Stocks finished Tuesday in the red following disappointing revenue reports from several companies, concerns on the housing market, and weak PPI data. The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark of the investable universe available through ETFs, declined 4.76 (0.5%) to close at 1,022.68, with losers outnumbering gainers by about two-to-one.
Leading the way downward on Tuesday was the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ), which fell 3.8% on news that the government had elected to impose a tax on incoming portfolio investment. Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced that the 2% IOF operations tax was being implemented immediately to weaken an overly appreciated local currency and prevent a speculative bubble among Brazilian assets. The WisdomTree Dreyfus Brazilian Real Index Fund (BZF) dropped about 2% for the session. Even after Tuesday’s decline, EWZ is up almost 110% for 2009.
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) continued its recent pattern of volatility, jumping about 2.8% on volume of more than 30 million shares. Natural gas advanced to a nine-month high following strong results from Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of bulldozers and excavators. Investors cheered the news as an indication that a pickup in industrial activity will drive a bump in demand for natural gas.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.