Ho, ho, ho. The holidays are officially upon us and the markets are watching for a Santa Claus rally. We’ve got some exchange traded funds (ETFs) in mind for stocking stuffers.
SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT)
The holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang. Black Friday sales were up 12% from last year, and Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion, making it the biggest online shopping day ever. Naturally, analysts expect more big shopping days as Christmas approaches. But we’re in a different climate these days: while the shoppers are out in force, the vast majority are being lured into stores offering deep discounts. XRT is a great way to get exposure to the retailers giving up the bargains – companies such as JC Penney (NYSE: JCP), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) and Sally Beauty (NYSE: SBH) are among the names you’ll find. JC Penney and Abercrombie today reported that their sales soared last month. [Retail ETFs Start Their Engines.]
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services (NYSEArca: IEZ)
Oil drillers are living large these days, thanks to higher oil prices and short memories – the bad PR resulting from BP’s disastrous Gulf Oil spill seems to be a distant memory in the mind of the market. Oil prices could continue to benefit on the strength of U.S. economic data, as they have in recent days. Overseas, China’s output report could support the case for more oil demand there. IEZ also recently got a boost from top holding Schlumberger (18%), which is trading at a 52-week high after winning an Iraq oil drilling contract from ExxonMobil. [The Benefits of Owning Commodity ETFs.]
Investors love emerging markets these days, and that love has emerging market ETFs on pace for their biggest year of inflows ever. In fact, in August, inflows hit $34 billion and surpassed 2009’s total of $24.8 billion. Next year could be even bigger: JP Morgan analysts forecast this week that emerging market equities will outperform emerging market bonds in 2011, thanks to rising yields. [Emerging Market ETFs: Lessons from Ireland.]
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.