NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Throughout the opening weeks of April, investors have been reminded of the challenges that continue to plague the global marketplace. With the debt drama facing Spain and the rest of the troubled euro-region making its way back into the headlines, the calm that defined the opening months of the year has been cast aside and replaced by an uptick in risk-producing volatility.U.S. stock market indices have seen a notable retreat; the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq are all trading at or around their 50-day moving averages. This short streak of weakness may be disappointing, but investors should avoid letting it incite panic-selling.
This week, for instance, three of the biggest names comprising the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average will step up to the plate. As I mentioned in Monday's,
5 ETFs to Watch This Week , together, IBM ( IBM), McDonald's ( MCD) and Coca-Cola ( KO) comprise more than one-fifth of DIA's assets. When stocks head higher, it is tempting to scoop up as much risk as possible. Constructing a portfolio like this, however, can lead to headaches down the road. Risky assets should not be shunned entirely, but when the goal is to prepare a long-term portfolio, inherently volatile holdings are best used as small tactical positions built around a strong core. This way, they can help individuals effectively position themselves for market-moving events, while avoiding the threat of gut-wrenching swings. -- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.