After much anticipation and speculation, investors were relieved with today’s rather upbeat government jobs report. According to the Labor Department, the U.S. added 146,000 jobs last month, up from the previously recorded 138,000 increase in October. The latest unemployment figure also bucked analyst’s expectations, dropping to 7.7%, compared with economists’ forecasts for the rate to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, the Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan’s consumer-sentiment index fell more than expected, showing how U.S. consumers feel less upbeat about the economy in early December [see also 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor].
Bolstered by better-than-expected jobs data, the majority of U.S. equities managed to close in positive territory once again. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ), however, logged in a 0.38% loss following yet another day of declines in Apple (AAPL). The S&P 500 (SPY) inched 0.29% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) came out on top with its 0.62% gain. European equities closed mostly higher today even though Germany’s central bank cut its growth outlook for the nation’s economy in 2012 and 2013. In Asia, markets were mixed; China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 1.6% to a one-month high, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.2%.
Bond ETF Roundup
Following today’s jobs report, U.S. Treasury prices fell, pushing yields to their lowest in nearly two weeks. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds rose 4 basis points, while yields on 5-year notes increased 2 basis points to 0.63%.
Commodity ETF Roundup
While most commodities were lower on the day, metal futures inched up higher during the session. Rebounding from early lows, gold futures for December deliver settled $3.70 an ounce higher at $1.705.50 on expectations that the Fed will continue its stimulus program into next year. Also, physically-backed gold ETFs hit record highs yesterday at 76.133 million ounces [see also China Market Welcomes Gold ETFs].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: TBT
The ProShares UltraShort Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Fund (TBT, A+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.73% during the session. As bond investors started piling out of their Treasury holdings, this leveraged and inverse ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. TBT traded sideways throughout the rest of the day, eventually settling near its high of $60.69 a share [see also 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio]
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: VXX
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX, B+) was one of the worst performers of the day, shedding a dismal 3.60% during the session. After today’s upbeat jobs report, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) slipped below 16, forcing this ETN to gap significantly lower at the open. After a quick late morning pop, VXX tumbled lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $29.44 a share [see also Low Volatility Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.