NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The technology sector started off the week on an exciting note, with reports that Netflix ( NFLX) was back stepping from its controversial plan to spin off its DVD business into a new brand, Qwikster.In the next two weeks technology will continue to be in the spotlight as goliaths including Google ( GOOG), Apple ( AAPL) and International Business Machines ( IBM) report their quarterly performances and outlooks. Technology companies have faced heavy pressure along with the rest of the markets as macroeconomic turmoil has weighed on sentiment. As earnings season heats up in the days ahead, however, there is a chance that investor interest in the performances of companies like Google, Apple, and IBM will take precedence over the debt crisis in Europe and China's potential "hard landing." With investor attention redirected for the time being, it may be a good time to look at products that will be impacted by the industry-related news slated to come down the wire. There are a wide variety of ETF products investors can turn to in order to take advantage of the performance of technology leaders. For example, investors can use funds like the PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ) to gain ample exposure to Apple. Meanwhile, the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund ( FDN) sets aside respectable slices of its portfolio to noteworthy companies like Google and Netflix. Conservative investors looking for potential niche plays may also want to consider placing the iShares S&P North American Technology Index Software Fund ( IGV) on the radar. As its name implies, this fund is designed to provide investors with expansive exposure to leading software players. IGV's top holding Microsoft ( MSFT) is among the tech leaders that will announce its quarterly numbers over the next two weeks. In previous weeks, we have already seen signs of strength from this corner of the technology universe. In late September, top ten holdings, Oracle ( ORCL), Adobe ( ADBE) and Red Hat ( RHT) all managed to outpace analyst expectations. The software ETF's strength lays in its stability. Comparing IGV's performance to funds designed to track other corners of the tech sector it is clear that, although the fund's upside during periods of euphoria can be contained; during times of market duress, IGV has become a beacon of stability.
Year to date, the fund has dipped less than 10%. Products like the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Index Fund ( SOXX) and iShares S&P North American Technology Index Multimedia Networking Fund ( IGN), meanwhile, have fallen 13% and 20% respectively. IGV's ability to weather market turmoil has proven to be beneficial from a momentum perspective, having ascended in both our short and long term rankings. The inherently defensive nature of IGV makes it an attractive option for the current choppy market environment. Ultimately, however, investors may want to avoid getting carried away here. Like other subsector products, IGV is best utilized as a small, niche position. Rather than being a central portfolio holding, it should be viewed as a compliment to a broad-based, tech-heavy core fund like QQQ. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.