Stocks finished the day off relatively flat as the S&P 500 posted its worst week of the year, granted markets are closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday. After shying away for several weeks, European fears heated up again on the day as investors worry over the mounting debts and solvency of varying regions of the euro-zone. In particular the issue stemmed from Spain as their debts “continued to march higher and its equity market plumbed lows not seen since the height of the euro zone’s crisis last year” writes Reuters. The day saw the Dow surrender 14 points while the S&P lost by about 0.1% [see also 4 Sector ETFs Up Over 20% YTD].
Crude oil finally had a strong day, as the fossil fuel has been slipping in recent sessions. Many are hoping for a relief in gas prices, as the U.S. is currently plagued with big numbers at the pump. Still, until stability returns to Syria and the surrounding region, crude will likely hold onto its triple digit barrier. In an effort to keep investors up to date with all of the financial happenings around the world, we outline two of the biggest ETF movers on the day.
One of the biggest ETF winners was the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) which jumped by 0.7%. Unfortunately, investors are probably less than thrilled with this result given that gold futures jumped by 1.1%. GLD tracks physical gold bullion, not futures contracts, so there are often times where there is a discrepancy between the price of bullion and futures contracts. Today’s performance puts GLD up by approximately 4% on the year as the commodity has lagged behind its competing precious metals [see also Does GLD Really Hold Gold, Or is it a Scam?].
One of the biggest ETF losers came from the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) which dipped by more than 2% during Thursday’s trading. “The latest government data shows that the energy industry continues to store natural gas at a faster clip than Americans can consume it. The Energy Information Administration report said U.S. supplies expanded by 42 billion cubic feet last week. Analysts were expecting supplies to grow between 33 billion to 37 billion cubic feet” writes Chris Kahn. UNG has lobbed off more than 39% this year alone as NG is nearing prices levels of $1.99; a figure that could devastate confidence in commodity markets [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.