After weeks of volatile trading and big swings on Wall Street, Tuesday was relatively uneventful for investors, with most major benchmarks finishing little changed from their open. Mildly encouraging news on the job front was cheered, and comments from two Fed officials on future rate changes were carefully parsed. The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of the universe of investable assets available through ETFs, shed 1.79 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1,013.78. Aggregate trading volume for index components was unusually light at 657 million shares.
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) continued its volatile ways on Tuesday, dropping 3.9% amid forecasts for mild weather. Separately, the International Energy Agency said in its annual report that the world is facing an oversupply of natural gas, and that prices are expected to fall in coming years. Natural gas in storage in the U.S. as of October 30 stood at an all time high of 3.788 trillion cubic feet, 11% higher than last year and more than 12% above the five-year average.
A downgrade of Tropical Storm Ida to a tropical depression off the coast of Alabama also weighed on natural gas prices. UNG has now lost more than 60% year-to-date and 70% over the last 52 weeks.
Leading the way higher on Tuesday was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which gained 0.8% as bullion prices continued to rise. In recent months, GDX has effectively serves as a leveraged play on gold prices. GLD rose 0.2% on Tuesday.
Later this week, Van Eck is scheduled to introduce its Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), a product that will focus on small- to medium-size companies engaged in the development of new sources of gold.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.