5 ETFs to watch this week
Funds tracking the Internet, dividend payers and solar energy are worth a look in rough market conditions.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
More social-media companies are preparing to follow in the footsteps of LinkedIn (LNKD) and go public. Late last week the chatter centered on Groupon and Pandora after the two announced their IPO valuations.
Facebook and Zynga were also in the news last week after reports that Will Danoff, the manager of the Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX), had acquired a stake in the two companies.
As I've explained in the past, it's best to be on the sidelines with respect to these social-media companies. FDN, however, provides investors with exposure to well-established online entities and will likely benefit from the added attention these upstart companies have generated.
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The recent round of rough economic data has begun to take a toll on investors. While the headwinds may seem daunting, I urge investors to avoid fleeing these markets and to take appropriate steps to weather the turmoil.
DVY boasts a number of qualities that make it well suited for the road ahead. On top of providing investors with exposure to a vast collection of top dividend-paying companies, the fund's sector breakdown is strongly weighted toward defensive names. Together, utilities, consumer staples and health care comprise more than half of the fund's total assets.
On Thursday, National Semiconductor (NSM) is slated to report its earnings. In addition to its quarterly report, however, it will also be interesting to see what the company has to say about its acquisition by Texas Instruments (TXN) for $6.5 billion.
Investors looking for the most concentrated exposure to NSM should turn to XSD. The fund lists the company as its top holding, accounting for more than 3% of its index.
Government-sponsored debt fell under pressure last week after Moody's issued a warning of a possible downgrade. The ratings agency said that unless progress is made in the ongoing debt discussions, the U.S. could see its credit rating dip from the pristine Aaa. The firm warned the downgrade could come as a soon as next month.
In the near term, Treasury-linked ETFs like TLT could face turmoil, and investors should use caution. I still view this asset class is an essential ingredient in the construction of a well-balanced investment portfolio.
News reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was planning to wean Germany off of nuclear energy by 2022 provided the solar-tracking TAN with a welcomed lift at the start of last week. This jump has helped put an end to its steep, uninterrupted downward path during the latter half of May.
Much of the gains at the start of last week have worn off as investors refocused their attention on the slathering of poor economic data coming through the pipeline. Looking to the near term, it will be interesting to see if the fund will retreat to pre-Memorial Day levels.
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Stocks drift lower and bonds are hit as investors await the Fed. Prepare for higher volatility this week.
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