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Want Large Caps & Guard Against Trade War Too? Play These ETFs

Sanghamitra Saha
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President Trump’s protectionist agenda and the resultant trade war have made smaller caps gain an upper hand over larger cap. This is because large caps have wider foreign exposure and thus any negative development pertaining to the global economy does not bode well for this category. It is fraught with risks emanating from ongoing trade tensions, the likely strength in the greenback and a slowdown in several foreign economies.

Trade tension between China and the United States has escalated of late, with the Trump administration levying more tariffs on Chinese goods worth of $200 billion, starting next week. This will likely push up prices of goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires, per the source. The tariffs will start at 10%, beginning Sep 24, and then shoot up to 25% on Jan 1.

Beijing has threatened to hit back with an additional $60 billion in American goods if Trump goes ahead with more tariffs. And if China hits back, Trump threatened to levy $267 billion further on Chinese imports. That would take the total levy to $517 billion — meaning that almost every Chinese import will come under the higher tariffs.

Notably, Trump has already enacted 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, which has been retaliated by China, mainly targeting American soybeans among other goods (read: China's Likely Retaliation to US Tariffs & Its Impact on ETFs).

As a result, the domestically focused pint-sized stocks got a reason to soar. This is especially true given that the U.S. economy is on a strong footing right now. Most of the analysts including Goldman Sachs’ U.S. equity strategist David Kostin believe that “if trade tensions continue to rise and new tariffs are proposed and implemented, stocks with the highest domestic sales exposure should outperform (read: US-Sino Trade War Escalates: Most Vulnerable Sector ETFs).”

Still, many investors may be eyeing large-cap stocks due to their stability and upbeat corporate earnings of the S&P 500 index. For them, Goldman Sachs has identified some S&P stocks that have high domestic revenue exposure. Those stocks are mainly from the telecommunications, consumer, financials and health-care sectors, according to the report issued by Goldman Sachs. Investors can also tap the ETFs that are heavily invested in those stocks.

Consumer Sector

Goldman has identified stocks like Dollar General DG and Target TGT. VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH puts 4.25% weight in Target and 2.42% weight in DG. So, investors can track the movement of RTH in the coming days along with those stocks.

Telecom

Verizon Communications VZ is one of the largest communication technology companies and has substantial domestic exposure, per Goldman. The company has double-digit exposure to Fidelity MSCI Telecommunication Services Index ETF FCOM, iShares Global Telecom ETF IXP and iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF IYZ.

Financial

Companies likeSunTrust Banks Inc. STI, Wells Fargo WFC and Charles Schwab SCHW have greater domestic exposure despite being big companies. WFC and STI have7.96% and 4%, respectively, in the fund Invesco KBW Bank ETF KBWB. On the other hand, Charles Schwab has about 8.6% focus on iShares U.S. Broker-Dealers & Securities Exchanges ETF IAI.

Utility

Goldman also pointed that Dominion Energy Inc. D is more domestically focused. It is the top holding of the fund VanEck Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF NLR, with about 8.77% exposure.

On the other hand, Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund XLU puts 6.6% weight in the company. Investors should note that utility ETF XLU has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) as the sector underperforms in a rising rate environment. But our ETF Ranks are based on a long-term view (six months). Performance of an ETF can vary in a short-term period, depending on the global market developments.

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Dominion Energy Inc. (D) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ISHARS-US BR-D (IAI): ETF Research Reports
 
VANECK-URNM+NUC (NLR): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR-UTIL SELS (XLU): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-GLB TELE (IXP): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-US TELE (IYZ): ETF Research Reports
 
PWRSH-KBW BP (KBWB): ETF Research Reports
 
FID-TELECOM (FCOM): ETF Research Reports
 
VANECK-RETAIL (RTH): ETF Research Reports
 
Dollar General Corporation (DG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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