ETF Insider: Debt Drama Spoils Confidence

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Holiday cheer sent markets soaring last week, although it appears that debt drama on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean has resurfaced and is once again plaguing investors’ confidence. Overseas, Greece is slated to receive support funds although the details of the aid plan have yet to be determined and policymakers and IMF officials continue to butt heads. The situation at home remains largely unchanged as well with Congress still undecided as to exactly how it will avert the much-feared “fiscal cliff” [see Free 7 Simple & Cheap All-ETF Portfolios].

Weekly Outlook

Below, we highlight ETFs that may see an increase in trading activity as relevant market data is released and evaluated by investors:

  • Industrial Select Sector SPDR XLI:  Domestic industrial stocks will come into the spotlight at the opening bell tomorrow as durable goods orders data hits the street. XLI may face headwinds if analyst estimates prove accurate, which are predicting for the October figure to have contracted by 0.5% following a 9.9% increase the previous month.
  • Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund ITB:  Following a string of very upbeat housing data releases, investors are sure to keep a close watch on new home sales data due out on Wednesday. ITB could be in for a volatile day as analysts are expecting for the October figure to come in at 385,000 versus the previous reading of 389,000.
  • SPDR Gold Trust GLD: Gold prices may face serious pressures on Thursday as investors digest the latest U.S. GDP report. If analyst estimates of 2.8% growth prove true, the precious yellow metal could see accelerated selling pressures.
  • Market Vectors Retail ETF RTH: Retail stocks may come into the spotlight as investors gain insights into the health of the domestic consumer following the release of consumer spending data. RTH could jump in either direction on Friday as analysts are expecting for this figure to come in flat following its previous reading of 0.8%.  

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Volatility

Last week’s price action was quite bullish on Wall Street as equity indexes bounced off major support levels, and now appear poised to continue their rebound higher; approach this positive momentum with caution, however, seeing as how trading volumes were quite thin. From a technical perspective, the S&P 500 Index is the only benchmark ripe for conservative bulls at the moment; this index is back above its 200-day moving average while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq are both flirting with resistance along their respective moving averages. Support for the S&P 500 Index lies around the 1,375 level while profit taking pressures may come in at the 1,420 mark.

Below, we have highlighted three trading ideas for the upcoming week. Note that most of these recommendations require active management as they are only relevant for a very short period of time. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit-taking techniques.

Actionable ETF Idea #1: Long XLU
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

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