On Wall Street, investors turned their attention to Washington last week, as Congress continues to struggle to come to a bipartisan budget agreement. Since Tuesday, the U.S. federal government has officially shut down, closing the doors on all “non-essential” operations. And though investors saw glimmers of progress in the talks to end the shutdown later last week, markets still struggled to stay afloat, dipping into red territory for the majority of the week. On the economic front, the Labor Department reported initial jobless claims rising to 308,000 last week, just shy of the expected 314,000 figure. The Labor Department did not, however, issue its highly anticipated September jobs report on Friday because of the government shutdown. 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 The Best (And Worst) Performing ETFs For Every Quarter].
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 United Kingdom ETF (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 Thursday as the Bank of England announces its rate decision and its asset purchase target. Both the rate and target are expected to remain unchanged at 0.50% and 375 billion, respectively.
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 preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment is reported. Analysts are expecting the metric to decrease slightly from 77.5 to 77.2. [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Follow me on Twitter @DPylypczak.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.