Wall Street was in for a rough start last week as selling pressures had major equity indexes posting their worst one-day drop in 2013. Markets, however, managed to stage a small rebound as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled that the central bank would continue its stimulus policies, quelling fears that the Fed would wind down or scale back its bond-buying program earlier than expected. Meanwhile, investors also kept their focus on Washington as an automatic round of government spending cuts took effect on March 1. This week, investors will once again see a slew of economic reports. 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 Australia Index Fund (EWA, B+)
Why EWA Will Be In Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the Australian equity market and its focus will come earlier in the week when Australia’s retail sales and bank rate decision are announced on Monday and the country’s fourth-quarter GDP is reported on Tuesday. Retail sales are expected to rise 0.4% compared to the previously reported -0.2% reading. The central bank’s cash rate target is expected to remain at 3.00% and GDP is forecasted to come in at 0.6% [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. Euro Debt Fund (EU, A-)
Why EU Will Be In Focus: This fund offers a way for investors to gain pure play exposure to European debt markets and is currently tilted towards debt securities from the “safer” European countries. Investors should keep a close eye on EU this week as the eurozone’s fourth-quarter revised GDP and bank rate decision are reported on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Analysts expect the rate to stay the same; any commentary from ECB President Draghi during the press conference could mean higher levels of activity for this ETF.
3. S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX, B)
Why VXX Will Be In Focus: When it comes to measuring the level of uncertainty in the United States, no fund is as prolific as VXX. Its focus will come at the end of the week when the latest U.S. non-farm payrolls data and the unemployment rate are announced on Friday. Analysts are expecting non-farm payrolls to come in at 158,000 and the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 7.9% [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.