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March 17, 2020, 4:22 p.m. EDT

Utilites sector ETF has best day ever as recession fears rise

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By Tomi Kilgore

The SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF /zigman2/quotes/206645117/composite XLU +0.22% had its best day ever on Tuesday, as the defensive sector benefited from increased fears that an economic recession was inevitable. The utilities sector tracker (XLU) shot up 12.8% to $57.66 to be the best performer among SPDR ETFs tracking the S&P 500's /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.15% 11 key sectors. The gain surpassed the ETF's previous record gain of 12.1% on Oct. 13, 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis. The ETF started trading in December 1998. Tuesday's gain was in the face of a sharp selloff in Treasury prices (rise in yields), with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbing basis 26.9 basis points to 0.997%. Utilities often act as a bond proxy, given their relatively high dividend yields and relatively stable stock prices, resulting from their relatively stable earnings streams. Among the XLU's best performers Tuesday, shares of Southern Co. /zigman2/quotes/208000495/composite SO +0.26% charged 18.8% higher, Consolidated Edison Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207137172/composite ED +0.05% ran up 18.0% and Exelon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205982254/composite EXC +0.34% powered 18.0% higher. The XLU has lost 18.1% over the past month, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.15% has dropped 25.2%. The XLU's dividend yield is was 3,31% as of Tuesday's closing price, while the implied yield for the S&P 500 was 2.41%, according to FactSet.

/zigman2/quotes/206645117/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 59.82
+0.13 +0.22%
Volume: 15,819
June 1, 2020 9:32a
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,039.87
-4.44 -0.15%
Volume: 88.83M
June 1, 2020 9:32a
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/zigman2/quotes/208000495/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 57.22
+0.15 +0.26%
Volume: 5,342
June 1, 2020 9:32a
P/E Ratio
17.19
Dividend Yield
4.49%
Market Cap
$60.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$808,954
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/zigman2/quotes/207137172/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 75.10
+0.04 +0.05%
Volume: 4,600
June 1, 2020 9:32a
P/E Ratio
19.31
Dividend Yield
4.08%
Market Cap
$25.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$805,710
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/zigman2/quotes/205982254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 38.44
+0.13 +0.34%
Volume: 54,789
June 1, 2020 9:32a
P/E Ratio
14.30
Dividend Yield
3.99%
Market Cap
$37.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.08M
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,039.87
-4.44 -0.15%
Volume: 88.83M
June 1, 2020 9:32a
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