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Select Sector SPDRs' Average Monthly Assets Soar 32 Percent in 2011

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Select Sector SPDR Trust, which offers a family of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that divide the S&P 500 into nine individual sector funds, saw its average monthly assets climb 32 percent, or $10.5 billion, in 2011, further entrenching its position as the largest sector ETF family. Launched in 1998, Select Sector SPDRs is the oldest brand name in sector ETFs.

“The economy notwithstanding, 2011 was a banner year for us, both in terms of the increase in our average assets and the growth in our overall year-end assets,” said Dan Dolan, Director – Wealth Management Strategies for the Select Sector SPDR Trust. “With the markets especially choppy last year, investors sought safe havens in defensive sectors like Utilities, Consumer Staples, and Health Care, using the Select Sector SPDRs as equity substitutes to reduce single stock exposure.”

The uptick in average assets, coupled with action taken by the Board of Trustees during 2011 to lower fees, has resulted in a lower overall expense ratio for each Select Sector SPDR reflected in the current prospectus dated January 31, 2012 (0.18%) as compared to the prior year's prospectus dated January 31, 2011 (0.20%). Mr. Dolan noted that as far back as the launch of Select Sector SPDRs 13 years ago, the commitment has been to seek ways to attempt to lower fees for the benefit of all shareholders, particularly as the Select Sector SPDRs experience asset growth. Sector SPDRs are known for being low cost sector ETFs, and with average weekly trading volume of approximately one billion shares, are the most liquid* vehicle for domestic sector allocation.**

Leaders and Laggards

Leading the top three Sector SPDRs asset gainers for 2011 was Utilities (XLU), which soared 106% to end the year with $7.7 billion, followed by Consumer Staples (XLP), which rose 87% to finish at $5.8 billion and Technology (XLK), which finished 2011 up 40% at $8.1 billion.

Materials (XLB) experienced the largest asset decline of the year, ending 2011 down 37%, or a decrease of $958 million, followed by Industrials (XLI) and Financials (XLF), both down 28%, to end the year with decreases of $1.1 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.

About Select Sector SPDRs

Select Sector SPDRs are ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that divide the S&P 500 into nine sector index funds: Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Energy, Financials, Health Care, Industrials, Materials, Technology, and Utilities. Select Sector SPDRs allow investors to customize their portfolios by picking and weighting the sectors to meet specific investment goals. Select Sector SPDR shares are actively traded on NYSE Arca throughout the trading day. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. serves as the Adviser to the Trust and, subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for the investment management of the Select Sector SPDR Funds. For more information see http://sectorspdrs.com. ALPS Distributors Inc., a registered broker-dealer, is the distributor for the Select Sector SPDR Trust.

An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a Select Sector SPDR prospectus which contains this and other information, visit www.sectorspdrs.com/prospectus/. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

All ETFs are subject to risk, including possible loss of principal. Sector ETF products are also subject to sector risks and non-diversification risks, which will result in greater fluctuations than the overall stock market.

The Select Sector SPDR is a trademark of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and has been licensed for use. The stocks included in each Select Sector Index were selected by the compilation agent. The composition and weighting of each Index can be expected to differ to that of any similar index that is published by Standard & Poor's. Select Sector SPDRs bear a higher level of risk than more broadly diversified funds.

The S&P 500 Index is the Standard & Poor's composite index of 500 stocks, a widely recognized, unmanaged index of common stock prices. You cannot invest directly in an index.

Dan Dolan is a Registered Representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.

*Liquidity is defined as: The degree to which an asset or security can be bought or sold in the market without affecting the asset's price. Liquidity is characterized by a high level of trading activity. Assets that can be easily bought or sold are known as liquid assets.

**Ordinary brokerage commissions apply.

SEL000871 Exp 3/31/12

Middleberg Communications
Andrew Healy, 212-354-5174
ahealy@middlebergcommunications.com
or
Select Sector SPDR Trust
Dan Dolan, 516-992-3465
dan.dolan@spdrindex.com

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