After closing on a strong note last week, U.S. equities fumbled today as investors turned wary of the recent push in financial stimulus from the Euro Zone. As it has been the trend, markets once again started to doubt whether or not the U.S. will step in to to boost the fragile domestic economy and if the European central bankers can actually keep the currency bloc together. Although U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is scheduled to meet with ECB President Draghi later this week, investors remain hesitant about the outcome of the meeting. Investors also remain wary ahead of the U.S. and European central bank rate decisions later this week. U.S. equities snapped their previous winning streak, settling slightly lower on the day: the Dow Jones Industrial average slipped 0.02%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.05% and Nasdaq fell 0.41% [see also ETF Insider: Momentum Hinges On ECB Hopes].
Today’s biggest headliner was none other than the infamous Jamie Dimon and J.P. Morgan Chase, as the mega-bank received a downgrade from Deutsche Bank, which subsequently sent the stock price tumbling, dragging down the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In economic news, a reading of manufacturing activity in the Dallas region came in significantly lower than expected at -13.2 for the month of July versus the previously reported 5.8 [see also ETFs And The LIBOR Scandal].
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the best performers, gaining an incredible 5.64% on the day. As weather forecasts reported the continuation of high temperatures and dry weather, this ETF soared alongside natural gas futures today. UNG gapped significantly higher at the open, only to slide sideways throughout the day. UNG settled just below its high of $22.11 a share [see also Want Juicy Dividend Yields? Buy The Top Five Commodity Megacaps].
The State Street SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.74% on the day. As low-volume profit taking increased ahead of this week’s FOMC and ECB meetings, this ETF fell during early morning trading hours, only to creep lower throughout the day [see ETF Technical Trading FAQ].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.