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Utility, Russia And Mid-Cap ETFs To Watch This Week

Utility, Russia And Mid-Cap ETFs To Watch This Week

The markets started off February with a strong bounce that erased much of January’s decline, but uncertainty still lingers amid heightened volatility. The bellwether SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) is now virtually unchanged in 2015 after a series of whipsaws that have resulted in mostly sideways price action.

The week ahead features several key economic releases including the Federal budget, January retail sales data and consumer sentiment.

Here are the key ETFs to watch for the week of Monday, February 9:

Utility Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLU)

The utility sector came under fire on Friday as a strong jump in interest rates propelled this defensive group lower. XLU tracks 32 large-cap energy-generation companies and was one of the best-performing major S&P ETFs of 2014 as interest rates tumbled.

Related Link: From Coca-Cola To Tesla, Here Are The 68 Most Important Earnings Expectations For The Week

Utilities have traditionally shown an inverse correlation to interest rates (similar to bonds) as its stalwart business models make for equity safe havens.

XLU is now below its 50-day moving average and the price action this coming week may continue to be dictated by machinations in the bond market.

Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX)

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are set to continue this week, which may provide further stabilization in the Russian stock market. Combined with a jump in crude oil prices, RSX has the potential for additional positive momentum to develop.

RSX tracks 49 large- and mid-cap companies in Russia and is one of the most heavily-traded ETFs that focuses on this Eastern European country.

This ETF is now trading near its highest levels in the last two months and has recaptured its 50-day moving average. This may be considered a short-term bullish catalyst for technical traders that follow this emerging market index.

SPDR S&P Mid Cap 400 ETF (NYSE: MDY)

Mid-cap stocks experienced a strong rebound last week that led to a breakout to new highs. MDY is a well-known exchange-traded fund that tracks a composite of 400 companies with market capitalizations between $1 and $4.5 billion.

A continued push higher next week could be viewed as a bullish sign that strength has filtered down from larger stocks to lesser known companies with solid growth prospects. In addition to MDY, another fund worth watching in this space is the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (NYSE: IJH), which has over $24 billion in total assets.


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