Equity markets stayed flat but finished in the green on Friday after a weak CPI report gave some investors hope that the Fed will keep rates low for the foreseeable future. Overall prices edged up 0.2% for January but excluding food and energy, prices fell 0.1%, the first monthly decline since December 1982. Energy prices continue their modest surge, with oil prices closing near $80 a barrel, an 11% gain over the past two weeks.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, finished slightly lower, dropping 0.77 points to close at 1,020.51. Friday’s dip was the only losing session of the week for the ETFdb 60 Index.
The biggest winner in the ETFdb 60 was the Utilities Select Select Sector SPDR (XLU) which gained 1.4% to finish the week. The gain was largely due to the tame CPI numbers and expectations that a wave of consolidation will hit the power industry, thanks in part to comments Thursday afternoon from Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers.
The biggest loser in the ETFdb 60 was the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) which finished the day down 2.8%. The morning’s CPI reading gave investors hope that coming months won’t be as volatile as previously expected, given the expanded arsenal the Fed will have to stimulate the economy. VXX has had a very rough 2010, losing more than 20% since January 1st.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.