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Earnings season continues to press on with dozens of companies scheduled to step up to the plate next week. The middle of the week will be particularly exciting for investors following the consumer staples industry with names, including
CVS Caremark(CVS) and
Pepsi(PEP) on the docket.
Consumer staples are still lagging against the broader market as investors opt to venture into riskier sectors. However, in recent days we have seen some signs that the U.S. consumer is beginning to tighten its belt. As individuals cut back on their spending habits, discretionary companies responsible for producing "wants" will likely face steeper headwinds than the staple producers underlying XLP.
iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund(EWW)
The iShares Mexico ETF's top-heaviness will likely shine through this week when
America Movil(AMX) reports its earnings. Carlos Slim's telecom empire dominates EWW's index, accounting for over 20% of its assets.
Latin America continues to stand out as an attractive option for internationally-minded investors looking to escape the drama taking place in Europe. EWW has been on a tear in 2012, helping it recover back to heights last seen at the start of August 2011. As the fund recovers to pre-breakdown levels, it will be interesting to see if it can hold up.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF(SPY)
On Friday, the market was greeted to some encouraging news on the jobs front. The most recent nonfarm payroll report indicated that 243,000 jobs were added in January, far outpacing analyst estimates. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%, the lowest reading since February 2009. February is a historically tricky month for the stock market. So far, however, the strength from January appears to be lingering. SPY is kicking off the week at 2012 highs.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Biotechnology Index Fund(IBB)
The biotechnology industry's early-year strength has propelled IBB to its highest levels ever. In response to this climb, the fund has seen impressive gains in both our short- and long- term momentum rankings.