A slew of disappointing economic reports along with looming concerns surrounding the fiscal cliff discussions had investors pulling back, as many were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the weekend. While investors continued to weigh the probability of Congress coming to a viable solution, U.S. consumer spending came in surprisingly lower, falling 0.2% last month – the first decline since May. Personal incomes, however, were little changed, though analysts had expected a 0.2% increase. Also bucking economist’s expectations of an increase, the core price-consumption-expenditures index came in unchanged [see also 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].
U.S. equities ended narrowly mixed during today’s lackluster trading session. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) slipped into negative territory, logging in a 0.06% loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) managed to finish above the psychologically-important 13,000 level again today with its gain of a mere 0.03%. Meanwhile the S&P 500 (SPY) posted a 0.02% uptick. In Europe, markets were mostly lower on the day, though the Stoxx Europe 600 is still up 2% on the month. Asian equities were mostly higher after Japan data showed a surprising rise in industrial production for the month of October. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.5%, closin at a seven-month high, while China’s Shanghai Composite ticked 0.8% higher but is down over 4% in November.
Bond ETF Roundup
Prices for U.S. Treasuries ticked slightly higher once again today. Yield-hungry investors, however, turned to more appealing corporate bonds as new debt offerings from Amazon.com, Disney, Costco, and Chevron hit the market. Below investment-grade bonds also delivered solid performances; (JNK, A+) gained 0.30% during the session.
Commodity ETF Roundup
In the commodities space, gold and silver took the biggest hits today, dropping nearly 1% and 3% during the session, respectively. Crude oil, however, ticked slightly higher, ending near $89 a barrel. Copper futures hit their 6-week high today on improved demand from the top two copper-consuming countries: the U.S. and China [see also Citi's Energy Outlook For 2013].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: XLU
The State Street Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.06% during the session. Utility shares were among today among today’s top advancers, forcing this ETF to pop in early morning hours. XLU ticked higher throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $35.35 a share [see also High Tech ETFdb Portfolio]
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: GDXJ
The Van Eck Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ, B) was one of the worst performers of the day, shedding 1.55% during the session. Alongside a steep drop in gold spot prices, gold miner equities also fell, forcing this ETF to gap lower at the open. After a quick early morning rally, GDXJ tumbled, falling throughout the day. The fund eventually settled at $21.56 a share [see also GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.