After charging forward on Monday, stocks have been turning in sour performances, as it seems that there is no positive news to keep investors upbeat enough to buy. While the end of today’s session saw a fair amount of buying activity, it was likely due to major indexes sinking nearly 1% intraday, before they rose up to finish flat. The Dow gained just over 19 points while the S&P 500 surrendered 2.3 points in the session. The weak day was spurned by a slight miss in unemployment claims as well as the flat revision of fourth quarter GDP; it seems that many were hoping the Fed would revise that figure higher or comment on QE3 and spark some confidence for markets [see also 3 ETFs For The End Of Operation Twist].
The commodity side of the equation endured a rough day, as a number of spot prices tumbled through out the session. Gold was able to finish relatively flat, but crude dipped by roughly 2%. With crude posting several harsh losing days in recent weeks, its lower prices may be a buying point for contrarians who feel that the commodity is currently undervalued by market standards. In an effort to keep our readers up to date with the happenings in the financial world, we outline two of the most notable ETF performances on the day [see also Does GLD Really Hold Gold, Or is it a Scam?]:
One of the biggest ETF winners came from the Barclays Aggregate Bond Fund (AGG). This bond giant, which is home to over $14 billion in assets, has long been a staple fund for the fixed income space. AGG jumped a mere 0.3% on the day, but was one of the few major funds to actually post a gain, as equities did not fare well on the day. A number of investors lost their stomachs for the recent risk in equities and the lack of direction on interest rates and moved into this safer product. AGG is down about 0.2% for 2012.
One of the biggest ETF losers on the day was the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) which sank by 5.3%. Even for a fund as volatile as UNG, losses of 5.3% in a single trading session are rather high. NG futures sank to a “fresh 10-year low Thursday after the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected increase in natural-gas inventories, as demand remained weak amid surging production” writes Dan Strumpf. It would seem that things can’t get much worse for NG and this ETF, as analysts and experts have been trying to call this commodity’s bottom for years, only to watch it tumble beyond all expectations. At this point, it seems difficult to justify anything other than a bet against natural gas and this floundering ETF [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.