Discretionary-focused funds like XLY and the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) may be in store for the strongest upside action, in the event that the clouds looming over the global marketplace clear. Unfortunately, the likelihood of a bump-free ride up is slim. Aggressive investors may want to consider trying their luck here, but those wary of turbulence will likely be better off venturing into the inherently safer staples.
The XLP provides investors with one-stop-shop exposure to top staples names. Nevertheless, the fund needs to be approached carefully. Top holdings like Proctor & Gamble (PG), Coca-Cola (KO) and Phillip Morris (PM) represent the bulk of the fund's portfolio and will therefore direct much of its day-to-day action.
In addition, with earnings season now in full force, many of these large positions may see an uptick in volatility. This week, for instance, Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo (PEP) and Altria (MO) need to be monitored closely.Investors will continue to face challenges on the road ahead as major global players combat against looming macroeconomic crises. While nerve-wracking, now is not the time to flee. There is still strength to be found in this market and with patience and a level head, it is possible to overcome these hurdles. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.