After some choppy sessions, stocks are preparing to close out the week on a positive note. As buyers warm up to risk, market correlated sectors and inherently volatile emerging markets are enjoying some of the most impressive gains. URA and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) are two notable climbers. URA still has plenty of ground to cover before returning to levels seen prior to its April selloff, though.
Since the middle of March, the Spain ETF has tumbled along a steep and largely uninterrupted downward path as the nation's financial woes have fallen back into focus. Heading into the weekend, the fund is seeing some strength, but I encourage investors to avoid diving in. The region remains under pressure and will likely continue to exhibit shaky action in the near term. The iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund (EWD) is another Europe-related ETF locking in positive action.
The shipping ETF appears set to close out the week on a strong note, ascending to its 50-day moving average. The fund suffered a steep sell off at the start of the month, but appears to have exhibited signs of stabilization over the past few trading days. Nevertheless, I urge investors to watch this fund from the sidelines; this inherently volatile corner of the transportation industry will be in for trouble if global growth doubts persist.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) -2.8%
Many of the same factors that have plagued investor confidence over the course of the week remain in play, but as the weekend approaches sellers appear to be letting off a bit. Interestingly, despite the tumult we've witnessed recently, the VIX-tracking VXX has struggled to capitalize. In fact, since capping a multi-day rally at the start of the month, it has continued along a downward track. It will be interesting to see if anything can reinvigorate this floundering instrument.
iShares S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index Fund (IGN)-1.7%
A weak earnings showing has sent shares of Riverbed Technology (RVBD) spiraling to their lowest level since October 2011. During early afternoon trading, the firm was off over 25%. RVBD's performance weighs on IGN; the company is the fund's eighth largest holding, representing nearly 5% of its portfolio.