The sell-off on Wall Street persisted for another today as ongoing political uncertainty in Greece continues to plague investors’ confidence. At home, major equity indexes tumbled lower across the board as profit taking pressures hit hard right from the opening bell; the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the worst performer on Wall Street, shedding 0.75% on the day, while the Nasdaq proved to be a bit more resilient, losing only 0.39% as the trading session drew to a close [see also Have Gold ETFs Lost Their Luster?].
A worse-than-expected wholesale inventories report on the home front went largely unnoticed as looming Euro zone debt drama stole the headlines. Stocks around the globe slid lower as political turmoil prompted European nations to debate whether or not to delay Greece’s next aid payment. James Dunigan, chief investment officer in Philadelphia for PNC Wealth Managemented, commented “We expected there would be flare-ups again in Europe. People were scratching their heads why they didn’t show up a little sooner. Certainly as a result of the elections in Greece, the odds of a default and an exit from the euro have increased” [see Euro Free Europe Portfolio].
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the best performers, jumping higher by 3.68% on the day. Uncertainty spilled over from Europe as the Greek government remains divided on whether or not to implement austerity measures which are needed to quality for rescue funds. The Volatility Index hit a multi-week high at 21.59, although it settled lower just above the 20 mark [see also 5 Simple ETF Trading Tips].
The iShares MSCI EAFE Small Cap ETF (SCZ) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.94% on the day. SCZ fell victim to profit taking pressures as investors broadly scaled back on risk exposure given the looming cloud of uncertainty stemming from the debt burdened Euro zone. Despite today’s sell-off, SCZ is still up 7% from a year-to-date perspective [see also Small Cap ETFdb Portfolio].
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.