It was a relatively quiet week on Wall Street last week, as no major economic data was released. Overseas, however, equities pushed ahead, helping bolster U.S. stock markets; on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the milestone 15,000 level for the first time. Elsewhere on the homefront, initial jobless claims declined to 323,000, the lowest level since 2008; analysts were expecting a small uptick to 327,000. Meanwhile, investors paid close attention to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s commentary on Friday at the Chicago Fed Conference. This week, investors will once again see many earnings and economic reports. Below, we outline three ETFs that should see a fair amount of activity during the week ahead [see also The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective]:
1. 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 Monday and Friday when U.S. retail sales and the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment are reported, respectively. Retail sales are expected to decline 0.2%, compared to the previous recording of -0.4%, while preliminary consumer sentiment is expected to come in slightly higher[see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].
2. MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG, B)
Why EWG Will Be In Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the German equity market, and it is home to over $2.9 billion in total assets. EWG will come into focus on Tuesday as data on Germany’s economic sentiment is released. Economic sentiment is expected to come in higher at 40.7, compared to the previously recorded 36.3 figure.
3. SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB, A+)
Why XHB Will Be In Focus: With over $2.9 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 Tuesday as U.S. building permits and housing starts are reported. Analysts expect an uptick in building permits, but forecast housing starts to come in lower at 0.95 million [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.