ETF Sector: Utilities A utilities exchange-traded fund is an investment fund that is traded on a stock exchange and that tracks a basket of utility stocks. A utility company provides essential services such as electricity, gas, or water to customers. Utilities are considered to be defensive stocks because people will continue to use these services even during an economic downturn. The shares of utility companies are therefore less volatile than the shares of other companies. An ETF is a type of investment fund that pools money from investors and invests in a basket of assets, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities. ETFs are traded on stock exchanges and can be bought and sold like regular shares.