The 7 Best ETFs to Beat Back Trade War Worries

The trade war between the United States and China is well into its second year.

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The trade war between the United States and China is well into its second year. Since Jan. 22, 2018, American stocks have made two runs into all-time-high territory, but overall, they haven’t made much progress. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is just 2% higher than when the trade conflict started.

Now, uncertainty has returned, which means volatility has returned. So today, we’ll look at some of the best exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to battle another round of trade jitters.

On-again, off-again talks between the U.S. and China seemed headed toward a resolution for most of 2019 but hit a considerable wall in May. The U.S. accused China of walking back some of its agreements and raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, prompting Beijing to retaliate with new and escalated tariffs of its own.

Certain sectors have taken on hair-trigger demeanors. For instance, technology, which experts think could be heavily targeted in future rounds of tariffs, swings daily on the latest comings and goings out of Washington and Beijing. Semiconductor companies, many of which generate gobs of their sales from China, are among the most susceptible stocks.

The best ETFs to buy if you want to beat back the trade war, then, avoid these sensitive industries and instead focus on businesses that should come out far less scathed than others. Here, we look at seven top funds from various corners of the market.

Data is as of May 15. Yields represent the trailing 12-month yield, which is a standard measure for equity funds.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.