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Tickers in this Article: TGT, WMT, JPM, WFC, USO, UDN
July is here, and we seem to have about as much of a clue as to where the economy is headed as we did in January. The first half of 2009 saw the markets remain volatile throughout January and February, finally tanking in early March. Since then, we've seen stocks surge by as much as 200%, and have had some analysts call an end to the recession. Many analysts also view the last 15 weeks as a bear-market rally, and see the markets poised for another small correction, or a sideways market at best. That being said, there are companies out there that will outperform their respective markets.

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One prominent theme going into the summer months is the belief that the U.S. dollar will weaken in the coming months. There are multiple ways to take advantage of a weak dollar, but the most straight forward strategy would be to use currency ETFs.

Monetary Value
The Powershares U.S. Dollar Bearish Fund (NYSE:UDN) tracks the New York Board of Trade's U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of popular currencies including the euro, pound, yen and Canadian dollar. As the dollar weakens, this bearish fund could see substantial gains. Another factor to consider is the belief in the inverse relationship between the U.S. dollar and crude oil prices. If recent history is any indication, being in an ETF that tracks crude could be a very profitable venture. The United States Oil Fund (NYSE:USO), which uses futures contracts to mimic movements in crude oil and other petroleum-based fuels, has risen nearly 40% since March and could see greater gains if demand for oil increases in the coming months.

Property Development
Another prediction that many are making is that we have seen (or will soon be seeing) the housing bottom, and foreclosures will begin to slow sooner rather than later. If we begin to see some stabilization and improvement in the real-estate market, getting yourself into financials could be a good play. Financials like Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) could see themselves in a situation where they may be able to get some of those previously foreclosed homes off their balance sheets, and turn some decent profits in the coming quarters.

Purchasing Retail
Finally, regardless of where the economy goes in the next six months, two retailers that will lead the way are Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT). Both companies have performed very well during the worst months of this recession, and any sort of increase in consumer spending will benefit these two discount retailers immensely. With the recession bringing more and more customers who normally wouldn't have frequented these thrift giants, both Target and Wal-Mart have an opportunity to build a huge customer base, if they can manage to keep their newest customers coming back after the economy begins to turn itself around. With plans for newer modern stores and renovations to many of their existing stores, these two look ready for the challenge.

The Bottom Line
The first half of 2009 was as unpredictable as they come. By taking a look at some possible themes to watch for in the coming half, investors have more than a few options at their disposal. (To learn more, check out Leading Economic Indicators Predict Market Trends.)

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