The holiday shortened week did Wall Street a world of good, as U.S. markets rose for the second straight week–a nice change of pace from the rough August that equities experienced. This week’s gains were led by solid performances from the technology, financials and health care sectors, which all surged higher on a 7.6% gain by Goldman Sachs, a 4.5% gain by Apple and more than a 3.6% increase for both Pfizer and Merck. While equities may be sailing along, trouble is perhaps beginning to brew in the Treasury markets, as yields continue to soar and prices continue to slide; the Ten year note was yielding 2.8% in Friday trading, a huge gain from late August when the benchmark bond was below the 2.5% mark.
A host of data reports out of major global markets should set the stage for a busy week after consecutive days of below average trading volumes. In addition to major data releases, a number of key companies are scheduled to give their earnings reports, which should put some surging sectors back into focus. Below, we profile three ETFs that could be active this week [for more ETF ideas sign up for our free ETF newsletter]:
Why ENZL Will Be In Focus: This week looks to put the small New Zealand economy into focus as the country’s central bank gives its decision on rates. Although the country’s economy has not grown as fast as neighboring Australia, both have surged ahead thanks to robust demand for commodities by rising Asian nations. The country is expected to keep rates steady at 3%, but the real key will be the inflation expectations and any growth rate updates that the bank gives for the economy. If the central bank maintains its relatively bullish outlook for the New Zealand economy, look for ENZL to rise modestly as the country follows Australia’s lead as one of the few developed markets able to return to meaningful growth levels [see iShares Debuts New Zealand ETF].
iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT)
Why IYT Will Be In Focus: As more infrastructure spending programs are announced, one of the primary beneficiaries looks to be the transportation sector, which has the potential to thrive off of a more robust road and rail network. Solid economic activity levels in many emerging markets doesn’t hurt either; that has led many companies in this sector to surge in previous weeks as higher expectations are set for global growth. However, this recent trend will be put to the test on Thursday as one of the world’s largest transports, Federal Express (FDX), gives its Q1 2011 earnings report.
The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $1.19/share and the company has said that revenues are exceeding original expectations and are being buoyed by solid growth levels in its express and ground segments. The company has also been adding more planes to its Asian fleet, suggesting that volumes could continue to rise in the important market, potentially signaling a continued recovery for the transportation sector at large [see Dude Where's My Car ETF?].
Merrill Lynch Software HOLDR (SWH)
Why SWH Will Be In Focus: Despite weakness in the overall technology sector, some companies have managed to turn things around as of late and post solid gains in the first full week of September. One of the best performers last week was Oracle (ORCL) which saw its shares surge by more than 11% on the week despite ongoing controversy over the company’s new executive Mark Hurd, who is currently facing a lawsuit from his old employer, Hewlett Packard.
While this executive cloud continues to hang over the company, a solid earnings report on Thursday will go a long way in terms of alleviating investor fears over the sticky situation. Many are expecting the company to post solid earnings thanks to robust spending on software by companies. Oracle is projected to report $7.26 billion in revenue for the period ended in August, and earnings excluding items of 36 cents a share a sharp uptick from last year’s numbers which saw $5.06 billion in revenue, and earnings excluding items of 30 cents a share [also read Five Facts About HOLDRs Every Investor Must Know].
[For more ETF ideas consider trying out a free seven day trial of ETFdb Pro.]
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.