Coming at No. 18 on the weighting list, AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) is one of several commodity leaders within the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX), which pays a 3.17% annual dividend yield, compared with a 2.00% yield for the S&P 500 (SPX) index.

AK Steel shares closed Friday at $73.10, up 1.08%. The shares have risen 154% year to date, including a 22% gain over the past 30 days. Meanwhile, the SLX, which closed Friday at $32.89, has returned 68% year to date, compared with a 2% year-to-date rise in the S&P 500 index. The SLX has risen 38% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has declined 0.7%. (See also: Has AK Steel Stock Become Overbought?)

Whether you're a novice investor who is just getting started or a sophisticated institutional money manager, ETFs can be used for any investment strategy. In this case, investors who are looking to establish a position in AK Steel without risking a sell-off from its 154% year-to-date gains do well with the SLX.

The Market Vectors Steel ETF seeks to replicate the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index includes companies primarily involved in a variety of activities related to steel production, including the operation of manufacturing mills and fabrication of steel products. As of the most recent settlement date, the ETF had $83.87 million in net assets with 27 individual holdings. (See also: An Introduction To Exchange-Traded Funds.)

Beyond AK Steel, which carries a weighting of 1.47% within the ETF, the group also includes Rio Tinto plc (RIO) (12.94% weighting), Vale SA (VALE) (10.61% weighting) and ArcelorMittal (MT) (6.94% weighting), which rank as the top three weightings within the ETF.

In the case of AK Steel, which has a consensus Hold rating, the stock is cheap despite its strong year-to-date performance. Its forward P/E ratio is only 8 based on fiscal 2017 earnings per share estimates of 58 cents. That P/E is almost 11 points below the average for the S&P 500 index. 

Assuming the stock were priced on par with the S&P 500 index, AK Steel shares would trade today at close to $10, or about 110% above current levels. This makes the Market Vectors Steel ETF a solid way to play the recovery, while protecting investors from too much exposure.

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