Five ETFs to Watch This Week

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Exchange-traded fund investors should keep an eye on earnings this week as Alcoa ( AA), Intel ( INTC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) report on Monday, Thursday and Friday, respectively. New funds and a strengthening dollar also will be trends to watch for ETF traders.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Materials ( IYM)

The demand for industrial materials is increasing as global manufacturing recovers. Investors will be watching Alcoa's earnings Monday to gauge this demand and assess the economy at large.

Alcoa makes up nearly 4% of IYM, so news about the company and the sector could move this ETF Monday. Analysts currently expect earnings of 6 cents a share for Alcoa.

While Monday's data may move IYM in the short term, ETF investors also could use this fund to bet on longer-term sector recovery.

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL)

Launched along with the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares ETF ( PPLT) last Friday, PALL is a groundbreaking new product that will likely draw investor attention in its first full trading week.

While U.S. investors have had access to physically-backed gold and silver funds for some time now, PPLT and PALL are the first physically-backed U.S. traded platinum and palladium funds.

According to year-end data from the National Stock Exchange, the physically-backed SPDR Gold Shares ETF ( GLD) is the second largest U.S. ETF when measured by net assets. During 2009, GLD attracted nearly $14 billion in net assets.

Platinum and palladium, which are used in the creation of catalytic converters, are an appealing holding for investors betting on higher emissions standards in the U.S. and abroad. Both intrinsic value and industrial application should help to boost the appeal of these funds.

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