The bulls and the bears continued their tug-of-war last week, as investors digested a slew of economic news from around the globe. Disappointing ISM and labor data weighed heavily on the markets, with manufacturing, initial jobless claims, private sector jobs, and nonfarm payrolls all coming in below expectations. Meanwhile, Japan’s central bank announced a series of aggressive easing measures, stating that it will double its government bond holdings in two years. This week, investors will once again see many 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. 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 FOMC meeting minutes. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will also be speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2013 Financial Markets Conference on Monday and Friday [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund (EWU, A-)
Why EWU Will Be In Focus: This ETF tracks an index that is comprised of roughly 100 securities, and it is designed to measure the overall performance of the British equity market. Investors should keep a close eye on EWU on Tuesday as manufacturing production for the region is released. Analysts are expecting a slight increase of 0.4%, as compared to the previous recording of -1.5%.
3. SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT, A)
Why XRT Will Be In Focus: This ETF tracks an index that is comprised of the roughly 100 U.S.-listed, publicly-traded retail companies, a targeted sub-sector of the consumer discretionary space. Investors should keep a close eye on XRT on Friday as retail sales and preliminary consumer sentiment are reported. Retail sales are expected to remain unchanged, while core retail sales are expected to see a 0.2% uptick compared to the the previously recorded 1.1% increase. [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.