The Clark Griswold ETF Portfolio (FAA, PEJ, UGA)
Let's clear up that little pop culture reference. Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer travel season and what we're going to look at today is a group of ETFs with the potential to benefit on the back of the summer travel theme. In other words, these ETFs and their constituents might have been investment options for Chevy Chase's fictional Clark W. Griswold of National Lampoon's fame.
No, there will not be any lascivious eye-balling of Christie Brinkley here. Just good old fashioned ideas for family fun and how to profit from that. Without further ado, here are some ETFs that might benefit from increased leisure travel this summer.
Guggenheim Airline ETF (NYSE: FAA) Come around these parts often enough and you'll quickly realize airline stocks aren't our favorite thing. Airlines, particularly the U.S.-based firms, conjure up more negative emotions than positive and maybe that's why the Griswold family opted to drive, not fly, on their summer vacation.
In all seriousness, if airlines aren't nickle-and-diming us for everything from checked bags to headphones, their stocks are falling because of rising oil prices. Each $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil costs the global airline industry $1.6 billion. The good news for FAA and its constituents is that oil futures have been slammed in May, explaining why FAA has flown past resistance at $30 and gained almost 8% in the past week alone.
One need not short oil futures or the U.S. Oil Fund (NYSE: USO) to profit from falling oil prices. Just establish a long position in FAA.
United States Gasoline Fund (NYSE: UGA) The United States Gasoline Fund, which tracks NYMEX-traded unleaded gasoline futures, would have been a Clark Griswold core holding had the fund been around in the 1980s due to Griswold's aforementioned penchant for driving long distances. UGA plenty of days in the sun earlier this year, but heading into the time of year when this fund should thrive, things look pretty bleak thanks to falling oil prices.
Consumers and drivers aren't likely to complain if UGA keeps falling. And fall it has done. Down almost 7% in the past month, UGA now resides below its 200-day moving average, a bearish technical sign to be sure.
PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment Portfolio (NYSE: PEJ) Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), PEJ's second- and third-largest holdings, respectively, represent 10.5% of the ETF's weight and are obvious summer travel plays. On your way to the airport or back to the hotel from Disneyland, you and the family might want a cup of coffee or quick meal. Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), Yum (NYSE: YUM) and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) can help with that. So can Chipotle (NYSE: CMG). That quartet represents almost 20% of PEJ's weight.
Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSE: BJK) For a more adult approach to the summer travel theme, try the Market Vectors Gaming ETF. We're not sure why, but folks do in fact go to Las Vegas in the summer time. Hey, it's hot in the desert in the summer. It's also hot on the islands of Macau and Singapore, the world's two largest gambling meccas, but if the global economy starts to perk up, expect gamblers to flock to those destinations as well.
The bottom line with BJK is that it's the epitome of a discretionary play and its international exposure explains the fund's 14% tumble in the past month. On the other hand, it is that global exposure that makes BJK alluring going forward. Global gambling revenue is projected to rise to $448 billion this year from $419 billion last year and keep rising over the next several years, implying BJK's best days may be ahead of it.
Traders who believe that the summer travel season will be better than expected might want to consider the following trades:
- Long Disney on the back of increased theme park traffic.
- Long Priceline due to the potential for increased hotel and plane travel reservations.
- Long FAA if oil prices continue to slide.
Traders who believe that summer travel volume will disappoint may consider alternative positions:
- Long UGA as high gas prices may keep some travelers home.
- Long the ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas (NYSE: DIG) if oil prices do rise.
- Short FAA on the higher oil price theme.
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