U.S. equity benchmarks opened in green territory yesterday only to make way for profit-taking during the day and close out the session with mixed results thanks to choppy trading. The main culprits behind the back-and-forth price action were hesitant traders looking to position themselves ahead of Friday’s monthly employment report; May’s labor data will likely come under the microscope as more investors weigh the possibility of the Fed scaling back on stimulus ahead of the upcoming FOMC meeting in June [see also The Cheapest ETF For Every Investment Objective].
Our ETF to watch today is the Vanguard FTSE ETF (VGK, A), which could experience volatile trading at the opening bell as investors react to the overnight eurozone GDP report. Analysts are expecting for the currency bloc to post a negative economic growth rate of 0.2% for the quarter, same as the previous reading.
Consider VGK’s one-year daily performance chart below. VGK has enjoyed a steady run-up over the last year as the European debt crisis has evolved from worrisome to somewhat stable, which has undeniably welcomed back many bulls looking to position themselves in anticipation of the region’s long overdue economic rebound. Since breaking above its 200-day moving average (yellow line) in August of 2012, this ETF has traded higher within a crudely defined channel (red line). What’s noteworthy is that VGK appears to be pulling back after grinding along the upper resistance of its channel throughout most of May of 2013 [see How To Take Profits And Cut Losses When Trading ETFs].
Assuming VGK stays in its channel, it appears to be headed towards support around the $50 level given its failure to break out higher in May. If a broad market correction develops, however, this ETF can easily re-test support at $48 a share, which is also where its 200-day moving average comes in [see 3 ETF Trading Tips You Are Missing].
If economic growth improves in the currency bloc, VGK should have the wind at its back; in terms of upside, this ETF will likely face stiff selling pressures as it inches towards resistance at $53 a share. On the other hand, worse-than-expected GDP data can spur profit-taking pressures overseas; in terms of downside, this ETF has near-term support at $51 a share followed by the $48 level. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit-taking techniques.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.