European Central Bank President Mario Draghi took the spotlight once again today, as investors cheered on the ECB’s commitment to shore up the troubled Euro Zone region. According to news reports, Draghi is scheduled to meet with the head of Germany’s Bundesbank sometime in the next few days to discuss a more aggressive stimulus package, which could include future bond purchases, more interest-rate cuts, and possible long-term loans to banks. With Euro Zone hopes on the rise, U.S. equities rallied: the Dow Jones Industrial average broke 13000 today for the first time since May 7, closing on a 1.5% gain, while the S&P 500 rose 1.9%, and Nasdaq shot to the front of the line with a gain of 2.2% [see also ETFs And The LIBOR Scandal].
On the corporate earnings front, earnings reports came in somewhat mixed. Online travel service company Expedia beat expectations, and even raised its quarterly dividend. Facebook on the other hand, managed to also surpass analysts’ revenue forecasts, but its failure to provide investors with an outlook on future performance sent the stock into a dangerous downward spiral. In macro economic news, the U.S. second-quarter GDP came in mostly in line with expectations: GDP was reported to have grown 1.5% versus the expected 1.3%, but the measure also showed a slowdown from last quarter’s readings [see also Four Commodities To Buy Before Roubini’s “Perfect Storm”].
The iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY) was one of the best performers, gaining 3.98% on the day. This ETF was bolstered by today’s global market rally, spurred by Draghi’s encouraging statements concerning the Euro Zone. EWY gapped at the open, only to surge higher throughout the day, settling just below its high of $55.09 a share [see also Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding a 2.70% on the day. Increased confidence after reports of Draghi and the German central bank future meeting helped market volatility to cool off, forcing this ETF to gap significantly lower at open, only to slide sideways through out the trading day [see also Commodity Stock Plays in the 2012 Dogs of the S&P].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.