily Transportation Bull 3X Shares (TPOR ) on the move with its own 59.31 gain thus far this year.
TPOR seeks daily investment results equal to 300 percent of the daily performance of the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The index measures the performance of large, well-known companies within the transportation industry.
The transportation index is a key metric for analysts to watch in terms of assessing the health of the broad market. As far as any potential roadblocks for transportation ETFs, given the way the sector has risen at a rapid rate thus far this year, the rally could stall at some point.
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