First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX ETF (FXU) - NYSEARCA
  • Mon, Jun. 27, 7:27 PM
    • One of the biggest Brexit beneficiaries is the utilities sector, as the Dow Jones Utility Average and the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF both surged to new record highs as Treasury yields tumble to multiyear lows.
    • The implied annual dividend yield for the Dow utilities is 3.08% and 3.18% for the utilities ETF, more than double the 10-year Treasury yield.
    • J.P. Morgan equity strategists said today that they believe bond yields "are not going anywhere but lower,” and thus remain overweight on the utilities sector.
    • At least six Dow utilities components posted record closes: NEE +3.3%, EIX +2.5%, AWK +2.4%, ED +1.9%, AEP +1.8%, PCG +0.8%.
    • Among other major utilities in today's trade: SO +1.9%, DUK +1.9%, SCG +1.6%, ETR +1.1%, D +1%, AEE +1%, XEL +0.9%, SRE +0.9%, PEG +0.7%, FE +0.7%, EXC +0.6%.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU
    | Mon, Jun. 27, 7:27 PM | 36 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 24, 10:30 AM
    • A sharp drop in long-term rates and vanquished expectations for even one rate hike this year has income players bidding up the prices of utility stocks (XLU +0.7%) and certain REITs even as the major average fall more than 2% post-Brexit.
    • A check of Fed Funds futures finds traders not fully pricing in a 25 basis point rate hike until 2018!
    • The mortgage REIT sector (REM +0.5%) welcomes the news, with players like Annaly (NLY +1.7%), American Capital Agency (AGNC +1.1%), Two Harbors (TWO +1.7%), and Chimera (CIM +1.3%) leading the way. Western Asset Mortgage (WMC -0.8%) is a laggard after slashing its dividend by more than 30% last night.
    • Equity REITs are decidedly mixed. Retail names like Realty Income (O +2.4%), National Retail (NNN +2%), and Vereit (VER +0.9%) are higher, as are healthcare players like HCP (HCP +1.2%) and Medical Properties Trust (MPW +0.1). Apartment REITs are mostly lower, as are mall operators like Simon Property (SPG -0.8%) and General Growth (GGP -0.7%).
    • The dollar is surging post-Brexit, however, and that's taking a chunk out of the hotel REITs: Hospitality Properties (HPT -1.5%), Sunstone Hotel (SHO -2.7%), LaSalle (LHO -3.8%), Pebblebrook (PEB -2.4%), RLJ Lodging (RLJ -2.5%).
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU, FUGAX, UTLF, JHMUVNQ, IYR, DRN, RQI, URE, SCHH, ICF, RWR, SRS, RNP, RFI
    | Fri, Jun. 24, 10:30 AM | 43 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 3, 10:12 AM
    | Fri, Jun. 3, 10:12 AM
  • Wed, May 4, 3:29 PM
    • Of particular interest given he's on stage at Ira Sohn following hard-money advocate Stan Druckenmiller (hike rates, but gold), Jeff Gundlach thinks the idea of the Fed talking about higher rates while cutting growth forecasts makes no sense.
    • He's got a pair trade idea: Buy mortgage REITs (NYSEARCA:REM) and sell utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU). The strategy is based on the idea that the valuations of unloved and "cheap" mREITs, and over-loved and "pricey" utilities will converge.
    • Low-volatility stocks (of which utilities fit the bill) are an oxymoron, says Gundlach. Buying at these prices is like the old game "Dynamite Shack."
    • Live blog
    • Utility ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU, FUGAX
    • Mortgage REIT ETFs: MORL, REM, MORT
    • Previously: Bill Gross: Go long helicopter makers (May 4)
    | Wed, May 4, 3:29 PM | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 29, 12:58 PM
    • The Obama administration yesterday defended its Clean Power Plan regulation limiting carbon emissions from power plants, telling the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that the rule is well within the bounds of its authority.
    • The Clean Air Act provides the EPA with “well-established authority to abate threats to public health and welfare by limiting the amount of air pollution that power plants pump into the atmosphere,” the agency wrote in a brief submitted to the court, and that the regulation was critical to addressing what it said was the most important environmental challenge facing the U.S.
