5 ETFs to Watch This Week
PowerShares QQQ (QQQ)
Earnings season continues this week with hundreds of companies scheduled to step up to the plate. Tuesday will likely be the most hotly anticipated day as investors anxiously await Apple's (AAPL) report.
The California-based consumer technology giant remains an investor darling. However, in recent days, the mood surrounding the firm has soured considerably. Over the past two weeks, the company has struggled to find footing and has retreated toward its 50-day moving average.
A strong earnings showing from Apple will provide some welcomed relief for QQQ. Apple holds a 19.2% (soon to be a still-large 12%) weighting in the Qs, which tracks the Nasdaq-100 index. Over the past week, the fund has underperformed ETFs designed to track other major stock market averages.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Financials Sector Index Fund (IYF)
We have watched a number of companies beat out analysts' expectations during the opening weeks of earnings season. One sector that has been particularly impressive, however, is the financials. Now that maligned Wall Street giants including Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have reported standout showings, it will be interesting to see if they can continue to push higher.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE)
Energy has been one of the more concerning sectors to watch during the opening months of 2012. Even during the bullish first quarter, the XLE struggled to perform in line with other cyclical sector ETFs and now, on a year-to-date basis, the fund is underperforming all other sector SPDRs, excluding the Utilities Selector SPDR (XLU) .
In the coming week, investors will uncover important clues regarding the state of and prospects for the global energy picture as integrated oil majors, including Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) , prepare their earnings reports. ConocoPhillips (COP) will kick things off on Monday. Together, this trio accounts for nearly 40% of the fund's assets.
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP)
Spain continues to find itself dominating headlines as it struggles to corral its financial issues. As was the case with Greece, the woes facing Spain will likely cause investors to re-evaluate the financial state of the broader European Union. This is one region I would highly encourage investors to avoid. In addition to the nation's macroeconomic challenges, we will get a taste of Spain's corporate conditions this week when top banking institutions announce their quarterly earnings and outlooks. Names on tap include Banco Santander (STD) , BBVA and Banco de Sabadell. All three names are found at the top of EWP's underlying index. Together, they comprise 30% of its portfolio.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP)
The recent spate of weak market performance has led some to question whether the early year rally was truly indicative of improving economic conditions. In looking at the performance seen across the consumer sector, however, it is difficult to deny that things are looking up.