Wall Street was in for a lackluster yet volatile day of trading, as investors braced themselves ahead of tomorrow’s key monthly government jobs report. On the economic front, data on the labor market came in slightly better than expected; jobless claims came in at 370,000, falling 25,000 from the previous recording. Though the report was rather optimistic, investors remained cautious as fiscal cliff fears continued to dominate the market [see also 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor].
After a thin and choppy day of trading, all three U.S. equity indexes managed to land in positive territory. Led by a strong performance of technology shares, Nasdaq (QQQ) came out on top with its 0.52% gain. The S&P 500 (SPY) inched 0.33% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) rose 0.30%. In Europe, markets were mostly higher after the European Central Bank kept its leading interest rate unchanged. Asian equities were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumping 0.8% and China’s Shanghai Composite slipping 0.1%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices rose once again today, as bond investors kept a close eye on budget talks in Washington. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes declined 1 basis points, while yields on 30-year bonds fell 2 basis points to 2.76%.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Brent crude posted losses for a fourth straight day today on uncertainty surrounding the eurozone outlook and continuing U.S. budget talks. Meanwhile, copper gave back early gains, snapping a five-session rally. Gold futures, however, rose ahead of nonfarm payrolls, settling above $1,700 [see also Jim Rogers: There's Too Much Speculation In Gold].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: BRF
The Van Eck Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF, A-) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.86% during the session. After Brazil’s government unveiled plans for a $26 billion public-private drive to modernize the nation’s seaports, this ETF gapped much higher at the open. BRF rallied throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $39.55 a share [see also BRIC-or-Bust ETFdb Portfolio]
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: BNO
The US Commodity Funds United States Brent Oil Fund (BNO, B+) was one of the worst performers of the day, shedding 1.52% during the session. Alongside yet another decline in Brent crude prices, this ETF gapped slightly lower at the open. BNO inched lower throughout the day, eventually settling near its low of $78.18 a share [see also Citi's Energy Outlook For 2013].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best performing retirement strategy from the trailing 1-year period is our Cheapskate Portfolio; this strategy is up 14.56%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.