NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - On Tuesday, investors were greeted with promising news regarding consumer borrowing. After two years of paring back in response to the global economic upheaval, increasing confidence appears to be spurring borrowing once again.
According to Businessweek, consumer borrowing jumped 3% in December, highlighted by a 3.5% uptick in credit card usage, the first increase in 27 months.
For retail consumers, the economic healing process has been a slow, arduous process as unemployment and market turmoil has weighed heavily on sentiment and confidence.
However, in the opening weeks of 2011, we have seen evidence that a recovery is in the works for this crucially essential economic component. As we head further into 2011, there will likely be headwinds in store for consumers. However, it may be a good idea to pick up to a consumer-related ETF in order to track this ongoing resurgence.There are a number of options available for investors looking to target the consumer.
SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) This retail-focused fund is a promising option for investors looking to capture companies that will benefit as increasingly confident shoppers head to malls and shopping centers. Comprised of firms hailing from across the retail spectrum, this fund's index provides exposure to a collection of discounters, luxury players and teen retailers. Additionally, the fund boasts exposure to the automotive industry and other miscellaneous corners of the retail industry. XRT's top holding include Jo-Ann Stores (JAS), Sears (SHLD), Autonation (AN), Office Depot (ODP), and Ulta Salon (ULTA). First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN) The Internet is becoming increasingly engrained into our day to day lives, leading more and more consumers to turn to e-commerce in order to get their retail fixes. During the 2010 holiday season, online retailers scored a landmark victory, with Cyber Monday sales topping $1 billion and outpacing Black Friday's numbers. FDN combines exposure to some of the most attractive names hailing from the internet industry including top online consumer focused firms such as Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) and Netflix (NFLX). These firms will see strength as desks and sofas become the go-to destinations for shopping experiences.
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