Daily ETF Roundup: GDX Jumps With Gold, UNG Sinks With Oil

by on February 28, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

Bullish euphoria continues to permeate Wall Street as major indexes finished the day in bright green territory, settling above key resistance levels. The Nasdaq led the way higher, gaining 0.7% on the day, bolstered by Apple, which hit an all-time high of $535.38 a share [see also How An Apple Dividend Would Impact ETFs]. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 also ended today’s trading session on a high note, gaining 0.18% and 0.34% respectively for the day. 

Economic data releases on all fronts took center stage on Tuesday as investors turned to fundamental indicators for insights. At home, durable goods orders missed the mark, coming in at negative 4% versus last month’s reading of positive 3.2%. Housing market data was also lackluster after the latest Case-Shiller home prices reading came in at negative 1.1%, which is still a minor improvement from last month’s figure of negative 1.3%. Despite these worse-than-expected data release, investors focused on the positive news instead; consumer confidence came in at 70.8, blowing past the previous reading of 61.5. 

The Van Eck Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was one of the strongest performers, gaining 2.27% on the day, bolstered by a rally in gold spot prices coupled with broad-based optimism prevalent across equity markets. Gold prices inched higher in overnight trading although the real action came after Wall Street’s opening bell; futures contracts for the precious yellow metal soared as high as $1,792 an ounce, settling near $1,785 an ounce as the trading session drew to a close [see Why Warren Buffett Hates Gold].  

The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the weakest performers, shedding 2.99% on the day. UNG continues to inch lower in-line with its long-term downtrend; the recent reverse split in this ETP has done little to soften the blow of record low natural gas prices. Weakness was pronounced in the energy sector as a whole after crude oil prices encountered selling pressures, tumbling down to $106.30 a barrel [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio]. 

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.