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Last week, as investors returned from the holiday weekend, they were greeted to some encouraging news regarding online retail habits. According to comScore (SCOR), online spending jumped 15% from the year previous.
While the rapid expansion of e-commerce has been well noted, mobile commerce, or "m-commerce," is becoming increasingly prevalent as well.
IBM(IBM) reported at the start of last week that iPads, iPhones, and Androids accounted for 7%, 6.4%, and 5% of all online purchases made on Dec. 25, respectively.
In 2012, investors can expect the popularity of e- and m-commerce to continue to grow. With ample exposure to household names hailing from these corners of the retail industry FDN is a fund to keep an eye on.
iShares MSCI BRIC Index Fund(BKF)
European sovereign debt woes and lingering growth concerns sent investors fleeing from the emerging markets in 2011. Now, as we take our first steps in the New Year, it will be interesting to see if these nations can find some footing.
Although they are often the first names that come to mind when considering a venture into the developing world, the BRICs may not be the best options for those looking to ring in 2012 on a strong note. A recent
Bloomberg report casts doubts over this foursome, with the acronym's originator, Goldman Sachs, warning that the growth potential for the nations may have already peaked.
When it comes to navigating the emerging market landscape in months ahead, investors may want to take on a more tactical strategy. Cherry picking strong names will likely bode better than diving into the largest and most recognizable countries. In the past I have pointed to ETFs like
iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund(EWW) and
Market Vectors Indonesia ETF(IDX) as potentially promising options.
Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF(MOO)
Alcoa(AA) will kick off earnings season when it reports its earnings and outlook. In the days leading up to the report, however, other names are on the docket. For ag-enthusiastic ETF investors,
Monsanto(MON) warrants attention.