Wall Street shifted its focus off the Fed and back onto the grueling fiscal cliff negotiations once again today, pushing stocks down into negative territory. As investors continued to hold their breath, several rather cheery economic reports were greatly overshadowed. Jobless claims fell to 343,000 last week, much lower than expected. The producer price index for November declined by 0.8% from the previous month, bucking economist’s expectations for a marginally smaller decline [see also 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor].
All three major U.S. equity indexes ended in negative territory today on continuing fiscal cliff fears. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came in at the bottom of the barrel, losing 0.72% with Apple shares nearing their lowest closing level in nearly a month. The S&P 500 (SPY) slid 0.63%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) lost 0.56%. In Europe equities pulled back after their recent stretch of gains as investors digested the latest developments by both the European Union and the Fed. Meanwhile, Asian equities were mixed. China’s central bank withdrew money from the banking system, forcing the Shanghai Composite to fall 1%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average, however, rallied 1.7%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S Treasury prices fell once again today after weekly jobless claims to levels last seen before Superstorm Sandy muddled the data. As investors weighed the impacts of the Fed’s latest commentary and the fiscal cliff, yields on 10-year and 5-year notes rose 3 basis points, while 30-year bond yields inched 1 basis point higher to 2.90%.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Across the board commodities were mostly lower today, with precious metals taking a steep drop after yesterday’s Fed induced rally failed to gain traction. Natural gas, RBOB gasoline, and Brent crude futures also pushed lower on ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations [see also The Best and Worst Industrial Metals ETFs of 2012].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: GDX
The Van Eck Market Vectors TR Gold Miners ETF (GDX, B+) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 2.71% during the session. Alongside a decline in gold futures, gold miners equities tumbled, forcing this ETF to gap significantly lower at the open. GDX inched lower for the rest of the day, eventually settling at $46.34 a share [see also GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: IBB
The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB, A-) also performed poorly today, shedding 1.24% during the session. As healthcare equities dragged stocks lower, this ETF took a steep tumble during the afternoon hours. IBB slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $138.93 a share [see also Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio]
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best performing regional strategy from the trailing 1-week period is our LatAm Centric ETFdb Portfolio; this strategy is up 2.54%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.