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5 Small-Cap ETFs and Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000

By Sweta Killa, Zacks Investment Research

http://bit.ly/2ISXbPV

Amid heightened volatility and uncertainty, small cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, are shining and easily outperforming their large-cap counterparts. In fact, the benchmark closed at a record high for consecutive three days and registered its third week of gains. This is in contrast to the large cap brethren – S&P 500 and Dow Jones – that saw the third weekly decline in the past four weeks.

5 Small-Cap ETFs and Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000
Source: Shutterstock

The rally made the Russell 2000 the first index to reach a record high, following the stock market’s first 10% correction in two years in February. The index has gained 11.1% since its Feb 8 low and 5.9% so far this year.

The outperformance was partly driven by U.S. tax overhaul, which includes the steep tax cuts benefiting the small-cap stocks as they pay higher rates than large-cap companies. Recent trade tensions and Trump’s protectionist trade stance also boosted small cap stocks, which are closely tied to the U.S. economy and do not have much exposure to the international market.

Notably, these pint-sized stocks are considered safer and better plays if a political issue or economic turmoil creeps into the picture. Further, the strength in dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive overseas, also supported the small cap surge.

Moreover, an encouraging domestic economic trend backs their momentum. The U.S. economy has entered its second-longest expansion phase since 1785, thanks to higher consumer spending, rising consumer confidence, low borrowing cost, growing wages and solid hiring.

The trend is likely to continue given that the growing inflationary pressure is building up the case for aggressive rate hikes, pushing dollar higher. According to CME, there is 51% chance of four interest rates hike this year. Though the trade tensions between China and the United States have eased after they agreed to drop their tariff threats, looming U.S. sanctions against major oil producer Iran has intensified the geopolitical risk.

Added to the bullishness in the space is small-cap earnings growth, which has outpaced that of bigger names. According to Thomson Reuters, first-quarter earnings growth for Russell 2000 companies is estimated to be 33.8%, while earnings for the S&P 500 companies increased 26.2% from a year ago.

Given this, there have been winners in several corners of the small cap space. Below we have presented five ETFs & stocks that have easily crushed the Russell 2000 index this year and are likely to continue their strong performance.

 

Small-Cap ETFs Crushing the Russell 2000: PowerShares S&P SmallCap Healthcare Portfolio (PSCH)

The PowerShares S&P SmallCap Healthcare Portfolio (NASDAQ:PSCH) targets the healthcare sector and tracks the S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Health Care Index.

Zacks ETF Rank: #2
AUM: $567.2 million
Expense Ratio: 0.29%
YTD Return: 26.8%

Small-Cap ETFs Crushing the Russell 2000: PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (PSCE)

The PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (NASDAQ:PSCE) offers exposure to the small-cap segment of the energy sector by tracking the S&P Small Cap 600 Capped Energy Index.

Zacks Rank: #3
AUM: $77.3 million
Expense Ratio: 0.29%
YTD Return: 18.4%

Small-Cap ETFs Crushing the Russell 2000: ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO)

The ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (NYSEARCA:SBIO) is a small cap centric fund that targets companies with one or more drugs in Phase II or Phase III FDA clinical trials and follows the Poliwogg Medical Breakthroughs Index.

Zacks ETF Rank: #3
AUM: $192.1 million
Expense Ratio: 0.50%
YTD Return: 13.9%

Small-Cap ETFs Crushing the Russell 2000: First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FYC)

The First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (NASDAQ:FYC) follows the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Small Cap Growth Index, which uses the AlphaDEX methodology to select the stock from the Nasdaq US 700 Small Cap Growth Index.

Zacks ETF Rank: #3
AUM: $222.6 million
Expense Ratio: 0.70%
YTD Return: 10.3%

Best Stocks

We have used the Zacks Stock Screener to find out the best-performing stocks in the small-cap space and then narrowed down the list considering a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 and a Growth Style Score of B or better.

The Growth Score analyzes the growth prospects of a company following a thorough analysis of the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement that evaluate its financial health and the sustainability of its growth trajectory.

The results show that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.

Small-Cap Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000: Turtle Beach Corp (HEAR)

California-based audio technology company Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR) provides various gaming headset solutions for various platforms, including video game and entertainment consoles, handheld consoles, personal computers, and mobile and tablet devices under the Turtle Beach brand.

Zacks Rank: #1
Growth Score: A
Market Cap: $218.5 million
YTD Return: 781.3%

Small-Cap Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000: Profire Energy, Inc. (PFIE)

Utah-based oilfield technology company Profire Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFIE) provides burner- and chemical-management products and services for the oil and gas industry primarily in the United States and Canada.

Zacks Rank: #2
Growth Score: B
Market Cap: $229.4 million
YTD Return: 114.8%

Small-Cap Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000: ChemoCentryx Inc (CCXI)

California-based biopharmaceutical company ChemoCentryx Inc (NASDAQ:CCXI) is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing orally-administered therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer.

Zacks Rank: #1
Growth Score: B
Market Cap: $604.05 million
YTD Return: 106.5%

Small-Cap Stocks Crushing the Russell 2000: Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. (CLUB)

Florida-based health club company Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLUB) is the largest in the Northeastern United States. It owns and operates the Sports Clubs Network of clubs, which includes New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs.

Zacks Rank: #2
Growth Score: A
Market Cap: $289.73 million
YTD Return: 91.9%

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Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2018/05/5-small-cap-etf-stocks-crushing-russell-2000-ggsyn/.

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