Despite a slew of positive economic reports, Wall Street continued to be under the spell of the seemingly never-ending fiscal cliff negotiations. After several back and forth talks with the President, House Speaker John Boehner, in a surprise move, abandoned his plans to bring his “Plan B” budget proposal to a vote, though he assured the public that he hasn’t given up on negotiations with the President. And with Congress disbanded until after Christmas, Washington now has even fewer days to concoct some plan to avoid the economy tipping into a recession. This holiday-shortened week, investors will once again see a number of economic reports from around the world. Below, we outline three ETFs that should see a fair amount of activity during the week ahead [see also 7 Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolio]:
1. MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)
Why EWJ Will Be in Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the Japanese equity market, and it is home to over $4.1 billion in total assets. It will be important to keep a close eye on EWJ on Tuesday as the Bank of Japan is slated to release the minutes from the last monetary policy meeting. This comes after the Bank of Japan announced its new stimulus measures last week, adding another $119 billion to its asset-purchase program [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH)
Why RTH Will Be In Focus: This ETF tracks an index that is comprised of the 25 largest U.S.-listed, publicly-traded retail companies. Top holdings in RTH include Wal-Mart, Amazon, Home Depot, CVS and Costco. Domestic consumer discretionary stocks, and retailers in particular, will be in the spotlight on Thursday as the latest consumer sentiment data for December is announced. Analysts are expecting a slight drop in this figure, from the previously recorded 73.7 to 70.3.
3. SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB)
Why XHB Will Be In Focus: With over $2.2 billion in total assets under management, this ETF is by far the most popular option for investors looking to add exposure to the homebuilding industry. Its focus will come at the end of this week as U.S. new home sales are reported. Analysts expect sales to rise to $382,000 from the previously recorded $368,000 [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.