Sectors In Review: October 2019

Sectors In Review: October 2019

August was unforgiving for sector ETFs, with far more funds in negative territory.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

Sector ETFs saw some steep declines during the month of August, with the iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (IEZ) claiming the spot of the biggest loser, with a decline of 19.36%; followed by the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), down 13.94%; and the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME), down 8.82%. The top performer for the month, by contrast, was the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU), up just 5.12%; followed by the Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU), up 4.84%; and the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ), up 3.77%. Similar to the returns, the negative flows were more notable than the positive flows, with the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) losing $2.9 billion, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI) lost $860.5 million and $351.2 million, respectively. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP) had the most inflows, pulling in $1.3 billion. It was followed by the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK), with inflows of $362.7 million; and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY), with inflows of $310.6 million.





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Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet. Data from 07/31/2019 to 08/31/2019. ETFs chosen to represent each sector based on the most liquid ETF in each segment of the ETF Classification System.


Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.