Daily ETF Roundup: U.S. Pushes Ahead, Europe Stuck In The Mud

by on August 14, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

Investors finally saw some action in the markets today after a slew of economic reports helped jump start some much needed momentum. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm didn’t last long as investors seemingly shrugged off the latest headlines during the final hour of trading, forcing stocks to finish essentially flat. The ever-resilient Germany posted somewhat disappointing growth data today, showing a minor slowdown in the nation’s economy, but not by as much as analysts had predicted. The Euro Zone also reported its gross domestic product, which came in at -0.2%, in line with expectations. On the homefront, investors welcomed positive U.S. retail sales, which showed a significantly better-than-expected uptick in retail consumption. But while these reports may have stirred up some action today, markets will likely remain on pins and needles until investors’ fears are adequately quelled [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].

Global Market Overview: U.S. Pushes Ahead, Europe Stuck In The Mud 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) was the only index that managed to land in positive territory today. Strong corporate earnings from the Home Depot and a number of high-end retailers led the index higher. And although SPY and QQQ finished with a gain, their corresponding indexes, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, actually posted minor losses on the day. European equities were broadly higher after better-than-expected growth readings from Germany and France.

Bond ETF Roundup 

The latest slew of data from the U.S. and the Euro Zone helped ease tensions, forcing U.S. Treasury yields slightly higher. The main reason for today’s flight out of the safe haven was the U.S.’s better-than-expected retail sales, which showed that consumer spending rebounded for the first time in four months.

Commodity ETF Roundup

While most commodities were lower, energy futures pushed ahead, with natural gas leading the way. Soybean prices fell today as some much needed rain offered relief for crops that have been scorched by the drought. Gold futures also dropped today, as alleviated tensions sent investors away from the safe haven metal.

ETF Chart Of The Day #1: RTH

The Van Eck Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) had a relatively good performance today, gaining a modest 0.51% during the session. After the better-than-expected retail sales were announced, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open, only to slide sideways throughout the rest of the day, eventually settling just below its high of $43.75 a share. RTH is currently up 16.52% on its year-to-date return [see also 17 ETFs For Day Traders].

ETF Chart Of The Day #2: VXX

The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the best performers of the day, gaining a whopping 5.57% during the session. Despite several better-than-expected economic reports, volatility surged today after it had remained at realitvely low levels over the past few weeks. As the VIX made its reversal, this ETF surged higher throughout the day, eventually settling just shy of its high of $11.77 a share [see ETF Technical Trading FAQ].

ETF Fun Fact Of The Day

The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) has lost -8.53% so far this year. Physical silver, as represented by SLV, is only down -0.07% on the year.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.