Once again markets traded in a tight range for the majority of the session, dipping in and out of red territory. A pair of mixed economic reports kept trading volumes at painfully low levels as investors weighed the latest news. For the first time in two years, U.S. home prices rose in June as more buyers chased fewer homes. The positive news helped overshadow a rather sour consumer confidence report, which came in significantly lower than expected. ECB President Mario Draghi made the headlines today after he announced that he will not be attending this week’s highly anticipated international gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, citing a “very heavy workload” as his excuse for his absence. And while everyone continues to keep their eyes on Jackson Hole, traders should prepare for a couple more excruciatingly boring sessions [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolio].
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) bobbed in and out of negative territory today, eventually finishing lower on the day. Nasdaq narrowly managed to close higher, gaining a mere 0.2% on the day. In Europe, markets ended lower after Spain’s most indebted region announced that it would ask $6.28 billion in financial assistance from the Spanish government. Asian equities were mixed on the day with China’s Shanghai Composite up 0.9% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average down 0.6% after the Japanese government cut its economic forecast.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries rose once again, fueled by growing optimism surrounding the Fed and its potential stimulus measures. Adding to Treasury’s gains was today’s government auction of 2-year notes, which managed to attract significantly more demand than last month’s rather dismal sale.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Crude oil prices rose today after Tropical Storm Isaac was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, threatening several rigs and refineries along the Gulf Coast. Gasoline futures gave up some of its gains from yesterday, while natural gas continued its downward slide. The price of soybeans rose today after China bought a significant supply to feed its growing population.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: XOP
The State Street SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) was one of the stronger performers today, gaining 0.93% during the session. In tandem with oil prices, energy stocks moved higher as Hurricane Isaac headed towards the Gulf Coast. After a slightly volitile morning, XOP steadily rose throughout the day, eventually settling below its high of $53.52 a share [see also Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: DXJ
The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.06% on the day. As the Japanese government cut its economic forecast, Japan’s equity market dropped, causing this currency-hedged ETF to gap significantly lower at the open. DXJ traded sideways for most of the day, settling just below its high of $31.88 a share [see also Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.