Market Overview

Five ETFs For NASCAR Season (XLP, DIA, VROM)


It may seem like only a few months ago that NASCAR season, one of the most thrilling ever in fact, concluded, but every February brings about the dawn of a new season of America's most corporate sport. The Bud Shootout kicks off the season on Saturday and the Daytona 500, the Great American Race, is February 26.

A couple of years ago, we tossed around the idea of a NASCAR ETF. No ETF issuer has taken our advice yet. Apparently, smartphone and Finland ETFs are more viable ideas. Just kidding.

Anyway, there are scores of ETFs with which to celebrate the start of a new NASCAR season. As we said, no sport in the U.S. is as tied to its corporate sponsors as NASCAR is. Put another way, the ease by which NASCAR teams can acquire sponsors is one of the most unheralded economic indicators out there. Seriously.

iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (NYSE: IYT) The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund is a fine NASCAR play due to its combined almost 18% allocation to FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and UPS (NYSE: UPS). FedEx is the primary sponsor for championship contender Denny Hamlin and UPS will be an associate sponsor for Carl Edwards who narrowly lost the 2011 title.

Global X Auto ETF (NYSE: VROM) VROM and its rival, the First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (Nasdaq: CARZ) are perhaps the most obvious NASCAR ETFs out there and there's no denying that both have been stellar performers this year. There are four companies that manufacture the cars that circle NASCAR tracks: Ford (NYSE: F), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Toyota (NYSE: TM) and DaimlerChrysler. Combined, those companies account for over a third of VROM's weight.

iShares S&P Global Energy ETF (NYSE: IXC) We've previously extolled the virtues of IXC's more legitimate investment uses bu the ETF is a fine NASCAR play as well. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), the largest U.S. and European oil companies respectively, are major NASCAR sponsors and combine for over 22% of IXC's weight.

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) It's almost harder to find a Dow stock that does NOT have even a little NASCAR exposure than it is to find one that does. We just mentioned Exxon. Others include 3M (NYSE: MMM), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), DuPont (NYSE: DD), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLP) As is the case with DIA, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR is loaded with big-time NASCAR sponsors. Several XLP constituents are involved with NASCAR. That lineup includes Coca-Cola, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), Kraft (NYSE: KFT), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Kimberly Clark (NYSE: KMB), Clorox (NYSE: CLX). Play some defense and play NASCAR with XLP.

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