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TheStreet Open House

ETFs Count on Tech, Financial Rebound

Stocks in this article: GSIAIXLF

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Financial ETFs took a pounding on Friday in the wake of Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) earnings, but there's still hope for the sector with Goldman Sachs (GS), which reports Tuesday.

Investors may instead want to focus on technology, where IBM (IBM) stands a better chance of sparking a broad sector rally.

Shares of Goldman have been bucking the market's trend over the past few days. After a deal with the SEC ended the civil fraud prosecution against the firm, investors sent up shares nearly 6% since Wednesday's close. Shares even managed a slight gain during the Friday sell-off that sent BAC shares down 9% on the day.

Additionally, the company's positive stock performance dramatically contrasts with the trend of its earnings estimates, which are down more than 50% in the past month and 10% in the past week. That puts Goldman in a decent position to beat its estimates and rally.

Nevertheless, Goldman has only managed one sustained post-earnings rally in the past year. This took place last summer, when the firm beat its earnings and received positive comments from Meredith Whitney, an analyst who had maintained mostly bearish opinions on the financials.

Echoing last July, investors are questioning whether the stock market and the financial sector can move higher. Since April 19, iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker Dealers (IAI) -- which has 10% of assets in Goldman Sachs, its No. 1 holding -- has lost 18% through this morning. By comparison, Financial Sector Select SPDR (XLF) is down about 16% over the same period. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) is down more than 11%.

Last year, IAI, XLF and SPY traded higher in July, but the gains slowed to a crawl after a blistering rally from March into May. Goldman's earnings sparked a financial rally by generating a shift in sentiment.

This time around, investors looking to play another sentiment shift here should consider IAI for a short-term gain, while XLF should perform better over the longer term, as the big banks have further to rebound.

In lieu of financials, the best play going forward may be technology. Investors are growing bullish on the sector thanks to several strong trends, including a technology upgrade cycle.

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