Equity markets started off the week on a mixed note, soaring higher after the opening bell only to succumb to broad-based profit taking pressures as the trading session drew to a close. On the home front, the Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way higher, gaining 0.12% on the day, although it failed to close above resistance at the key 13,000 mark. The Nasdaq encountered some headwinds throughout the day, ultimately closing in red territory, down 0.11% for the day. Crude oil rallied after geopolitical tensions in the Middle East intensified over the weekend, pushing prices past the $105 mark, and settling just above $106 a barrel [see also ETF Insider: Progress In Greece Will Tip Markets].
With no major economic data releases on the home front today, equities took cues from overseas instead. Euphoria was quick to spread across financial markets after European finance ministers approved a $173 billion aid package for Greece. Although the bailout news out of the Euro zone helped bolster equities higher, investors digested the situation in its entirety, and decided to take profits towards the end of the day, showcasing that the Greek debt drama is far from resolved [see also Greedy When Others Are Fearful ETFdb Portfolio].
The State Street SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was one of the best performers, gaining 2.19% on the day, bolstered by resurfacing inflation worries stemming from the debt burdened currency bloc overseas. News of the Greek bailout sparked inflation fears yet again, paving the way higher for the precious metal as it took on safe haven appeal. Gold futures rallied from $1,740 an ounce to a high of $1,761 an ounce, showcasing that investors are still not convinced of the proposed remedy that will supposedly restore stability in the financially fragile region [see GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
The State Street SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB) was one the weakest performers, shedding 1.24% on the day. This ETF was one the first to encounter selling pressures today right around lunch time, leading the way lower ahead of broad equity indexes. Investors took profits in XHB ahead of tomorrow’s key existing home sales report, perhaps worried that the latest figure could miss expectations. Analysts are calling for the most recent home sales figure to come in at 4.7 million, a slight improvement from the previous reading of 4.61 million.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.