A Look Ahead: This Week's ETFs to Watch


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Stocks fell last Friday as traders' enthusiasm for the September jobs report quickly waned. A four-day winning streak for the S&P 500 was snapped in the process, but the three major U.S. indexes still notched decent performances for the week.

That week is over and now traders and investors will turn their attention to earnings reports with deluge of third-quarter earnings updates commencing this week. Despite strong performance for equities during the quarter, earnings for that period are forecast to fall 2.4 percent from the year-earlier period, according to Reuters.

Earnings season kicks off in earnest on Tuesday when Dow component Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) reports. However, the aluminum giant will not be the only recognizable name stepping into the earnings confessional this week and with that, here are this week's ETFs to watch.

Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: FAZ ) Financials have been living the high life of late. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLF ) has jumped almost four percent in the past month, but the ebullience surrounding the sector could and should be tested this week do to earnings season.

J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) both report on Friday and those marquee should set the stage for investors can expect out of the major money center banks as earnings reports trickle in. Keep an eye on how the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares is acting mid-week. That could be a sign regarding what traders are expecting out of bank earnings. If FAZ is perking up, that might not be good news for the rest of the market.

United States Gasoline Fund (NYSE: UGA ) California's rapidly rising gas prices set a record high on Saturday and the trick was repeated again on Sunday. Much of this has to do with the fact that California requires a special blend of gasoline designed to reduce emissions. The state has been criticized for that and not for investing more in energy production.

However, those that are hasty to critique California should realize nowhere in the U.S. has a new refinery been built for close to four decades. Any populous state afflicted with a gas shortage could drive UGA higher. For now, it is California. Do not doubt the potential for more upside here because UGA is still about $5 below its all time high.

iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV ) In the past three months, the iShares Silver Trust has jumped more than 27 percent. That is the good news. The bad news is that October is traditionally unkind to silver. SLV has lost just a tenth of a percent to start the month, but there is plenty of time to see if the ETF bucks or falls in line with silver's seasonal tendencies.

Any slack economic reports could hasten silver's decline given the metal's intimate ties to industrial demand. It might be getting time to take a look at the ProShares UltraShort Silver (NYSE: ZSL ), which seems to have found a bottom at $40.

For more on ETFs, click here .

(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities , Earnings , ETFs , Investing Ideas
Referenced Stocks: FAZ , SLV , UGA , XLF , ZSL

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