More red ink washed over Wall Street at the start of a new week, as jitters over the state of public finances in Greece, Portugal, and Spain continued to weigh on European economies and rippled throughout global markets. In the U.S., the financials sector led the day’s decline after the Fed announced plans to detail its “exit strategy,” indicating that central bank officials are busy discussing how to unwind massive stimulus plans in coming months. Elsewhere, Google announced big plans for its Gmail service while also slashing the termination fee for customers who drop its new Nexus One phone early.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, declined 5.61 points, or 0.6%, to close at 986.34. The index has shed 4.6% so far in 2010, and is down 6.5% from its January high.
Leading the way lower on Monday was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which lost 3.8% as gold prices declined. After rallying in 2009 as the dollar came under pressure, gold mining stocks have been battered throughout 2010. GDX has now declined more than 10% on the year and has lost more than 25% since peaking in December. The Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which invests in small and mid cap mining firms, slipped 3% on the day and has lost almost 14% so far in 2010.
One of the few winners Monday was the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA), which added 1.4% as the dollar’s advance halted and most commodities delivered solid daily gains. DBA maintains exposure to a basket of 11 different agricultural commodities, including grains, livestock, and softs.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.