Wall Street kicked off the first day of November with a bang, as a slew of positive economic reports put some much-needed momentum back into the markets. According to the Institute of Supply Management, the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector rose to 51.7 in October, a sign that the industry is finally expanding. Construction spending also rose in September, hitting its best level in three months. Consumer confidence was reported to climb to its highest level in over four years in the month of October. In labor news, the private sector added 158,000 jobs in October, bucking analysts’ expectations of a 131,000 increase. And while these reports come as a relief as many are still recovering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, investors will be keeping a close eye on tomorrow’s key job reports [see also Free 7 Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
All three major U.S. indexes logged in stellar gains today, boosted by a batch of better-than-expected economic reports. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came out on top, gaining 1.44% during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) also ended well into positive territory, jumping 1.04% and 1.09% respectively. Riding on the back of the U.S. rally and strong gains in Asia, European equities closed broadly higher. In Asia, a monthly rise in Chinese manufacturing boosted stocks, sent the Shanghai Composite 1.7% higher and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average up 0.2%.
Bond ETF Roundup
While equities popped on solid economic data, U.S. bond traders paid little attention as all eyes remain on the upcoming U.S. presidential election next week. Treasuries slipped lower as many await tomorrow’s key jobs report.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Copper prices rose today after reports showed better-than-expected manufacturing data from the U.S. and China. Meanwhile, U.S. oil supplies shrank by 2 million barrels last week, forcing crude prices higher. Natural gas, wheat and soybeans also traded higher, while gold and silver were lower.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: XME
The State Street SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) was one of the best performers today, gaining 3.80% during the session. While gold and silver futures traded lower, investors piled into the lucrative mining equities space, forcing this ETF to surge throughout the day. XME eventually settled below its high of $46.32 a share [see also Mining Boom ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: SLX
The Van Eck Market Vectors Steel Index ETF Fund (SLX) also had a strong performance today, gaining 3.78% during the session. Demand for steel has skyrocketed since hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, and shares of steel manufacturers, like U.S. Steel (X), have seen tremendous gains over the last two days. As a result, this ETF surged higher throughout the day, eventually settling just shy of its high of $45.84 a share [see also Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.