To investors’ relief, the Fed sent yet another strong signal to the markets that it is preparing to take action to boost the nation’s lackluster recovery. According to the minutes released today, “Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery.” Although no one is exactly sure what the Fed has in mind, many believe that another major bond-buying program may be right around the corner. Despite today’s announcement, investors will likely remain cautious until the Fed’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole at the end of next week, where many hope the central bank will provide more hints on future stimulus measures [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolio].
U.S. equities closed mixed on the day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) failing to land in positive territory. The S&P 500 (SPY) and Nasdaq (QQQ) however, were able to reverse their losses after the minutes of the Fed’s last meeting showed that the central bank is prepared to take further easing measures if the economy does not pick up. In Europe, stocks finished lower on expectations of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras asking for more time for his country to meet the austerity measures required for receiving the necessary bailout funds. Asian equities also fell today after Japan posted a larger-than-expected trade deficit in July.
Bond ETF Roundup
In response to the minutes from the latest Fed meeting, Treasury prices surged, pushing yields down to their lowest levels since early June. Treasuries however, were already up before the release as reports that Greece is planning to ask for an extension in implementing its budget cuts and Japan’s weak trade figures had investors flocking to the safe-havens.
Commodity ETF Roundup
The Fed’s remarks also had investors piling into precious metals, pushing gold, silver, copper, and palladium into positive territory. Agricultural commodities finished mostly lower, as investors hope the recent rain will help temper the damage caused by the drought. In other news, orange juice futures continued their rally, jumping 6.5% today as a tropical storm threatened Florida.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: UUP
The Invesco PowerShares DB USD Index Bullish ETF (UUP) had a rapid sell-off today, immediately following the release of the minutes from Fed’s last meeting. As the greenback fell against several major currencies, this ETF saw high levels of activity as investors quickly liquidated their holdings, pushing UUP downward. UUP eventually settled at $22.39 a share, posting a mild 0.49% loss [see our King Dollar ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: DBP
The Invesco PowerShares’ DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) was one of the best performers, gaining 1.29% on the day. Gold, silver, and palladium futures rose today after the Fed gave the markets another strong signal that the central bank will likely take further stimulus measures in the near future. In response, this ETF gapped higher at the open, only to shoot skyward after the minute’s release. DBP settled just shy of its high of $56.71 a share [see also Four Little Known Factors Driving the Price of Gold].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.