Yet another earnings season has passed by and left us with plenty to talk about. Unfortunately, blue chip statements will no longer dominate markets, leaving us more vulnerable to news from the flailing euro zone, as evidenced by Friday’s trading day. For the next few months, investors will shift their attention back to economic data and key points that shed light on how individual economies are performing as well as that of the entire world. The coming week will feature a number of high profile events that traders will want to keep their eye on, as it may present some lucrative opportunities. Below, we outline three ETFs that should be relatively active over the course of the coming week [see also Doomsday Special: 7 Hard Asset Investments You Can Hold in Your Hand]:
MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG)
Why EWG Will Be In Focus: Germany is arguably the strongest economy in the EU as well as one of the strongest in the world. In fact, the nation still holds its coveted “AAA” credit rating, something that the U.S. has not been able to say since August of last year. This week will feature a key data release, as the nation reveals its economic sentiment, which has surprised for the past two months. Analysts are predicting for a reading of -11.6, compared to last month’s -21.6. If the country is able to hit its marks, then look for EWG, which tracks German equities, to see a nice boost. But a negative report or further issues involving the Greek debt crisis could put this fund in the gutter [see also ETFs To Play AAA Europe].
COMEX Gold Trust (IAU)
Why IAU Will Be In Focus: This ETF tracks physical gold bullion and is quickly becoming one of the most popular funds on the market. With nearly $10 billion in assets and a daily volume topping 6.1 million, it is safe to say that IAU is an investor favorite. Gold it typically active on its own, but with FOMC minutes on Wednesday and Bernanke addressing the nation on Thursday, the precious metal is sure to have an active week. Fed statements typically have a massive effect on gold, especially if there is any sort of mention of asset-purchasing or any other event that would spark inflation. Along with the important Fed statement, U.S. CPI and retail figures are set for the week, all of which will dictate the performance of this ETF [see also Three Reasons Why Gold Is Overvalued].
S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX)
Why VXX Will Be In Focus: VXX is always a good fund to watch if you are an active trader, but that will be especially true this coming week. First, consider that the fund, which is down roughly 25% on the year, made a near 10% gain on the final two trading days of last week. With uncertainty swarming around the Greek debt deal, volatility went through the roof as VXX got its first major momentous period of the year. Now consider the coming week, which will be chock full of U.S. data, Bernanke’s address to the country, and surely further development as far as Greece is concerned. Add all that up and you have the perfect storm for this ETN. For those looking to make a speculative play on the market, VXX can offer you some of the best returns, though it certainly comes with a high risk. Look for this fund to be active all week especially after its bullish jump last week [see also The Ten Commandments of Commodity Investing].
Disclosure: Photo courtesy of Jürgen Matern. No positions at time of writing.