5 ETFs to watch this week

ETF investors will be closely following the European debt crisis and another week of earnings.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 7, 2011 4:12PM

By Don Dion, TheStreetTheStreet

 

Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

 

1. iShares MSCI EMU Index Fund (EZU)

 

The opening days of November have been wild for the European Union as the region continues to sort out its ongoing economic crisis.

 

Although it has long been a central focus for euro-crisis watchers, Greece dominated discussions over the last few days following reports that Prime Minister George Papandreou was calling for a referendum on the nation's bailout package. By Monday, Papandeou had agreed to step aside and allow a new unity government to be formed.

 

Aside from determining the next step in the ongoing Greek bailout saga, the scrapped referenedum results would have decided Greece's future as a member in the eurozone.

 

It will be exciting to see how the events taking place in this corner of the developed world unfold in the days ahead, including the selection of a new Greek prime minister. However, from an investment perspective, I would not encourage conservative individuals to try their luck here.

 

2. iShares S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index Fund (IGN)

 

Tech giant Cisco (CSCO) will divulge its quarterly earnings performance numbers during the opening half of the week, thrusting the networking industry into focus. The company is IGN's top holding, representing over 11% of its total portfolio.

 

So far, the earnings from other leaders in the tech sector have been mixed. Qualcomm (QCOM), Motorola Solutions (MSI), Motorola Mobility (MMI) and F5 Networks (FFIV) have managed to beat analyst estimates. Juniper Networks (JNPR) put a bit of a damper on the good mood, however. Despite falling in line with forecasts, the company presented a disappointing forecast for the fourth quarter.

 

3. iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX)

 

In the opening days of November, the global markets have struggled to capitalize on October's strength as macroeconomic headwinds have resurfaced. With investor fears rekindling, products linked to the fear-tracking VIX have managed to rebound.

 

As we saw last week with the Greece debacle, there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome as we look ahead. Navigating this type of volatile environment will require patience and flexibility.

 

4. iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI)

 

This week will be a busy one on the economic front for China. On Tuesday and Wednesday, investors can expect to see a deluge of data unveiled including CPI, retail sales, and imports/exports numbers.

 

While European woes have taken center stage, China is another region that has been watched closely. In recent weeks, many investors, analysts, and market commentators have expressed their concerns that the emerging market growth engine has begun to show signs of slowing. The data on the docket for this week will provide important clues as to what is in store as we approach the end of the year.

 

5. SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT)

 

During the middle of the week, retailers, Nordstrom (JWN) and Ralph Lauren (RL) will report their earnings for the most recent quarter. With the holiday giving season fast approaching, the retailer-focused XRT and other consumer-dedicated ETFs will be in focus.

 

The consumer continues to stand out as a point of reliance even as economic turmoil weighs on sentiment. Over the past few weeks, XRT has managed to recover most of the losses suffered during its August-September struggles. As we move ahead, it will be interesting to see if the fund can regain the highs it witnessed during mid-summer.

 

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