Profit taking pressures persisted for yet another session on Wall Street as better-than-expected economic data at home wasn’t enough to ease bearish sentiment. Markets kicked off the day with a pop as weekly jobless claims trumped expectations; this figure declined to 339,000 versus the expected 368,000 applicants, showcasing a noticeable improvement in the domestic labor market that many attributed to seasonality. Earnings jitters also paved the way for choppy trading as investors await performance results from bank giants JPMorgan and Well Fargo on Friday [see Free 7 Simple & Cheap All-ETF Portfolios].
Apple failed to hold onto its gains from yesterday as the tech-giant steadily slid lower throughout the day, dragging down the Nasdaq and QQQ 0.31% on the day. The S&P 500 Index was the only benchmark to end the session in green territory, although SPY barely managed to clinch gains of 0.06% on the day. European markets charged into green territory after a number of corporate giants overseas beat analyst estimates, helping to shed light on an otherwise gloomy outlook for the region.
Bond ETF Roundup
Selling pressures in the equity market sparked a flight to fixed income securities; U.S. Treasuries led the way higher thanks to their safe haven appeal while “junk bonds” also managed to climb higher despite the broad “risk off” trade. Inflation worries surprisingly eased up and traders were quick to take profits in the TIP ETF.
Commodity ETF Roundup
The U.S. dollar slid lower on Thursday which welcomed buyers into the commodity market. Corn led the way higher in the agricultural sector after the latest USDA report showed that global inventories will drop more than expected thanks to the drought. Crude oil prices rallied higher as tensions between Syria and Turkey caused supply concerns.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: UNG
The United State Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the best performers, popping 4.61% higher on the day. Futures prices for the fossil fuel rallied after the latest EIA report showed that gas inventories increased less-than-expected, easing up oversupply fears and paving the way for bullish speculators. Despite today’s stellar performance, UNG is still down over 9% year-to-date [see our Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: VXX
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.52% on the day despite a lackluster performance for stocks on Wall Street. The Volatility Index popped at the opening bell, although ultimately it failed to climb past yesterday’s close, settling just below the 16 mark as the closing bell rang [see also Platinum/Gold Ratio Suggests Economic Slowdown].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.