Last week marked a shortened trading week in observance of Good Friday, but that does not mean that investors were left with an uneventful four days. On the contrary, markets went haywire last week as a downgrade of the outlook on U.S. debt crushed markets one day, only to see them rally on strong earnings for the latter half of the week. Along with general equities rising, both gold and oil have continued to trend higher, most notably with gold breaking through the $1,500 per ounce barrier and still going. Mid way through earnings season, investors have gotten a taste for how some of the industry's largest firms have fared over the past 12 weeks.
This week will continue to focus on earnings reports, as major names like Procter & Gamble
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
Why XLP Will Be In Focus: This Thursday, blue chip leader Procter & Gamble will be readying their earnings report from their most recent fiscal quarter. Analysts are calling for the company to haul in EPS of $0.97 with revenues of just over $20 billion. The company has met their marks for three of the last four quarters, but did not stray more than 3% in either direction from professional predictions during that time period, meaning their report may not be as volatile as other companies. PG comes in as the top holding of XLP, making up almost 15% of the entire product's holdings. XLP dedicates its assets to an index which includes numerous industries involved in consumer staples. Along with PG, Coca-Cola, XLP's fourth largest holding, and PepsiCo, XLP's eight largest holding, will also be releasing their earnings this week, making it a key fund to monitor as the days progress [see also Inflation-Fighting ETFs Back in Focus].
Global X China Energy ETF
Why CHIE Will Be in Focus: On Tuesday, one of China's leading energy firms, China Petroleum & Chemical (also known as Sinopec Limited) will be releasing their quarterly earnings. While this report would normally be off the radar of U.S. investors, with the help of specialized ETPs, like CHIE, investors can now gain exposure to, and make plays on large international firms like this one. In 2010, Sinopec Limited was ranked 7th in the Fortune Global 500, making it the first Chinese company to hold a top 10 position on that coveted list. CHIE, which strictly focuses on the energy sector of China, holds Sinopec as its third-largest security, making up over 9.5% of the ETF. The nature of this earnings report will likely dictate the performance of this fund on Tuesday, and the remainder of the week [see also Three ETFs to Watch as China Invests in the Euro Zone].
HOLDRS Merrill Lynch Software
Why SWH Will Be in Focus: Late in the week, Microsoft
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Disclosure: Photo courtesy of Agnieszka Bojczuk. No positions at time of writing.
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Coca-Cola and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and PepsiCo. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC owns shares of Microsoft.
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