Coming off a holiday-shortened week in which U.S. equities turned in their best weekly performance since June, investors are suddenly feeling a bit more cheery heading into the holiday season. During Friday's half session, all three major U.S. indexes notched light-volume gains of at least 1.3 percent, but the bad news is the S&P 500 is still down about a third of a percent for the month of November.
Black Friday sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever and it sure feels like the folks on Capitol Hill are at least making an effort to avert the fiscal cliff. Betting on politicians from either side of the aisle to do something that actually benefits investors is a dubious proposition, but the path of least resistance heading into this week is higher.
No guarantees can be made aside from the fact that these ETFs will be worth trading this week.
Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) It almost seems too simple to actually. That being buying retail stocks and ETFs ahead of marquee events such as Black Friday. Well, the Market Vectors Retail ETF would like to remind investors that the aforementioned strategy is in fact efficacious because the fund surged 4.2 percent last week.
There may be more upside to be had. Cyber Monday sales are expected to jump to $1.5 billion this year from $1.25 billion last year. That is potentially very good news for an ETF that allocates nearly 23 percent of its weight to Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN).
iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) After cooling off a bit in recent weeks, the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index Fund surged by over nine percent last week. That performance reminds investors that ITB and its rival, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB), have been among the best-performing sector ETFs this year. This week will be big for both ITB and XHB.
Tuesday's S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for September is expected to show another monthly gain. If that happens, it will be eight consecutive months of gains for the index and that would be good for the best run since 2009-2010 when home sales were spurred by the first-time buyer tax credit. Wednesday brings home sales data.
iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund (EWT) The iShares MSCI Taiwan Index was quite impressive during Friday's short session soaring 4.3 percent on volume that was close to its daily average. A spate of bullish economic data points out of China appeared to be the catalysts driving EWT higher.
The Flash MNI China Business Sentiment Indicator, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI and the Flash China Manufacturing Output Index all topped the previous month's readings. Good news from China has turned into good fortune for EWT, which is now trading at its best levels in a month and with a little more pop, the ETF could take out its September highs.
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