Uncertainty clouded Wall Street once again today, as concerns over Spain and lackluster reports on U.S. wage gains and manufacturing had markets sputtering to the finish. As has been the trend in recent weeks, all eyes remained on Spain today after speculations over whether or not Moody’s Investors Service will downgrade the Spanish government debt to “junk” status. Weighing heavily on Spain’s potential downgrade was today’s stress test for Spain’s banks, which showed that the financial system’s capital shortfall is roughly 60 billion euros in a stressed scenario. Meanwhile, Chicago-area business activity came in significantly lower than expected, posting its first contraction in three years [see Free Report: Seven Simple & Cheap All-ETF Model Portfolios].
All three U.S. stock indexes slipped into negative territory, extending losses from yesterday. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came in at the bottom of the barrel, shedding 2.0% during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) also landed in the red, falling -1.05% and -1.33%, respectively. Following Spain’s bank stress test, European equities closed mostly lower with Spain’s IBEX-35 dropping 1.7%. In Asia, equities were mostly higher; China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 1.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.9% on sour industrial production data.
Bond ETF Roundup
As Euro Zone tensions heightened, investors flocked once again to their favorite safe haven, pushing U.S. Treasury prices higher and extending gains from yesterday.
Commodity ETF Roundup
After rising for the first time this week yesterday, oil futures ended slightly higher in a seesawing session. In agriculture, corn futures jumped after the USDA reported lower-than-expected inventories, sending CORN up 4.74%. Gold ended lower today, but managed to log in its best quarter in over two years.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: DAG
The Invesco PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Long ETN (DAG) was one of the best performers, gaining a whopping 6.12% on the day. After lower-than-expected domestic inventory data on corn and wheat was released today, this leveraged ETF gapped significantly higher at the open, only to surge higher throughout the day. DAG eventually settled below its high of $13.31 a share [see also 5 Commodity ETFs With Active Options].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: EWP
The iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) was one of the worst performers, shedding 3.01% on the day. Today’s stress test and concerns over a Moody’s downgrade of Spanish debt sent this ETF into a tumble. EWP gapped significantly lower at the open, only to inch slightly lower throughout the day. The ETF eventually settled at $27.69 a share [see also Everything You Need To Know About Frontier ETFs].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The two best performing ETFs in the Agricultural Commodities ETFdb Category so far in 2012 are the Pure Beta Grains ETN (WEET) and the DJ-UBS Grains Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJG), which are up 28.22% and 28.18%, respectively.
Follow me on Twitter @DPylypczak
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.