    • The regulation would require a 32% cut in power plant carbon emissions by 2030, based on 2005 levels, by calling on states to shift their power sources from coal-fired plants to cleaner sources such as renewable sources and natural gas.
    • The D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments on the legality of the regulation in June; whichever side loses is expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked the rule in February, sending it back to the D.C. court .
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
    | Tue, Mar. 29, 12:58 PM | 28 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 4, 10:04 AM
    • In a victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court yesterday denied a request by states seeking to block an EPA regulation cutting mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.
    • Chief Justice Roberts denied the states’ request without comment and without referring it to the other justices, apparently believing the request did not merit further action.
    • The decision comes three weeks after the full Supreme Court blocked Obama's Clean Power Plan for limiting greenhouse gas pollution from coal plants, which opponents read as a sign the court was willing to halt other regulations while they undergo changes and review.
    • But legal experts say Roberts' decision yesterday signaled opponents may not be successful in further attempts to halt environmental rules while they are still subject to legal challenges.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
    | Fri, Mar. 4, 10:04 AM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 25, 12:58 PM
    • Executives from American Electric Power (AEP +1.2%) and Xcel Energy (XEL +1.1%) both say they believe a federal crackdown on carbon emissions is coming sooner or later, regardless of whether Pres. Obama's Clean Power Plan holds up in court.
    • "Carbon regulation is not going away," AEP's manager of strategic policy analysis tells the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, saying his company is still moving ahead to figure out the best way to comply.
    • States such as Texas and West Virginia, which have led legal opposition to Obama’s plan, take the Supreme Court’s recent decision as a sign the rule ultimately will be struck down, while states including Massachusetts, Arizona and Virginia have said they will move ahead anyway.
    • The current situation causes uncertainty for utilities that operate across multiple states; for example, Xcel must balance policies in Minnesota, which leans toward expanding clean energy, against those in Texas.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
    | Thu, Feb. 25, 12:58 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 16, 11:27 AM
    • Analysts say the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia over the weekend may have improved the likelihood that Pres. Obama's Clean Power Plan will survive a judicial review.
    • Last week, the Court voted 5-4 to delay the EPA's scheduled rollout of Obama's plan to dramatically cut carbon emissions from the power industry; the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals likely will rule this fall on a challenge to the plan, with the conventional wisdom expecting the three-member court panel to rule favorably for the White House, setting up an appeal to the Supreme Court.
    • With the death of Scalia, a conservative voice on the court with a history of limiting government regulation, the chances of the plan being upheld would seem to have improved; an eight-member Court split 4-4 would allow the lower court ruling to stand, and it is far from certain that a Republican will be elected in November and name Scalia's replacement or that delaying tactics by Republican Senators will prove successful.
    • Environmental attorney Brian Potts had placed the odds of the Clean Power Plan surviving judicial review at less than 10%; with Scalia’s death, he places the likelihood at greater than 75%.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, KOL, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
    | Tue, Feb. 16, 11:27 AM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 9, 6:43 PM
    • The U.S. Supreme Court blocks Pres. Obama's planned new federal regulation that would cut emissions from power plants, halting at least for now the administration's sweeping effort to combat climate change.
    • The justices heeded calls from utilities, coal miners and more than two dozen states to halt the EPA rule while court challenges go forward.
    • The delay will last at least until a D.C. appeals court rules on the plan, probably later this year after it hears arguments in June; meanwhile, the EPA will not be able to enforce a Sept. 6 deadline for states to either submit their emission reduction plans or request a two-year extension.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 6:43 PM | 56 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 21, 7:27 PM
    • An attempt to delay enforcement of Pres. Obama's Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until legal challenges are resolved is denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
    • The court order is an early victory for the EPA in what is likely to be a multiyear legal battle over a cornerstone of Pres. Obama's climate plan, which more than two dozen states and various utility companies, coal producers and business groups opposed, arguing they faced immediate burdens from complying with the regulation, which the administration issued in August.
