Equity markets finished flat on Tuesday, with the Dow and Nasdaq finishing ahead while the S&P 500 trended slightly lower. Technology stocks led the surge higher as Apple hit a new all-time high of $235.84. This continued surge for Apple came after a report that the company was developing a new iPhone for Verizon, the long time rival of AT&T, the current sole carrier of the iPhone. The news also helped to boost Verizon, which soared 2.6% on the news. “If a deal does go through, it would more than double the potential user base for the iPhone,” said Ryan Jacob, chairman of Jacob Asset Management. Elsewhere, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index showed that prices were flat in January while U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in March.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, added 0.80 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,051.11.
One of the day’s biggest losers was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which fell by 1.1% on the day. This came after the IMF discussed several issues that could dampen the recovery of the largest euro zone economy, Germany. In addition, Greece launched a $6.74 billion issue of seven year bonds, further calling into question the troubled country’s ability to repay its debts. These events sent the euro down against the dollar and helped to push the greenback higher against a variety of commodities, including gold. Gold miners also finished lower, and GDX is now down about 5% since January 1st.
One of the big gainers on the day was iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI), which finished higher by 1.5%. This came after two large Chinese coal producers gained close to three-quarters of a percent on news of a drought in the south of China. Chinese equities were also buoyed by less fear in regards to a monetary tightening campaign. “Because we think growth will remain robust and inflation will ease in the second half, the market could break out with tightening concerns easing with lower inflation,” wrote Jerry Lou. “Given the strong momentum in China’s domestic economy and the already recovering export sector, we think even a double dip in developed economies in 2010 would not derail China’s growth.”
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.