U.S. equities logged in strong gains last week as investors turned their attention to the beginning of Q2′s earnings season. Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) all beat Wall Street expectations. On the macro front, investors paid close attention to dovish comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the release of the latest FOMC minutes. Bernanke stated that monetary policy would remain accomodative for the foreseeable future, even if the unemployment rate fell to the central bank’s target rate of 6.5%. 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. 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 as retail sales for June are reported. Analysts are expecting a slight uptick in sales from 0.6% in the previous month to 0.7% in June [see Single Country ETFs: Everything Investors Need To Know].
2. 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 Bernanke’s testimony on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the House Financial Services Committee.
3. Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI, A)
Why XLI Will Be In Focus: This fund 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 index to fall slightly to 6.9, compared to the previous recording of 12.5 [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.