As the federal government looks to transition back to a sense of normalcy following COVID-19, the current administration acknowledges that unemployment numbers will be ugly. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says unemployment numbers could reach the 25% range after fluttering at historical lows prior to the pandemic.
Per a recent CNBC report, the “real unemployment rate, which includes people who are not looking for work or are underemployed, already stands at 22.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mnuchin acknowledged that the jobless rate may be even higher and stand at 25%, comparable to the Great Depression when pressed on the issue by Wallace who pointed out that April’s unemployment report stopped in the middle of the month.”
“This is no fault of American business, this is no fault of American workers, this is a result of a virus,” Mnuchin said during an episode of “Fox News Sunday.” “The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better,” he said, adding that “next year is going to be a great year.”
As the U.S. economy looks to bounce back from the doldrums of the pandemic sell-off in March, there are still value-oriented plays to be had. As opposed to looking at individual stocks, investors can also look to value-tilted exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
For ETF investors looking for value plays, one ETF play that’s worth a look involves sifting through the Nasdaq to find value via the Principal Contrarian Value Index ETF (PVAL). PVAL seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before expenses, to the performance of the Nasdaq U.S. Contrarian Value Index (the “index”).
Under normal circumstances, the fund invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities of companies that compose the index at the time of purchase. The index uses a quantitative model designed to identify equity securities in the Nasdaq US Large Mid Cap Index (the “parent index”) that appear to be undervalued by the market relative to their fundamental value.
Another option to consider is the American Century STOXX U.S. Quality Value ETF (VALQ). VALQ seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the iSTOXX® American Century USA Quality Value Index (the underlying index). Under normal market conditions, the fund invests at least 80% of its assets in the component securities of the underlying index. The underlying index is designed to select securities of large- and mid-capitalization companies that are undervalued or have a sustainable income.
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