The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) --Factual headlines are often misleading. For example, a popular financial portal offered, "October consumer confidence weakest since March 2009." Most people might interpret this to mean that consumers aren't spending and/or won't be spending their money, resulting in less revenue for economically sensitive corporations. However, actual consumer spending has been on the rise, 1.1% in September alone. Equally important, Retail ETFs have reflected the actual spending data as opposed to the "confidence" data. The capital appreciation far surpasses the sector competition as well as the broader S&P 500 benchmark.
Nevertheless, if you're willing to use stop-limit loss orders to protect positions, rather than succumb to the latest Greek tragedy to hit the newswires, there are plenty of contrarian possibilities. Consider Retail HOLDRs ( RTH) or SPDR Retail ( XRT) for continued consumer spending; recognize China's flexibility with an allocation to SPDR S&P China ( GXC) or an indirect investment via exporting powerhouses like iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund ( EWA) and iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund ( EWM).