4 ETFs for the Fourth of July (CORN, FCG, SOXS)
On Wednesday, the United States will celebrate its birthday. The day off will give traders and investors an opportunity to relax.
Those looking to initiate new ETF positions can evaluate some of leaders and laggards from the first half of the year. A worthy endeavor to be sure, but there are some funds that play into the Independence Day theme that are worth a look, both from the long and the short side.
iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund (NYSE: EWU) The iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund is an obvious choice for a list of Fourth of July ETFs. Despite the Barclays (NYSE: BCS) scandal, EWU is holding up nicely. That stock does not figure prominently in the ETF's weight, but the fund is nearly 18 percent-allocated to financials. Another 20 percent of EWU's weight is devoted to energy stocks, implying that this fund is not for the faint of heart.
The U.K. is in a recession. That said, EWU has been bucking some negative headwinds and moving higher lately. Perhaps the fund's bullishness is due to the expectation that the Bank of England will lower interest rates or engage in more monetary easing following its meeting Thursday. Or maybe it is a pre-Olympics bounce.
Whatever the reasons are for EWU's bullishness, there is no getting around the fact that economic growth is slowing in the U.K. and that will eventually catch up with this ETF.
Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSE: CORN) Before biting into that corn-on-the-cob at a Fourth of July barbecue, it would be wise to think about how to make money on corn. Thanks to CORN, ordinary investors need not try their hands at corn futures trading, though this fund does not skimp on volatility.
On June 4, CORN was flirting with its 52-week low. Since then, the fund has surged almost 25 percent as commodities traders speculated (and rightly so) that hot summer weather could mean tighter corn supplies. On June 25, the USDA would confirm that the U.S. corn crop was in dire straits, with drought conditions in some areas approaching levels not seen in more than two decades.
For those that like to play seasonal trends with ETFs, CORN fits the bill. The fund, which debuted in June 2010, rallied in the June-August time frame last year only to have sold off when September rolled around. There are no guarantees that this will happen this year, but for now at least, the path of least resistance with CORN appears higher.
First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (NYSE: FCG) There is no direct correlation between natural gas and Independence Day, but it would not be unreasonable to assume that the founding fathers would be pleased that the U.S. is the world's dominant producer of the clean-burning fuel.
With energy stocks sporting some alluring valuations and natural gas prices moving higher, there might be a perfect storm on the way to move FCG higher. As it is, the ETF has jumped more than 12 percent in the past five trading days.
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: SOXS) Consider the Direxion Daily Semicondct Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: SOXS) one to mull over in the coming days. There is no denying tech has been a decent place to be recently and there is no glossing over the fact that the PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ: QQQ) has been a solid performer as a result.
However, traders cannot afford to ignore that the traditional period of seasonal weakness for semiconductor stocks is just a few weeks away. SOXS may not be buy on July 5th or 6th, but it is worthy of a place on investors' ETF watch lists.
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