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What Institutions Are Doing with Their Holdings in XLU

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Sep. 19 2016, Updated 7:04 a.m. ET

Institutional holdings in XLU

Institutional investors raised their stake in the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) in the last couple of months. Interestingly, since July, utilities have corrected nearly 12%, which suggests a concerning weakness.

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Institutions and their interest in utilities

Institutional investors’ percentage of float held in XLU rose by nearly 8% from 86.8% on June 30, 2016, to 93.5% on September 13. Float refers to the number of shares available for trading. Since July 2016, XLU’s number of buyers fell by a modest 9%, while its number of sellers rose by 42%. The number of new buyers fell by a robust 37%, while sell-offs increased by 15%.

The number of institutional investors holding XLU in the last two months has risen by 3% to 637. At the end of July 2016, the number of institutional investors holding XLU was 618.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley were a few of the top institutions holding XLU as of September 11, 2016. They own 12%, 8.6%, and 7%, respectively, of XLU’s float.

As the uncertainty in the broader markets doesn’t seem to have abated, investors may choose to remain invested in safe-haven utilities for the near future. However, utilities (SO) (DUK) (PPL) are the most vulnerable in the face of the expected rate hike.

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