U.S. markets kicked off the month of July on a relatively strong note last week, though political turmoil in Europe and the Mideast overshadowed a slew of upbeat domestic economic reports. ISM manufacturing PMI, construction spending, auto sales, factory-orders and labor data all came in above beat analysts’ expectations. Despite the encouraging data, escalating protests and civil unrest in Portugal and Egypt weighed heavily on both U.S. and European markets. 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 25 Wild ETF Charts From 1H 2013]:
1. Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT, B-)
Why TLT Will Be In Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of U.S. Treasury securities that have a remaining maturity of at least 20 years. TLT will come into focus on Wednesday as the FOMC minutes from the last meeting are released. While in his last commentary Bernanke announced that the central bank’s current bond-buying program will remain unchanged, investors will be looking for any hints of Fed tapering in the latest minutes [see Single Country ETFs: Everything Investors Need To Know].
2. MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ, A)
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 $12 billion in total assets. It will be important to keep a close eye on EWJ in the middle of the week as the Bank of Japan issues its monetary policy statement and holds its press conference.
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 the University of Michigan reports its preliminary consumer sentiment data for the month of July. In its last recording, preliminary sentiment came in below expectations at 82.7 versus the forecasted 84.9 [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.