Sweta Killa: July Fourth sparks a festive mood with summer travel, shopping and dining being in the cards of almost everyone. But will this festive lineup be marred by the recent spike in gas prices and a tropical storm that is forecast for this weekend? Analysts are not writing off lower travel and consumer spending this Independence Day holiday.
Gasoline prices have risen over $4 heading into the busy Independence Day weekend on continued instability in Iraq. This time, drivers have to pay the highest gas prices in six years on July 4. The average gas price on the day is expected at around $3.68 per gallon, 15–20 cents per gallon higher than the last six years.
However, high gas prices are unlikely to have a significant impact on travelling as per AAA, which estimates about 41 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend (July 2 to July 6) with 34.8 million choosing to travel by automobiles. This is 1.9% higher than the last year and 14% from the Memorial Day weekend.
Then again, the National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for most of North Carolina. The first tropical storm of the season (Arthur) is strengthening into a hurricane and moving north along the East Coast. The maximum sustained winds of Arthur are currently 70 mph, 3 mph shy of the hurricane category. Arthur is also likely to bring showers and thunderstorms in New York, with 50% chance of rains on 4 July. This could threaten the Fourth of July fireworks in these regions (read: 3 American ETFs That Saw Fireworks to Start 2014).
But like every year, Americans are looking forward to star spangled skies from the mountains, to the prairies and the oceans. The party must go on, with the transportation industry and companies selling common consumer products enjoying the most. Below we have highlighted the following funds that will likely light up the ETF corner as July Fourth is celebrated:
iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Fund (NYSEARCA:IYT)
The ETF provides exposure to the transportation sector of the broader market by tracking the Dow Jones Transportation Average Index. The fund holds a small basket of 21 stocks with heavy concentration and dominance in the top 10 holdings. From a sector perspective, railroad takes the top spot at 23.45%, while delivery service (22.00%), trucking (18.51%) and airlines (15.87%) round off to the top four.