The wild ride on Wall Street continued on Thursday, with stocks posting big gains as Starbucks and CBS posted profits and retail sales moved slightly higher for the last month. Cisco led tech stocks higher, driving the Dow to a gain of more than 200 points for the first time in three months. The ETFdb 60 Index, a broad-based benchmark measuring the performance of assets available through exchange-traded products, gained 10.94 points, or 1.1%, to close at 1,000.10. On the day that the Dow crossed the 10,000 mark, the ETFdb 60 closed above 1,000 after dropping below 980 last week.
Small cap ETFs led the winners in Thursday’s trading, with the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (IWM) adding 3.2%. Also posting strong gains were the Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund (IWO) and Russell 2000 Value Index Fund (IWN), both of which gained about 3%. News early in the session of a weekly decline in jobless claims gave stocks an early boost, as did a report from the International Council of Shopping Centers showing that retailers posted their second consecutive month of gains in October after declining for more than a year.
After Thursday’s rally, IWO further distanced itself from large cap stocks on the year: the iShares Russell 1000 Index Fund (IWB) has gained about 20% in 2009, while IWO is up 25%.
The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) dropped about 5% on Thursday, as the CBOE Volatility Index dropped more than 8%. VXX has maintained a strong negative correlation with most major equity markets (both domestic and international) in recent months, a trend that continued on Thursday:
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.