On the one year anniversary of the market bottom, most major markets finished the day flat. Financial stocks were mostly higher after rumors surfaced out of D.C. that the government would ban short-sales on companies in which the government owned a stake. This rumor helped to send financial firms such as AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac higher. Meanwhile, most commodities were lower as a stronger dollar weighed on precious metals and sent oil down more than $1.60 in Tuesday trading.
The ETFdb 60 Index inched up 1.03 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,041.44 on the day. In moderate trading, winners outnumbered losers by nearly two-to-one. The ETFdb 60 is now up 0.7% on the year.
One of the best performers of the day was the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ), which gained 1.3% on the day. The jump came after Banco Bradesco SA said iron ore prices may almost double this year due to strong demand and the postponement of the opening of several mines throughout the country. Meanwhile, homebuilders rallied on the outlook for higher sales, which helped to push the main index of Brazil, the Bovespa, up more than 2% in late afternoon trading.
One of the weakest performers was the Gold Miners ETF (GDX). which saw a loss of 1.2% after a stronger dollar and gold-neutral comments out of China. “It’s all about the dollar,” said Leonard Kaplan, the president of Prospector Asset Management in Evanston, Illinois in an article for BusinessWeek. “With the dollar continuing to strengthen, gold doesn’t have a chance. There isn’t enough gold for China to make it its primary reserve. They have to hold dollars.” Furthermore, government officials in China suggested that gold will not comprise too much of the government reserves since the supply is very small and significant purchases by the government will only hurt small gold purchasing citizens.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.