Wall Street was in for a wild ride today, as more fiscal cliff commentary sent U.S. equities into a whiplash trading session. In contrast to his rather optimistic statement yesterday, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner stated today that “no substantive progress have been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks.” While equities took an immediate dip as Boehner was speaking, they quickly recovered to most modest gains on the day. In economic news, the number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly more than expected last week, while U.S. GDP in the third quarter was revised to 2.7%, slightly below analyst’s projected revision [see also 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].
Despite a rather choppy session, all three U.S. equities market managed to post gains for yet another day. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came out on top, rising 0.68% during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) ticked 0.28% higher, finishing above the psychologically-important 13,000 level, while the S&P 500 (SPY) posted a 0.43% gain. In Europe, markets were mostly higher with the Stoxx Europe 600 gaining 1.2%. Meanwhile in Asia, equities were mixed; Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1% and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 ticked 0.7% higher, while China’s Shanghai Composite slid 0.5%, marking its fourth-straight loss.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries rose once again, though investors confidence of Congress coming to a viable fiscal cliff solution weighed heavily on the market. A government auction of 7-year notes did, however, receive good demand with sales amounting to $29 billion.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Most commodities managed to log in gains today, despite Washington’s back-and-forth commentary. Prices for gold, industrial metals, and soybeans rose, while natural gas, wheat, and corn were lower. Oil prices also ticked higher after an improved reading on U.S. economic growth in the third quarter [see also Citi's Energy Outlook For 2013].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: IYZ
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Index Fund (IYZ, B+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.14% during the session. Telecom shares were among today among today’s top advancers, forcing this ETF to gap slightly higher at the open. IYZ ticked higher throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $23.88 a share [see also High Tech ETFdb Portfolio]
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: IHF
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index Fund (IHF, B) also delivered a strong performance today, gaining 1.67% during the session. Healthcare shares also led the way today, with UnitedHealth (UNH) logging in a 3.05% gain on the day. In response, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open, only to inch higher throughout the day. IHF eventually settled near its high of $66.89 a share [see also Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.