This past week was chock full of data on the home front, as the U.S. poured on a number of key economic reports with the majority coming in positive. Despite a sell off on Friday, major indexes still covered some ground this week, as Tuesday saw the Dow close above 13,000 for the first time in years, sparking a bit of investor confidence across the board. The coming week will be equally as busy, but this time the focus will be on international markets, as a number of countries around the world will be releasing major economic indicators. Below, we outline three ETFs to keep a close eye on as this first full week of March unfolds.
MSCI EAFE Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EFA)
Why EFA Will Be In Focus: This fund is designed to track the performance of equity markets in European, Australasian, and Far Eastern markets. Top holdings include bellwether firms like Nestle and Vodafone, giving a nice large cap structure to this product. The focus of this fund will be all around the world as a number of reports will make EFA busy virtually every day this week. Just to name a few, this week will see Australian unemployment, Japanese GDP, Euro-zone GDP, as well as a number of central bank rate decisions that fall under the exposure of this massive fund. With such a wide variety of data on the horizon, it will be hard to predict EFA’s movements, but it will certainly be active on the week.
MSCI Canada Index Fund (NYSEARCA:EWC)
Why EWC Will Be In Focus: EWC is one of the more popular funds on the market, tracking Canadian equities with just under $5 billion in total assets. The fund is also popular from a trading perspective, as it exchanges hands over two million times each day. EWC’s focus will come later in the week when both unemployment and interest rates are slated to be released. Note that Friday saw Canada report a surprise jump in GDP (MoM), which may bode well for this fund as the week opens up. Canadian unemployment figures are expected to come in at 7.6% while interest rates are generally predicted to hold steady at 1% [see also 5 Things To Watch Out For In International Equity ETFs].
SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD)
Why GLD Will Be In Focus: Gold is almost always under close watch nowadays, but it will be especially important to watch how this physically-backed fund performs this week. Last week saw gold lose a significant amount of ground, as the precious metal surrendered nearly $100/oz. during Wednesday’s session alone. Gold will be used as a speculative tool through out the week depending on the direction that economic data takes it, but it may also see increased activity from bargain hunters who believe it to be undervalued. Finally, look for gold to cap off the week with a busy Friday, as U.S. unemployment rates will be released [see also Why No Investor Should Own GLD].
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