The showdown over the future of the financial industry continued in Washington on Tuesday, as former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker continued to push for restrictions on commercial banks engaging in proprietary trading and private investing activity. Earnings reports continued to give domestic equity markets a boost, as did favorable news for the U.S. auto industry out of Detroit: Ford and GM posted sales increases of 25% and 14%, respectively, in January. Toyota results were hammered by the carmaker’s biggest-ever recall.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, gained 8.25 points, or 0.8%, to close at 1,018.36. The index has already added nearly 2% in February after slipping more than 3% in January.
The day’s biggest winners included the PowerShares DB Commodity Fund (DBC), which added 2.2%. The dollar declined against 14 of its 16 major rivals on Tuesday, giving commodity prices a boost on hopes that a weaker dollar and expanding global economy will increase demand for raw materials.
The SPDR Dow Jones Wilshire International Real Estate ETF (RWX) added 2.3% on Tuesday, as real estate markets in Japan and Europe benefited from a rush into risky assets as optimism for a strong global recovery surged.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.