The week got off to a familiar start on Monday, as two stories that have dominated headlines so far this year – bailout packages to banks and healthcare reform – were once again in the news. Most equity benchmarks finished the day higher, while the dollar lost ground and most commodities prices inched up.
The ETFdb 60 Index added 6.59 points to close at 1,029.53, extending its winning streak to four days as winners outnumbered losers by more than five-to-one.
Leading the way higher was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which added more than 2.7% for the day. News that Exxon Mobil is planning a $41 billion takeover of independent natural gas producer XTO Energy “provided a ringing endorsement for the commodity.” The deal represents one of the first acquisitions targeting a company that explores for and produces natural gas but doesn’t maintain refining or retail operation.
Among the few losers in the week’s inaugural session was the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX), which has consistently moved in the opposite direction of equity funds for much of the year. Hopes that the markets will coast to the finish line of an overall impressive year have increased in recent weeks, sending volatility benchmarks lower.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.