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WMT

Consider Consumer Staples

by on March 7, 2013 | Updated April 1, 2013

During the past few years, markets have suffered losses not seen since the Great Depression, with hardly any sectors left untouched by the tidal wave of economic uncertainty. Some of the only firms to survive the crisis with only a few bruises were consumer staples; companies that manufacture or sell recession-proof necessities, or goods that consumers rely on. ETFs that focus primarily on these funds are perfect for the investor looking to not only weather an economic downturn, but also flourish during the eventual turnaround [see Visual History Of The S&P 500].

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In addition to being one of the most widely followed benchmarks in the world, the S&P 500 also serves as the basis for the world’s largest ETF. Between SPY, IVV and VOO, there is more than $160 billion linked to this index in U.S.-listed ETFs, significantly more than any other benchmark [for updates on all new ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].

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While the economy continues to tread water, many investors have grown increasingly bearish on the retail sector, assuming that consumers will cut back on discretionary purchases in the difficult current environment. This seemed to be the case in the early summer when monthly retail sales declined in both May and June, but sales have been […]

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As U.S. markets trend lower after their stellar July performance, more and more investors are wondering if we are headed for a double dip recession. Anxiety is running especially high in the retail and broader consumer discretionary sectors, which have faced some unique headwinds during the traditionally slow summer months ahead of the back-to-school season. […]

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