A Look Ahead: This Week's ETFs to Watch
Sell in May and go away? Try again next year.
After last week's gains, the S&P 500 is sitting on a 4.4 percent gain for the month heading into Monday's trading session. The benchmark U.S. index now resides less than 40 points away from the lofty 1,700 level. Indeed, this rally has plenty of critics, but talk from the naysayers has proven to be cheap and, more importantly, wrong.
In the week ahead, traders will digest existing home sales for April on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims and new home sales for April on Thursday and April's durable goods report on Friday. Do not expect much out of Friday's session because U.S. markets are closed next Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. With folks jetting off to the Hamptons, Friday could be a boring day, but the rest of the week should provide some excitement. Keep an eye on the following ETFs.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (NYSE: ITB) As was just noted, there are two important construction data point due out this week that could impact the high-flying iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund, an ETF that has gained over 20 percent year-to-date. And while earnings season is drawing to a close, Dow component Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and rival Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) both report this week. Those two stocks combine for over eight percent of ITB's weight.
Consider this when putting ITB's uptrend into context: It was reported last week that housing starts plunged 16.5 percent on a month-over-month basis. ITB still finished the week with a gain of nearly two percent.
WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSE: EPI) After a glum start to the year, some of the larger emerging markets and the corresponding ETFs have been perking up in recent weeks. The WisdomTree India Earnings ETF needs to be included in that conversation as the largest India ETF by assets has gained four percent in the past month. EPI offers further upside on the back of at least one important catalyst: Investors remain under-allocated to Asia's third-largest economy.
Traders looking for ETFs that could benefit from interest rate cuts ought to consider EPI as well. Following the lead of other major global central banks, the Reserve Bank of India recenty cut rates, but more is expected. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is forecasting a 25-basis point rate cut by RBI on June 17 followed by another at the central bank's July meeting.
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) As we predicted over a month ago, things would get worse for gold miners before getting better. That has been the case as GDX, the largest gold miners ETF by assets, is coming off a week in which it lost 10.5 percent. That tumble took the ETF to its lowest levels since December 2008.
GDX's slide is causing headaches for retail investors and noted pros alike. However, some remain tempted to get involved with the ETF and its marquee holdings do to alluring valuations. To that one might say those valuations have fallen for all the wrong reasons and stepping into GDX here is akin to stepping into a value trap.
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