Wall Street experienced several lackluster days of trading last week, with most Asian markets closed for holiday. Stocks struggled to find a definitive direction as the bulls and bears seemingly reached a stalemate due to a lack of significant market catalysts. On the economic front, U.S. retail sales, job openings and consumer sentiment came in better than expected, while U.S. industrial production missed analysts’ expectations. Last week also saw a flurry of M&A activity from several bellwether companies, including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and private-equity firm 3G Capital announcing it will acquire H.J. Heinz (HNZ). 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 Germany Index Fund (EWG, B+)
Why EWG Be In Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the German equity market, and it is home to over $3.7 billion in total assets. EWG will come into focus on Tuesday and Friday as data on Germany’s economic sentiment and fourth quarter GDP results are released, respectively. Economic sentiment is expected to come in higher in February, fourth quarter GDP is expected to remain unchanged at -0.6% (QoQ) [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust (FXB)
Why FXB Will Be In Focus: FXB measures the exchange rate between the British pound and the U.S. dollar. This ETF will be important to watch in the middle of the week, as Wednesday will see the Bank of England release its meeting minutes. Any plans or commentary from the central bank will likely have a significant impact on the nation’s currency. [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com.]
3. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD, A-)
Why GLD Will Be In Focus: This physically-backed ETF offers exposure to the spot price of gold bullion. Gold prices have a history of making big swings whenever the Fed, or Chairman Bernanke, offers insights and economic commentary. As such, GLD could see a surge in trading volumes on Wednesday following the latest Fed minutes. [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.