ETFs On Radar Post Strong Automobile Sales

Wall Street saw a glum start to the second quarter as stocks tumbled to record lows amid continued pessimism in the market owing to China’s retaliatory tariffs. However, consumer spending has been increasing and consumer confidence is scaling new highs (read: Safe Haven ETFs to Buy Amid Extended Selloff).

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. GDP, grew at its fastest pace in three years, increasing 4% in the final quarter of 2017 compared with 2.2% expansion in the previous quarter. Therefore, it is no surprise that auto sales in March have been strong (read: Best & Worst ETFs of March).

Into the Headlines

Extreme market volatility, Fed’s policy tightening and a recovery in gasoline prices as such did not impact buyers’ willingness to purchase automobiles. Per a USA Today article citing Autodata’s research, new vehicle sales jumped 6% in March, way above the 3% projection of Edmunds.com.

The American giants posted extremely strong results, with General Motors GM leading the way. GM sold 296,341 vehicles in the United States in March, up 15.7% year over year in the month. Ford Motors F sold 244,306 vehicles, up 3.5% year over year in the month. Fiat Chrysler FCAU also steered past expectations, selling 216,063 vehicles to register a 13.6% year over year increase in the month.

Now shifting gears to the top Japanese manufacturers, Toyota TM sold 222,782 vehicles in the United States in March, registering 3.5% year over year growth in the month, while Honda HMC recorded a 3.8% gain, selling 142,392 vehicles. Nissan NSANY, in the meanwhile, sold 162,535 vehicles, reflecting a 3.7% contraction.

Moreover, the auto sector has a Zacks Rank in the top 19%, the 3rd best of the 16 sectors covered. It has strong fundamentals with 74% of the companies beating earnings forecasts in the previous quarter and a PE ratio of 11.15 compared with 16.53 of the S&P 500.

However, investors should note that the auto sector faces numerous challenges as it proceeds further into 2018. One problem is that the average age of vehicles on the road has risen to 11.6 years, which might impede auto sales.  Moreover, further rate hikes by the Fed might impact investors’ ability to purchase their desired automobiles.

In the current scenario, we believe it is prudent to discuss the following ETFs that have a relatively high exposure to the auto sector.

First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund CARZ

This fund focuses on providing exposure to the global automotive sector. It has AUM of $20.2 million and charges a fee of 70 basis points a year. It has an allocation of 7.9% to Honda, 7.8% to Toyota, 7.7% to General Motors, 7.5% to Ford and 4.1% to Nissan. The fund has returned 16.1% in a year.

WBI Power Factor High Dividend ETF WBIY

This fund focuses on providing exposure to the U.S. automotive sector. It has AUM of $44.3 million and charges a fee of 70 basis points a year. It has 5.0% allocation to Ford and 4.5% to General Motors. The fund has returned 10.8% in a year.

BLDRS Asia 50 ADR Index Fund ADRA

This fund focuses on providing exposure to the Asian automotive sector. It has AUM of $21.8 million and charges a fee of 30 basis points a year. It has 10.4% allocation to Toyota and 3.7% to Honda. The fund has returned 17.7% in a year.

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Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCAU): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BLDRS ASIA 50 (ADRA): ETF Research Reports
 
FT-NDQ GL AUTO (CARZ): ETF Research Reports
 
WBI-PWR FAC HD (WBIY): ETF Research Reports
 
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