Anxiety over the economic recovery returned to Wall Street Monday, as concerns over the Fed’s action plan and the pullback of stimulus plans around the globe caused a slight dip in equity markets. The energy sector dragged on broader benchmarks, led by Schlumberger’s decline following news of its $11 billion takeover offer for Smith International. Elsewhere, lawmakers zeroed in on Toyota and a private equity consortium neared a deal to acquire a stake in one of China’s largest investment banks.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through exchange-traded products, slipped 0.86 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,019.65. Winners actually outnumbered losers for the day, but big losses from a few funds were enough to push the ETFdb 60 into the red to start the week.
Among the biggest losers was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which lost 2.0% on the day. Natural gas dropped below $5 per million British thermal units for the first time in more than ten weeks on expectations for milder weather in coming weeks. Also weighing on gas prices were expectations for an uptick in supplies as more rigs come online. According to data from Baker Hughes, the gas rig total rose to nearly 900 last week, hitting its highest level since last March.
Gaining ground on Monday was the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), which climbed 1.3% on news of an analyst upgrade of US Bancorp. Also giving the financials sector a boost was a report that the new financial overhaul bill due to be introduced later this week may be less stringent than originally anticipated.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.