All eyes were on the Federal Reserve last week, as the central bank announced it would cut back further on its stimulus measures, which consequently sent emerging market equities into a tailspin. On Thursday, however, a positive fourth quarter U.S. GDP report helped stabilize markets; data showed the economy expanding 3.2% in the last quarter of 2013. In other economic news, initial jobless claims rose by 19,000 to 348,000 in the last week, slightly above expectations of 330,000.
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. 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 $8.6 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 ISM Manufacturing PMI is reported on Monday. In its previous recording, manufacturing PMI came in at 57.0; analysts expect PMI to dip slightly to 56.2 (a recording above 50 indicates industry expansion) [see Single Country ETFs: Everything Investors Need To Know].
2. MSCI Australia ETF (EWA, B+)
Why EWA Will Be In Focus: This fund offers exposure to the Australian equity market, and it is home to over $1.7 billion in total assets. EWA will come into focus on Tuesday as the Reserve Bank of Australia announces its cash rate, which is expected to remain unchanged at 2.50%, and holds its rate statement. Australian retail sales and trade balance will also be reported. Retail sales are expected to decrease from 0.7% to 0.5%. The country’s trade balance is expected to come in at -0.23B versus the previously recorded -0.12B figure.
3. MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU, A-)
Why EWU Will Be In Focus: This ETF tracks an index that is comprised of roughly 100 securities, and it is designed to measure the overall performance of the British equity market. Investors should keep a close eye on EWU on Thursday as the Bank of England announces its rate decision and its asset purchase target. Both the rate and target are expected to remain unchanged at 0.50% and 375 billion, respectively. [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.