July 3, 2013

BD Stocks Blowing Away Indexes

Shares of independent broker-dealers are booming in early ’13, while wirehouse results are mixed

Charles Schwab shares rose 41% in the first half. (Photo: AP) Charles Schwab shares rose 41% in the first half. (Photo: AP)

Despite recent bumps, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 indexes rose roughly 12%, excluding reinvested dividends, in the first half of 2013. The performance of many broker-dealers, though, sharply outpaced the major indexes.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. broker-dealer ETF (IAI) moved up an impressive 28% in the same period, with some firms topping returns of 40%.

The SPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF (KCE) also outpaced the major indexes moving up roughly 18%.

Wirehouse broker-dealers had mixed results. Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS), which recently said it would soon purchase its final stake in the Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney joint venture, has risen 25.5% this year.

Wells Fargo (WFC) has improved about 18%.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC), however, moved up just 7.5%, while UBS (UBS) ticked up only 5%.

The independent broker-dealers had a stellar first half. Charles Schwab (SCHW), for example, soared 41%, as did TD Ameritrade (AMTD).

LPL Financial (LPLA) maintained a decent pace, improving about 32.5%, while Ameriprise Financial (AMP) moved up 25%.

Other firms outpacing the S&P in the first six months of the year include Citigroup (C) at 17% and Goldman Sachs (GS) at 15%.

Raymond James Financial (RJF) improved roughly 9% during the period.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealer ETF includes shares of 6% or more in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab and Amerprise.

In contrast, the SPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF is more focused on investment firms, such as Legg Mason (LM), Invesco (IVZ) and Eaton Vance (EV); these companies each represent about 2.5% of the ETF’s portfolio.

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