Equity markets finished flat to end the day, as the Dow finished in the red as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both managed to eek out gains. Gold was also flat as the precious metal finished the week at 1,255/oz. However, the big winner on the day was oil, which surged more than $2.55 a barrel to finish the day just above to $79 mark. The flat market was highlighted by a banking overhaul bill which ended up being far less imposing than many had feared. “The bill could have been a lot worse,” said Alan Valdes, vice president at Hilliard Lyons in New York. “It’s a bill we can live with.” [see G-20 Summit, Reform Bill Put Financial ETFs In Focus]
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through exchange-traded products, headed higher by 6.58 points, or 0.7%. The gain on the day was somewhat disappointing considering that winners outnumbered losers by five-to-one.
One of the biggest losers in the ETFdb 60 was VXX, which sank by 2.2% to finish out the week. This came as markets remained steady despite sweeping legislation to the financial sector; the S&P 500 traded in a range of less than 20 points for the entire day. Despite today’s loss, VXX is up 8.6% on the week as markets sank across the board on continued fears over the health of the global economy [see more fundamentals of VXX here].
One of the biggest gainers in the ETFdb 60 was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which surged higher by 3% in Friday trading. This came as the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.7% annualized pace in the most recent quarter; traders looked to a storm developing in the Gulf which could potentially disrupt gas deliveries. A brewing storm could become a tropical depression before it reaches Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in a couple of days. The system has a 60% chance of becoming a storm during the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.