Five ETFs to Watch This Week

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ)

Last week, investors saw mixed earnings action from top technology names. While IBM ( IBM), Intel ( INTC) and Microsoft ( MSFT) managed to please the market, beating analyst expectations, a miss by Google ( GOOG) strangled brought heightened moods back to earth.

This week, tech fans and luddites alike will have their sights set on consumer tech giant Apple ( AAPL), which is slated to step up to the plate after Tuesday's closing bell. The Cupertino, California-based firm has been on a tear in the New Year, heading into the final full week of January sitting near all time highs.

Accounting for nearly 15% of its assets, Apple's earnings will heavily impact QQQ.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Sector Index Fund ( IYZ)

Verizon Communications ( VZ) and AT&T ( T) are among hundreds of companies scheduled to report quarterly performance numbers this week. For IYZ, their showings are crucial -- the two firms account for nearly one-third of the fund's assets.

IYZ's No. 4 holding, Crown Castle International ( CCI), will also be in focus. This mobile telecom player accounts for an additional 5.8% slice of its portfolio.

A strong showing from this trio would bode well for IYZ, which has struggled to recover from last year's late-summer sell off.

iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund ( FXI)

News that China reported 8.9% GDP growth in the fourth quarter was greeted with mixed emotions last week. Some expressed concern that this was the nation's weakest expansion in two years. Others noted that while China's market is showing signs of a slowdown, this estimate-beating report is helping to dispel hard-landing fears.

FXI has powered back to its 50-day moving average. Investors looking to try their luck with this and other China-related ETFs this week will want to stay on their toes. The country's markets will be closed this week in observance of the Lunar New Year. Limited participation could exacerbate market fluctuations in either direction.

PowerShares Aerospace & Defense Portfolio ( PPA)

Seven of the companies comprising PPA's top 10 holdings will disclose their performance numbers during the latter half of this week. Names on tap include Boeing ( BA), Lockheed Martin ( LMT), United Technologies ( UTX), General Dynamics ( GD) and Honeywell International ( HON). Together, these firms represent 35% of the fund's assets.

PPA has benefited from the opening weeks of 2012 as improving conditions have lured investors back into industrials and other market-correlated sectors. It is nearing levels last seen prior to its steep August tumble.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Sector Index Fund ( IDU)

While cyclicals have enjoyed strength, the defensive sectors that led the markets in late-2011 have struggled to find footing. Utilities have quickly become one of the market's biggest laggards as global fears fall by the wayside and investors adapt a risk-on mentality.

IDU and other utilities funds could stabilize in the days ahead, however, as household names, including Southern Co ( SO), Exelon ( EXC), Dominion Resources ( D) and NextEra Energy ( NEE) report earnings.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned PowerShares QQQ.

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