Stocks tallied yet another session in red territory as looming “fiscal cliff” worries and sour economic data proved too pessimistic for the bulls to overcome. Profit taking pressures permeated Wall Street after weekly jobless claims data missed the mark by a wide margin thanks to hurricane Sandy; 439,000 people filed for unemployment benefits versus the expected 380,000, marking an unhealthy blow to the labor market which had been enjoying several weeks of modest improvement [Download 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].
The Nasdaq continues to lead the way lower at home as shares of Apple (AAPL) shed upwards of 2% on the day, sinking the PowerShares (QQQ, A-) by 0.34%. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) proved most resilient, dipping by 0.17%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) lagged barely behind, turning in a loss of 0.20% as the closing bell rang [see A Week Later, ETF Winners And Losers From The Election].
Bond ETF Roundup
Price action was all over the place in the fixed-income market. Amid all of the weakness on the stock front, U.S. Treasuries surprisingly turned lower alongside TIPS and investment-grade corporate bonds. “Junk bonds” somehow held onto minor gains for the day, successfully evading profit taking pressures which plagued virtually every “risky” asset class.
Commodity ETF Roundup
The U.S. dollar traded sideways for much of the session, however, commodity prices saw virtually no relief from this. After posting massive gains during the prior two sessions, profit taking finally hit UNG as natural gas prices gave up some gains. Gold and silver failed to take on “safe haven” appeal, instead the precious metals traded lower alongside stocks.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: VXX
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX, A-) was one of the best performers, gaining 0.89% on the day. Volatility levels climbed higher from the opening bell as investors expressed their concerns over the worse-than-expected jobless claims data along with disappointing earnings results from industry giant Wal-Mart. VXX climbed higher throughout the day, although it gave up some ground in the final hour of trading, settling just shy of the $36.50 mark [see our Low Volatility ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: GDX
The Van Eck Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX, B+) was one of the worst performers, shedding 2.67% on the day. Gold futures prices endured a short-lived round of profit taking today as selling pressures sank the commodity close to $1,700 an ounce in the morning. Gold miners weren’t as fortunate however, as selling pressures in the morning were followed by another lower-low around noon, with the ETF ultimately settling just shy of $46 a share [see also GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best performing regional strategy in the trailing 3-year period is our Ex-Europe ETFdb Portfolio; this strategy is up an impressive 24.28%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.