Last week was another strong one for U.S. stocks as the
S&P 500 climbed 2.3 percent in what was benchmark index's
best performance since the first week of the year.
The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:
) is now up 8.7 percent year-to-date. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average added 2.1 percent and both indexes touched new record
highs on Thursday before inching lower on Friday.
With another strong week in the books, the catalysts are in
place to keep moving stocks higher - or drag them lower - because
earnings season is about to bring an avalanche of reports this
Of the 30 S&P 500 companies that reported first-quarter
results thus far, 70 percent exceeded analysts' profit estimates
and 57 percent beat sales projections,
according to Bloomberg data
With 74 S&P 500 constituents due to deliver earnings
updates this week, plenty of
will be in play, including the following group.
Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:
)J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:
) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:
) kicked off bank earnings last Friday.
This week, Citigroup (NYSE:
) gets the ball rolling Monday, followed by Goldman Sachs Tuesday
and Bank of America (NYSE:
) on Wednesday. That trio combines for nearly 14 percent of the
Financial Select Sector SPDR's weight.
Two other XLF top-10 holdings, US Bancorp (NYSE:
) and American Express (NYSE:
), also report this week along with a broad swath of smaller
components in this ETF. All of that is one way of saying that
there will be ample opportunities for XLF to climb another one
percent to reclaim its 52-week and maybe even break resistance in
the $18.90 area.
With all these potential catalysts, the next week or two could
represent the last great opportunity XLF has to make a new leg
higher before the sell in May and go away crowd comes to
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear Shares (NYSE:
) Over the past few months, either DUST or its bullish cousin,
the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NYSE:
), have made regular appearances on this list. There is good
reason to revisit DUST once again this week.
Gold is coming off one its most savage weekly beatings in
multiple years last week. Of course, that is not good news for
the miners. Just
look at the chart of the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:
NUGT reverse split earlier this month and the post-split price
was about $26 a share. The ETF lost 17.5 percent on volume that
was more than quadruple the daily average on Friday to close at
$16.71 Friday. Reverse splits rarely work with ETFs and NUGT is
proving to be no exception to that rule. DUST remains the best
way of play gold miners until further notice.
Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSE:
) Confirming the low-beta nature of this rally,
health care names have played an integral
in driving stocks higher this year.
That scenario has certainly reward investors in the Vanguard
Health Care ETF, which is up nearly 20 percent year-to-date.
A potentially big week looms for VHT as top-10 holdings
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:
), Abbott Labs (NYSE:
) and UnitedHealth (NYSE:
) all step into the earnings confessional.
That trio represents over 19 percent of VHT's weight. VHT and
rival funds such as the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:
) will be in play starting this week and stretching into the
first week of May as this sector's earnings seasons kicks into
VHT just broke above long-term resistance at $85 and if the
reports and guidance are strong from the likes of Johnson &
Johnson, Amgen (NASDAQ:
), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:
), Pfizer (NYSE:
) and others, this is one ETF that should keep trucking
For more on ETFs, click
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