Major equity indexes drifted sideways throughout most of the day as profit taking pressures crept in for a second day in a row on Wall Street. Bullish euphoria following last week’s announcement of QE3 appears to be fading away as investors digest the reality of the situation which remains to be a sluggish recovery at home coupled with a political gridlock in the Euro zone. As such, profit taking pressures intensified after FedEx lowered its profit forecast amid growing concerns that Europe will remain on thin ice over the coming months [see also Seven Simple & Cheap All-ETF Model Portfolios].
Stocks broadly traded flat on the day with the NASDAQ-focused PowerShares QQQ ETF taking the lead higher as shares of Apple bolstered the benchmark higher for yet another session. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF was the worst performer on the day among the major funds, shedding 0.08% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF managed to clinch gains of 0.06% as the closing bell rang. On the home front, investors largely ignored better-than-expected home builders’ index data, which came in at 40 versus the previous reading of 37.
Bond ETF Roundup
Mixed trading spilled over into the fixed income market today as well. Treasuries took the lead higher with investment grade corporate bonds trailing close behind as investors scaled back on risk exposure amid resurfacing concerns over the looming debt crisis in Europe.
Commodity ETF Roundup
The U.S. dollar inched higher on the day which led to mixed trading on the commodities front. The metals took the lead higher with silver futures gaining upwards of two points on the day, while weakness in the energy sector persisted for another trading session.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: SLV
The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was one of the best performers, gaining 2.18% on the day. Demand for precious metals grew as investors expressed their concerns over the gridlock in Europe which continues to eat away at confidence in the debt burdened currency bloc. Following today’s rally, SLV has gained and impressive 25% from a year-to-date perspective [see also The Ultimate Commodities Survival Kit].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: UNG
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the worst performers, shedding 2.01% on the day. Selling pressures persisted for another day in the energy market as yesterday’s sudden sell-off in crude oil futures spooked many. UNG continues to fight an uphill battle as unfavorable fundamentals have kept a lid on natural gas prices; this fund is down 26% year-to-date [see also Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
XLF is the second most heavily traded ETF, with an ADV of about 50 million shares. With about $7.7 billion in assets, XLF is not in the top 35 in terms of total assets.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.