Central bankers across the globe were in the limelight once again last week, as both the Fed and the ECB delivered rather disappointing commentary to the markets. Recently, ECB President Draghi had emphasized the ECB’s willingness to take “unconventional measures,” but now the central bank is applying restrictions on their promise, stating that further action will only be taken under strict conditions and after struggling countries submit a request for aid. Fed Chairman Bernanke also expressed similar views, stating that the central bank will remain cautious and that no immediate action will be taken. Until more concrete plans are put in place both at home and overseas, markets will likely remain volatile as investors wait for governments to step in and boost the fragile global economy.
The coming week will see a number of major economic reports as well as several bellwether stocks’ earnings announcements. Below, we outline three ETFs that should see a fair amount of activity during the week ahead [see also August Edition of ETF Edge Now Available].
1. MSCI Australia Index Fund (EWA)
Why EWA Will Be in Focus: With just under $2.4 billion in total assets under management and an average daily volume of 2.2 million shares, this fund is arguably one of the best measures of the Australia equity market. Investors should keep a close eye on EWA this week as Australia’s unemployment data is reported on Tuesday. Last month, the country saw a drop in employment by 27,000; analysts are expecting an increase of 10,000 new workers in the month of July.
2. MSCI Canada Index Fund (EWC)
Why EWC Will Be In Focus: Like EWA, EWC also provides one of the best measures of a single nation’s equity market: Canada. Its focus will come at the end of the week, as Canada announces its latest report on the nation’s labor market. In June, economists were surprised to see an uptick in employment, since many had concerns over the relative strength of the country’s economic recovery. Analysts are expecting the number of employed to increase once again, but some believe that the unemployment rate was actually higher for the month of July [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
3. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH)
Why RTH Will Be in Focus: The retail industry has been posting mixed data over the last few weeks, as several companies have reported strong sales, while others showed significant slowdowns. Investors should keep a close eye on RTH throughout the week, as a number of retail giants are slated to announce their second quarter earnings. CVS Caremark, which accounts for over 6% of RTH’s total assets, is expected to report strong earnings on Tuesday. Other retail earnings announcements to keep a close eye on are J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Nordstrom.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.