5 ETFs to watch this week

Earnings and Tuesday's midterm elections will affect a number of exchange-traded funds.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 1, 2010 9:49AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


Here are five exchange-traded funds investors should watch this week.


1. PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (PBS)


It's sweeps week for the media ETF as a number of firms hailing from the fund's index gear up to announce their quarterly earnings performance. Companies include Sirius XM (SIRI), Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWSA), and DIRECTV (DTV).


Technological developments such as the Apple (AAPL) iPad have helped various facets of the media universe expand their reach around the world as consumers increasingly seek out ways to receive constant exposure to both the printed word and visual media.


The media industry's strength hinges on the consumer's ability to venture back into the global marketplace.

Despite the onslaught of negative press regarding the economic recovery, I believe that confidence is on the rebound. PBS provides a great chance for investors to benefit as consumers treat themselves to small luxuries such as a trip to the movies.


2. iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund (ICF)


This week, investors with exposure to ICF will want to keep a close watch on some key earnings. Top holding Simon Property Group (SPG) will be among a number of real estate-focused firms announcing their quarterly performance. SPG represents nearly 8% of the fund's total index.


Other companies hailing from ICF's top 10 holdings which are slated for earnings related coverage include Ventas (VTR), Kimco Realty (KIM), Public Storage (PSA) and HCP. Together, these four positions make up an additional 20% of the fund's index.


Real estate remains a tricky region of the market to navigate but, compared to residential homebuilders, I see REITs and commercial real estate as sub-sectors which hold promise.


3. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)


After weeks of campaigning, the midterm elections are at last upon us. While Tuesday will certainly be the day to watch for political newshounds, financially minded consumers will want to keep an eye on the markets throughout the entire week to see how they respond to the results.


The fall months are often considered difficult times for the markets. However, despite economic trials taking place around the world, the U.S. markets have shown to be particularly resilient. As we head into November it will be interesting to see if the major U.S. indices can continue to perform in a bullish fashion.


4. Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)


Ongoing economic turmoil around the globe will certainly keep physically-backed gold ETFs such as iShares Gold Shares (IAU) in the headlines this week. However, with earnings season in full swing, gold producer-focused funds such as GDX and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) may be the more exciting element of the precious metals industry to keep an eye on.


Among GDX's top 10 holdings to report their quarterly performance this week are Newmont Mining (NEM), Kinross Gold (KGC), Gold Fields (GFI) and Yamana Gold (AUY). Together, these firms make up nearly a quarter of the fund's total index.

A number of companies representing GDXJ's ten largest holdings are also scheduled to report earnings. Companies include Allied Nevada Gold (ANV), Silver Standard Resources (SSRI), Coeur d'Alene Mines (CDE) and Alamos Gold (AGI). These firms represent close to 15% of the fund.


5. Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (REMX)


In October the ETF industry was treated to the launch of a number of groundbreaking products. Market Vectors China ETF (PEK) marks the first time investors can use ETFs to gain access to the performance of Chinese A-Shares and ETF Securities' ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares (GLTR) is the first physically based ETF which combines exposure to gold, silver, platinum and palladium.


While the two funds highlighted above are exciting, none have gained the same attention and interest as Market Vectors' second new launch in October: REMX.


Due to the need for rare earth elements across a number of technology-related industries and the drama over China's unofficial ban on the exports of the commodities, it is no wonder that droves of investors poured into this fund on its first day.


As REMX heads into its first full week of trading, it will be interesting to see if it continues to draw massive crowds. Due to its focus on small and midsized companies, I predict REMX will be a volatile product. While it will be exciting to watch next week, I would advise investors to hold off on buying this fund until it sees some stability.


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