ETFs For Easter, Passover (EIS, NIB, KXI)
This weekend brings celebrations of two of the most important religious holidays in the world: Easter and Passover. And given the way stocks have acted this week, a time that is historically bullish for equities, it might be a good thing that U.S. equity markets are closed tomorrow in observance of the Good Friday holiday.
In the essence of not being all doom and gloom, there are some ETF and ETN opportunities with Easter/Passover ties worth considering at the moment. This list could prove particularly useful for both bulls and bears because we've mixed in valid long and short opportunities. So let's get on with it, starting with the...
iPath DJ-UBS Cocoa TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSE: NIB) Indeed the iPath DJ-UBS Cocoa TR Sub-Index ETN makes frequent appearances on any list of holiday-related ETFs/ETNs when the holiday involves above average chocolate consumption. So when the kids are enjoying their Easter baskets on Sunday, think about NIB. Down over 33% in the past year, the ETN may be a technical long at the moment as the chart is showing a double bottom formation.
Words of caution: Not only are cocoa futures extremely volatile, but there are no options trading on NIB, so if you want to be bearish, not the worst idea in the world if it breaks $27, you'll have to short NIB directly. Don't go value hunting here. NIB is one of the worst-performing commodities ETPs over the past three years.
iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EIS) There are risks beyond economic fundamentals to investing in Israel. And Israeli equities and EIS are arguably still suffering the effects of Israel losing its emerging markets status a couple of years ago.
Those aren't issues to be ignored, but looking at EIS from a purely technical perspective, if the fund breaks resistance at $44 and turns that resistance into support, EIS becomes worthy of at least a short-term trade. EIS also has a decent dividend yield of 3.4%.
iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund (NYSE: EWI) Since there is no Vatican ETF and the Catholic values ETF was sent to the ETF graveyard a while back, the iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund will have to serve as the fund for countries with reasonable proximity to the Pope. Speaking of proximity, it's probably best to limit your long side proximity to EWI.
The chart is a mess, the macroeconomic headwinds too much to stomach and that all means EWI's somewhat enticing yield will be higher in a matter of days than it is now.
iShares S&P Global Consumer Staples Index Fund (NYSE: KXI) The iShares S&P Global Consumer Staples Index Fund earns a place on this list because Nestle (PK: NSRGY) is the fund's top holding with an allocation of almost 8% and the world's largest food company is also one of the world's largest chocolate sellers.
Along those lines, it should be noted that Nestle accounts for 23% of the iShares MSCI Switzerland Index Fund's (NYSE: EWL) weight and that fund has outperformed KXI this year, but with Switzerland engaged in a currency war to prevent its franc from appreciating against the euro, working on the premise that battle could be lost, we'd prefer to be involved with KXI over EWL.
It's worth noting that KXI, which also features Kraft (NYSE: KFT), another major chocolate seller, among its top-10 holdings, has slightly outperformed the rival Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (NSYE: XLP) this year.
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