The bull train continues to roll full steam ahead as broad equity indexes managed to finish the trading session in green territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average extended gains for the 7th consecutive session; the blue chip index gained 0.44% on the day, while the S&P 500 Index came out slightly ahead, tacking on a 0.60% gain. Gold managed to recoup some of the losses from yesterday’s sell-off; futures prices for the precious yellow metal gained 1% on the day, settling near the $1,660 an ounce level [see Three Years Later: Best Performing ETFs Since Markets Bottomed Out].
Economic data releases on the home front gave investors plenty of reasons to cheer on the rally. Jobless claims came in better-than-expected; 351,000 people filed for unemployment benefits versus the previous figure of 365,000. The Empire State and Philly Fed Index also surpassed analyst estimates; these two figures came in at 20.2 and 12.5 respectively, both sailing past analyst estimates and topping the previous month’s reading [see Is SPY Overbought?].
The Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT) was one of the strongest performers, gaining 3.33% on the day, bolstered by improving confidence in the domestic recovery. Encouraging employment data coupled with a pair of upbeat manufacturing reports helped pave the way higher for the U.S. transport sector. After today’s rally, IYT is up close to 7% from a year-to-date perspective [see IYT Realtime Ratings].
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the weakest performers, shedding 1.46% on the day, pressured lower by growing optimism and fading uncertainty in the equity market. Volatility seemingly evaporated as encouraging economic news hit the street, prompting investors to jump ship from safe havens and into stocks [see also Three ETFs Trading At A Huge Premium To NAV].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.