Even shocking macroeconomic news could not breath life back into the markets today, as equities continued to drift aimlessly, eventually slipping into positive territory by a slim margin. Economic powerhouse China reported an unexpected drop in its trade surplus today, leading more people to believe that growth is cooling off in what has otherwise been a hot spot for economic activity. For the most part, China has stood resilient throughout the crash of 2008 and the ongoing Euro Zone debt crisis. But today’s report along with several other blaring red flags shows just how dire the global situation actually is. Without additional action from central bankers, many investors fear the slowdown could get much worse [see also 5 Worst ETF Strategies Of The Last 5 Years].
U.S. equities straddled the flat line today, barely managing to land in positive territory at the closing bell. The S&P 500 (SPY) logged its sixth-straight gain, while Nasdaq (QQQ) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) also rose several points. Asian markets closed broadly lower after the announcement of the unexpected decline in China’s trade surplus.
Bond ETF Roundup
After several dismal government auctions this week, U.S. Treasuries finally rose as the latest economic reports from China heightened concerns surrounding the health of the global economy. Despite the uptick, investors will likely remain cautious until any concrete developments are made by the Fed.
Commodity ETF Roundup
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its estimate for corn production by nearly 17% today, stating that prices will likely rise even more than what had previously been expected. Despite the report, corn futures (CORN) fell today, while SOYB inched slightly higher after the U.S. also cut its forecast for soybean production. Crude oil made its way into the headlines today after a key energy organization lowered their estimate for the growth of oil consumption world-wide, while concerns of China also weighed on the commodity. Natural gas was today’s biggest mover in the commodities space after the fossil fuel plummeted on mild weather forecasts.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: DGAZ
The VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN (DGAZ) had an incredible ride today, gaining a whopping 11.45% during the session. As natural gas futures tumbled to its lowest close in a month, this ETN gapped significantly higher at the open, only to inch higher throughout the day. DGAZ settled just below its high of $29.75 a share [see also Five ETFs To Own During The Next Market Collapse].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: FXI
The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI) showed high levels of activity today after China reported its disappointing trade data. At the open, FXI gapped significantly lower, only to pop back up during mid-morning hours. As Wall Street rallied at the close, FXI inched slightly higher as volume peaked during the last hour of trading. During the session, FXI lost 0.17%, settlinging just shy of its high of $35.29 a share [see also Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
Follow me on Twitter @DPylypczak
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.