Daily ETF Roundup: Consumer Sentiment Rises, Platinum Shines

by on August 17, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

After a frustratingly slow week on Wall Street, markets managed to eke out small gains at today’s close, capping off their sixth straight week of gains. According to the Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, American’s feelings about the economy bucked economists’ predictions, as the index came in significantly better-than-expected. The Conference Board also reported a rise in leading indicators in July. Apple and Facebook both made today’s headlines, as Apple’s stock ticked up after posting its highest closing price ever on Thursday. Meanwhile, Facebook shares continued their poor performance, hitting an all-time intra-day low after a batch of early investors’ shares were made available for sale. And although markets managed to push slightly higher, investors will likely remain wary during this last stretch of the summer slump [see also How To But The Right ETF Every Time].

Global Market Overview: Consumer Sentiment Rises, Platinum Shines

Technology stocks led markets higher today, with tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) coming out on top. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) also ended in positive territory after U.S. consumer sentiment came in much better-than-expected. Europe equities were broadly higher, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments on Thursday about Germany’s commitment to the currency bloc helped bolster the market. Asian markets were also mostly higher.

Bond ETF Roundup 

Although U.S. Treasury prices rose today, it wasn’t enough to avoid posting a fourth straight weekly loss. Many investors believe the recent selloff may be overdone, and so buyers returned to the safe-haven market, pushing yields slightly lower.

Commodity ETF Roundup

One of today’s biggest movers was platinum, as the precious metal rose for a second day after tensions rose at a South African mine where a labor conflict ended in violence. Oil also continued its rise, posting its fourth straight day of gains as the commodity reached its highest prices in three months.

ETF Chart Of The Day #1: PPLT

ETF Securities’ Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT) was one of the best performers, gaining 2.21% on the day. While a conflict at a South African mine turned deadly today, platinum futures soared, forcing this ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. PPLT pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at its high of $145.28 a share [see also George Soros Eats Own Words, Doubles Down On GLD].

ETF Chart Of The Day #2: XLK

The State Street Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) had another strong performance today, as technology stocks led markets higher. Apple shares, which account for 18% of XLK’s total assets, rallied today after the stock hit its highest stock price yesterday. XLK gapped slightly at the open and continued to push higher throughout the day, settling just shy of its high of $30.76 a share [see also High Tech ETFdb Portfolio].

ETF Fun Fact Of The Day

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) is up an impressive 20.83% on the year compared to the International Utilities Sector SPDR (IPU) which is only up 3.2% on the year.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.