The painfully slow post-Christmas week continued at a snail’s pace Tuesday, as most major benchmarks lacked direction and any news to push them higher or lower. The investigation into the alleged airline terror plot continued to develop, and energy stocks took a hit as oil prices sunk lower.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through exchange-traded products, dropped 1.92 points, or 0.2%, on Tuesday in the lightest trading of the month so far. Losers outnumbered winners by more than three-to-one, but most funds finished little changed on the day.
Among the day’s biggest decliners was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which shed 2.5% on news that many natural gas producers are seeking out long-term deals, seemingly indicating that low prices are here to stay. UNG has been one of the most volatile exchange-traded products on the year, and Tuesday’s plunge lower was par for the course (read UNG’s Wild Year).
Even after the dip, UNG is up more than 15% on the year, finishing an otherwise dismal year on a high note.
Also losing ground on Tuesday was the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which dropped 1% as bullion prices continued to fall. After peaking above $1,200 per ounce earlier this year, gold prices have come back to earth.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.