    • The regulation requires a 32% cut in power-plant carbon emissions by 2030 based on emissions levels of 2005.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP, FUGAX
    | Thu, Jan. 21, 7:27 PM | 26 Comments
  • Dec. 9, 2015, 3:13 PM
    • The bank's team is fairly aggressive in their expectation of rate hikes, seeing a 25 basis point move next week and another 100 basis points by the end of 2016.
    • The cycle, they say, most closely resembles that of 2004, and regulated utilities outperformed the broader market by 6% and 18% in the three and 12 months following the first hike that year.
    • As for this particular moment, Barclays says a flattening yield curve, increasing high-yield default rates, and a strong greenback impacting S&P earnings relative to utilities all bode well for the sector.
    • The team's favored picks: NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), Entergy (NYSE:ETR), Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), and PG&E (NYSE:PCG).
    • Utility ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP, FUGAX
    | Dec. 9, 2015, 3:13 PM | 29 Comments
  • Nov. 18, 2015, 5:59 PM
    • Declining utility stocks are a harbinger of rate increases, as the sector tends to underperform the broader market when rates are rising, and the S&P utilities index is trading near levels seen Sept. 16, when many investors and economists also expected the Fed to raise rates.
    • The average utility dividend yield has risen to 4.07% from 3.96% on Sept. 16, another sign that investors expect a rate increase; it had dropped to 3.68% on Oct. 22 after the Fed left its target rate at 0%-0.25%.
    • There’s no short-term risk to utility profit or cash flow from a modest rate increase in December, says Bloomberg credit analyst Jaimin Patel.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU
    | Nov. 18, 2015, 5:59 PM | 9 Comments
  • Nov. 6, 2015, 12:54 PM
    | Nov. 6, 2015, 12:54 PM | 9 Comments
  • Oct. 23, 2015, 6:45 PM
    • Two dozen states file a lawsuit against Pres. Obama’s carbon emission regulations, the administration's signature climate change rule for power plants, challenging the EPA’s authority to enforce the rules issued in August.
    • The challengers are expected to focus on whether the EPA exceeded its powers by pushing utilities to shift to cleaner forms of energy instead of just focusing on pollution controls at fossil fuel-fired power plants.
    • Senior EPA officials say they are confident the agency's Clean Power Plan is legally sound, but the EPA is relying upon a seldom-used section of the Clean Air Act as its authority for the rules, which leaves an opening for legal scrutiny.
    • Most of the states involved in the legal challenge are reliant on fossil fuels, and all but two of the 24 are led by Republican governors.
    • The EPA rule seeks a 32% cut in the power sector’s carbon emissions by 2030 vs. 2005 levels.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP, PSCU, TONS, FUGAX
    | Oct. 23, 2015, 6:45 PM | 40 Comments
  • Oct. 12, 2015, 10:56 AM
    • Electricity producers are largely planning to comply with, not contest, the Obama administration’s new rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants, believing the new regulations at least add certainty to their plans to move away from coal to generate electricity toward cheap natural gas and renewable energy, WSJ reports.
    • "Everybody is moving in this direction anyway,” Dominion (NYSE:D) CEO Tom Farrell says.
    • "Our coal assets are still running but they’re not making any money," says CEO Bob Flexon of Dynegy (NYSE:DYN), whose generating capacity is ~45% coal and 55% gas. “All the earnings are coming from our gas portfolio."
    • Certainly not every utility has agreed to go along with the EPA’s 15-year plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the power industry by 32% from 2005; among those who say they are still studying the rule and deciding on next steps are DUK, AEP and SO.
    • ETFs: XLU, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
    | Oct. 12, 2015, 10:56 AM | 40 Comments
  • Sep. 17, 2015, 3:04 PM
    | Sep. 17, 2015, 3:04 PM | 1 Comment
FXU Description
The First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX® Fund is an exchange-traded fund. The investment objective of the Fund is to seek investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before fees and expenses, of an equity index called the StrataQuant® Utilities Index.
See more details on sponsor's website
Sector: Utilities
Country: United States
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