Today’s holiday-shortened trading session ended on a high note as rising oil prices and better than expected U.S economic data helped bolster equity markets. With U.S. markets closed tomorrow for the Independence Day holiday, investors’ stock buying momentum picked up its pace in anticipation of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, where the decision of interest rate changes will be announced. With rising hopes of a Euro Zone stimulus and energy shares leading the way, equity markets managed to cinch a modest gain at today’s close: the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, while the S&P also inched up 0.6% and Nasdaq gained 0.8% [see also 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].
Today, the Commerce Department reported orders for manufactured goods rose 0.7% in May, coming in significantly higher than the expected 0.1% increase. Across the Atlantic, Euro Zone’s Producer Price Index for the month of May was reported at 2.3%, slightly lower than the previously recorded 2.6% increase. Plenty of action was seen on the commodities front today, as renewed Iran tensions sent oil prices skyward and continuing hopes of more monetary easing from central banks helped boost gold futures [see also USA Oil Reserves: The World's Largest?].
The Van Eck Market Vectors TR Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was one of the best performers, gaining 3.78% on the day. Fueled by continuing hope of the Fed introducing further stimulus efforts, this ETF gappped significantly higher at the open and inched higher throughout the day along with rising gold prices. GDX closed just shy of its high of $46.52 per share [see also GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding 2.25% on the day. Optimism surrounding Thursday’s ECB meeting and positive U.S. factory orders data helped ease market volatility. VXX gapped slightly lower at the open, only to continue its decline throughout the day [see also Low Volatility Portfolio].
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