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ETF Insider: Fiscal Cliff Woes Set Volatile Tone

Mon, Nov 12, 1:27 PM ET, by Michael Johnston

Markets are off to an encouraging start on Veterans Day as major equity indexes appear to be bouncing higher following last week’s nosedive, although light trading volumes may prove deceiving. Overseas, Greece is waiting for the green light to receive further aid as the country once once again flirts with bankruptcy. At home, the looming fiscal cliff remains at the top of the “worry list” as many are anticipating for political gridlock and unfavorable policy outcomes [see Free 7 Simple & Cheap All-ETF Portfolios].

Weekly Outlook

Below, we highlight ETFs that may see an increase in trading activity as relevant market data is released and evaluated by investors:

  • Market Vectors Germany Small-Cal ETF (GERJ, C+): The latest German economic sentiment survey may shed light on the region’s otherwise gloomy outlook. German small caps could be in for a volatile trading session on Tuesday depending on sentiment data; analysts are expecting for the figure to come in at -10, marking a slight improvement from the previous reading of -11.5.
  • SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT, A-): Domestic retail stocks will come into focus on Wednesday morning as investors digest October’s retail sales data. Analysts are expecting for the figure to show a contraction of 0.1% on the month, a modest deterioration from the previous reading which showed growth of 1.1%.
  • MSCI EMU Index Fund (EZU, B+): This ETF may experience volatile trading on Thursday morning as investors react to the latest Euro zone gross domestic product data. Analysts are expecting for the region’s quarterly economic growth to come in at -0.6% versus the previous reading of -0.5%.
  • Industrials ETF (VIS, A+): The domestic manufacturing sector will come into the spotlight on Friday morning as investors digest October’s industrial production data. VIS could be in for a volatile day if the latest report greatly deviates from estimates; analysts are expecting for this figure to come in at 0.2% versus the previous reading of 0.4%.

Last week’s re-election of President Obama sparked a broad “risk-off” trade as fiscal cliff worries resurfaced. While this issue has been looming for months on end, investors expressed their concerns quite clearly in just a few painful trading sessions. Markets will likely remain volatile until a major fundamental development answers looming uncertainties; in terms of downside, support for the S&P 500 Index remains around 1,350, while resistance comes in at 1,425.

Below, we have highlighted three trading ideas for the upcoming week. Note that most of these recommendations require active management as they are only relevant for a very short period of time. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit-taking techniques.

Actionable ETF Idea #1: Long IYT

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.


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