The new year on Wall Street got off to perhaps the best start possible on Monday, as strong manufacturing data spurred hopes of a sustained recovery effort in 2010. Trading activity jumped from last week, but remained well below normal levels, indicating that the surge was perhaps attributable in part to a lack of full market participants.
The ETFdb 60 Index jumped 14.63 points, or 1.4%, in the year’s first session, as almost every asset class finished higher in what was perhaps a liquidity-fueled rally. The ETFdb 60 Index is designed to measure the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, and includes equity, fixed income, commodity, and currency funds. For daily updates on the biggest movers, sign up for our free ETF newsletter.
Leading the way higher on Monday was one of the benchmark’s laggards in 2009, the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG). Natural gas prices jumped as unseasonably cold weather gripped much of the country, with even temperatures in South Florida dropping into the 40s. Gas prices were also given a boost by the broad market rally and strong manufacturing data, with investors betting that these developments will translate into increased demand for gas at factories later in the year. After losing more than 55% in 2009, UNG has begun 2010 on a sharply different note:
While investors cheered surges in equity markets in the U.S., Japan, and other developed economies, emerging markets once again stole the show. Continuing a trend that played throughout 2009, developing economies led the way higher, and the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ) added 3.5% on the day as global risk aversion fell. Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa stock index climbed above 70,000, closing at its highest level since June 2008 and closing to within 5% of its all time high registered in May of that year.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.