After a seesaw trading day, markets managed to claw their way into positive territory, as investors cooled off from the vicious post-election sell off. Equities lost most of their earlier gains today after the President gave his first speech since re-election. Obama indicated that he is “open to new ideas” on coming up with a viable resolution to the impending Fiscal Cliff, though he remained adamant on his plan to increase taxes on people in higher income brackets. Investors, however, remain seemingly unconvinced that the President will be able to come to a bipartisan agreement between the split congress. [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Somewhat bouyed by positive readings on U.S. consumer sentiment and wholesale inventories, all three major U.S. indexes managed to inch their way into positive territory. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came out on top, gaining 0.32% during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) inched 0.03% and 0.17% higher, respectively. In Europe, markets closed slightly lower ahead of this Sunday’s Greek Parliament vote and euro-zone finance ministers’ meeting. Asian equities fell on U.S. and European concerns, despite encouraging industrial and retail data out of China; the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slid 0.9%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices rose once again today, as investors shifted assets from riskier equities to their favorite safe haven. This coming Monday, the bond market will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Soybean futures took center stage today, as prices tumbled after the U.S. Agriculture Department predicted soybean production would increase. Energy commodities were mostly higher with oil finishing above $86.07 a barrel, while natural gas prices fell slightly lower. In precious metals, both gold and silver ticked slightly higher.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: XBI
The State Street SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) was one of the best performers today, gaining a 2.19% during the session. Internet, semiconductor and biotech shares helped move markets higher today, forcing this ETF to surge higher during early morning trading hours. XBI slid sideways for the remainder of the session, eventually settling near its high of $85.03 a share [see also Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: JJG
The Barclays iPath DJ-UBS Grains Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJG) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.79% during the session. Alongside a steep drop in soybean prices, and a decline in corn futures, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. JJG traded lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $57.15 a share [see also The Surging Demographic Trends Behind Grain Investing].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
Eleven ETFs offer exposure to Walt Disney (DIS), which tumbled 5.96% today after the blue-chip media and entertainment company reported revenues that missed analyst’s expectations. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) allocates 6.26% of total assets to the stock, while the Dynamic Media Fund (PBS) gives DIS a 5.04% weighting.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.