Equity markets rose modestly higher on Friday to give the Dow its 8th consecutive weekly gain on the back of a stronger than expected housing report and news that Greek officials would tap a rescue package from the rest of the euro zone and the IMF. However, this was tempered by somewhat disappointing quarterly reports from Microsoft and Travelers Insurance, which both fell in Friday trading. Dragging down the Nasdaq was Amazon.com, which fell by more than 4% after giving a disappointing earnings outlook for the rest of 2010.
The ETFdb 60 Index posted its third consecutive wining session, adding 5.24 points, or 0.5%. The ETFdb 60 is now up 4.2% on the year.
Today’s biggest loser in the ETFdb 60 was PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) ,which sank by close to 1.1%. This came after weakness in corn, wheat, and soybeans, which all finished the day slightly lower. According to BusinessWeek, corn prices sank after a report that rain in the Midwest will allow for early crop development which could boost the supply. Meanwhile, soybeans trended lower after news out of South America that major producers were increasing sales of newly harvested soybean crops (see more on the components of DBA on its fact sheet).
The biggest gainer on the day was United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which soared higher by 3.4%. This came after data showed that the number of gas drilling rigs in the U.S. fell for the first time this year; 17 rigs shut down leaving 956 operational. In addition, new regulations were announced in New York that effectively prevents natural gas drilling in much of the Syracuse and New York City areas. This is largely due to fears about gas exploration pollution spilling into reservoirs, which would create a sizable problem for the nation’s largest metropolitan area and their water supply. For more information on UNG’s recent run-up check out more detailed figures on its performance here.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.