Equity markets continued a mini-rally on Wednesday as strong earnings reports and economic data boosted confidence. Concerns remain over Europe’s debt balance, however, as the dollar gained ground on the euro. Elsewhere, minutes from last month’s Fed meeting showed confidence from central bank officials while the U.S. indicated it intends to press China on its undervalued currency.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, added 1.97 points, or 0.2% on the day, and is now up 1.4% for the shortened week. Winners outnumbered losers by nearly two-to-one on the day.
The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) gained 1.3% on the day, thanks in large part to impressive results from Deere & Co. The maker of agricultural, earthmoving, construction, and forestry equipment reported that fiscal first quarter profits jumped 19% to 57 cents per share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of just 19 cents per share. Deere also raised its outlook for 2010, citing expected strength in equipment sales. Deere makes up just 5% of MOO, but the positive results had a ripple effect throughout the industry.
Despite MOO’s strong performance on the day, the the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) was among the day’s biggest losers. DBA slid 1.5% on the day as futures contracts mostly declined on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat, corn, and soybeans all slid, while oats climbed slightly. Livestock commodities were mixed: cattle prices slipped while hog prices inched up.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.