Last week, all eyes were on the Federal Reserve as Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the House and Senate. After Yellen stated that she expects a great deal of continuity in the Fed’s approach to monetary policy, the Dow snapped its four-day losing streak, rallying 193 points. In other economic news, retail sales and industrial production fell more than expected in January, while initial jobless claims came in at 339,000 versus the expected 331,000. U.S. The Thomson-Reuters/UoM consumer sentiment index, however, came in at 81.2, above the expectations of 80.
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. SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB, A+)
Why XHB Will Be In Focus: With over $2.0 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 Friday as building permits and existing home sales are reported, respectively. Analysts expect building permits to dip slightly to 0.98M from the previously recorded 0.99M, while existing home sales are also expected to decrease slightly from 4.87M to 4.73M [see Single Country ETFs: Everything Investors Need To Know].
2. 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 Thursday when Germany and France release their Flash Manufacturing PMI indexes. Analysts are expecting French manufacturing PMI to come in slightly higher and German manufacturing to come in slightly lower. Investors should keep a close eye on VGK on Tuesday as German ZEW Economic Sentiment is released.
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 $9.1 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 slightly lower at 9.2 versus the previously recorded 9.4 [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.