Despite being a holiday-shortened week, there was no shortage of headlines during last week’s up and down session. For the most part, markets saw little to no activity as investors kept a close and cautious eye on the highly anticipated ECB meeting. To investors’ relief, Draghi unveiled a new bond-buying program, which entails the central bank purchasing short-maturity government bonds to keep borrowing costs down for Spain, Italyand other indebted countries. And while economic data remains mixed on the homefront, many turn to Ben Bernanke and company to see if they will make a bold move similar to their European counterparts. This week, investors will once again see a number of economic reports around the globe, which will hopefully bring more momentum to the markets. Below, we outline three ETFs that should see a fair amount of activity during the week ahead [see also 7 Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolio]:
1. MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)
Why EWJ Will Be in Focus: This fund is designed to measure the performance of the Japanese equity market, and it is home to over $4.5 billion in total assets. Top holdings of EWJ include big names like Toyota and Mitsubishi, along with other popular automobile producers. EWJ will come into focus on Monday as Japan’s GDP is released late Sunday night. While growth continues to contract and China’s economic slowdown weighs heavily on the struggling region, economists are predicting that Japan’s economic growth has lowed down since its previous reading of 1.4%. If GDP results disappoint, EWJ may take a hit, but a surprise could make for a lucrative session for this fund [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].2. 3x Long 25+ Year Treasury Bond ETN (LBND)
Why LBND Will Be In Focus: This leveraged Treasury bond fund is a powerful tool for investors, offering 3x exposure to Ultra T-Bond Futures, whose underlying assets are U.S. Treasury bonds with a maturity of 25 years or more. LBND’s focus will come in later this week, as the Federal reserve announces its key interest rate decision on Thursday. Although the rate is expected to stay the same, any deviation may trigger significant swings in this ETF.
3. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH)
Why RTH Will Be in Focus: This ETF tracks an index that is comprised of the 25 largest U.S. listed, publicly-traded retail companies, a targeted sub-sector of the consumer discretionary space. Top holdings include the behemoth Wal-Mart, online retail giant Amazon, and Home Depot. Investors should keep a close eye on RTH towards the end of the week, as U.S. Advance Retail Sales are slated to come out on Friday. Analysts expect a small contraction from the previous reading of 0.8% [see also Consumer-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.