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Earnings season will get underway on Tuesday when aluminum giant
Alcoa(AA) steps up to the plate. Throughout the opening months of 2012, global macroeconomic factors have dominated discussions. In the coming weeks, however, some of this attention should shift to the various companies slated to release their performance numbers and outlooks.
The financial sector will be of particular interest this week. Both
Wells Fargo(WFC) are on tap for Friday. These two behemoths top off a number of financial sector ETFs. In XLF, for instance, the duo account for a nearly 20% slice of its assets.
iShares Gold Trust(IAU)
Precious metals were sucker punched last week following the release of the
Federal Reserve's hawkish FOMC minutes. Thanks to a multi-day string of losses, the bullion-backed IAU descended to levels last seen in January.
Gold has endured a rough start to the year. Unfortunately, with hopes for a new round of quantitative easing fading, the near-term forecast for the metal are not entirely optimistic. Gold miners have fared poorly as well. Heavy losses have pushed the
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF(GDXJ) to new 2012 lows. During the coming days, it will be interesting to see if the commodity and gold producers can find some footing. In the meantime, use caution here.
> >> Bull or Bear? Vote in Our PollCurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust(FXF)
Although it was a wildly popular topic during the summer months of 2011, the Swiss franc has faded from discussion following the decision by the Swiss National Bank to corral its strength.
In the coming week, however, this currency player and FXF may find itself back in the headlines as the tumbling euro has sent the Swissie higher. Late last week, investors learned that the EUR/CHF was testing the 1.20 level set by the SNB in September.
A representative for the SNB has reiterated the central bank's intention to keep the exchange rate above CHF 1.20, so looking ahead, it will be interesting to see what reaction is in store for this corner of the currency market.
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