Following a three day losing streak that saw some benchmarks slide as much as 5%, this week got off to an eventful start on Wall Street. Earnings season continued with Apple reporting higher revenues and profits while disappointing data on existing home sales sparked fresh concerns over the housing market’s recovery. Bernanke’s odds at a second term as Fed Chairman, which took a major hit last week, were revived by a wave of support from the White House. Elsewhere, anticipation continued to build ahead of Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday, with reports of modest proposals to boost the middle class leaking out.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, gained 3.43 points, or 0.3%, to close at 1,022.19. The index is now down 1.1% on the year after a major slide last week.
Leading the way higher was the Vanguard European ETF (VGK) which added 1.8% after the Greek government conducted a successful bond issue. Investors piled into the new €5 billion, five-year syndicated bond issue, registering more than €20 billion of orders in three hours. The round of financing will buy the financially troubled government time as it attempts to sort out the country’s public finances. Uncertainty in Greece had been weighing on European markets in recent months, as he likelihood of a default continued to rise. After the announcement of price guidance, the spread between Green and German debt narrowed, and the cost of insuring Greek debt against default retreated from recent highs.
Losing ground on Monday was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which has plummeted in recent weeks following a huge run-up to start the new year. Despite an uptick in bullion prices, GDX lost 1.4% on Monday and is now down 6.5% on the year.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.