March has gotten off to a start similar to January, as another strong performance Tuesday has investors hoping the recent run-up will prove more sustainable than mini-rally that started the year. A showdown in the tech sector caught the attention of investors, as Apple filed a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC, the maker of Google-based smartphones. Elsewhere, Ford posted a 43% rise in U.S. light vehicles last month, beating GM in monthly sales for the first time in more than ten years.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, climbed 4.87 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 1,029.52. The ETFdb 60 is now down just 0.4% on the year, as a recent rally has erased early losses.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was among the day’s biggest gainers, adding 2.5% as gold enjoyed one of its best single day performances of the year. Gold hit record highs in euro and sterling terms on Tuesday, as volatile currency markets sent investors flocking towards an effective hedge. Gold figures to be actively-traded this week, as investors around the world await the results from a Greek cabinet meeting on Wednesday and the U.S. nonfarm payroll data release on Friday.
Also jumping on Tuesday was the iPath Copper Total Return ETN (JJC), which climbed 1.8% on the day as investors continued to analyze the potential impact of the recent earthquake in Chile on global copper supplies. Copper prices rose for the third consecutive session as the dollar fell against a basket of rival currencies. The iShares MSCI Chile Index Fund (ECH) slipped slightly as rescue efforts continued in the South American nation and several mines resumed normal operations following the restoration of power and opening of key roads.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.