Wall Street marked its second-straight weekly decline, as investors continued to weigh the possibility of the Federal Reserve tapering its bond buying purchases in the near future. Last week, investors paid close attention to speeches by Federal Reserve bank presidents James Bullard and Richard Fisher, which indicated that tapering could begin as early as this month. On the economic front, U.S. initial jobless claims rose by 68,000 to 368,000 in the latest week; analysts had expected the figure to come in at 328,000. The Labor Department also reported that the producer-price index fell 0.1% in November.
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 Fed Effect: How Monetary Policy Impacts Your ETFs].
1. FTSE Europe ETF (VGK, A)
Why VGK Will Be In Focus: This ETF offers broad-based exposure to the developed economies of Europe, spreading holdings across more than a dozen markets. Its place in the spotlight will come on Monday when Germany and France release their Flash Manufacturing PMI indexes. Analysts are expecting both German and French manufacturing PMI to come in slightly higher. Investors should keep a close eye on VGK on Monday as ECB President Draghi testifies on monetary policy before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs [see Single Country ETFs: Everything Investors Need To Know].
2. SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB, A+)
Why XHB Will Be In Focus: With over $1.8 billion in total assets under management, this ETF is by far the most popular option for investors looking to add exposure to the homebuilding industry. Its focus will come on Wednesday and Thursday as building permits and existing home sales are reported, respectively. Analyst expect building permits to dip slightly to 0.99M from the previously recorded 1.04M, while existing home sales are also expected to decrease slightly from 5.12M to 2.04M.
3. Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI, A)
Why XLI Will Be In Focus: This ETF is one of the most popular on the market, with over $8.7 billion in assets and an average daily volume just under 10 million. XLI seeks to replicate the performance of the U.S. industrial sector and will be in focus this week as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index is reported on Thursday. Analysts expect the figure to come in significantly higher at 10.3 versus the previously recorded 6.5 [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.