Domestic equities gave up gains from Monday’s steep rally today as disappointing economic data sparked concerns and profit taking pressures followed. Selling pressures accelerated towards the end of the trading session and major equity indexes finished the day in red territory. The Nasdaq proved most resilient, shedding 0.07% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was hit the hardest, losing 0.33% on the day [see ETF Insider: Do Fundamentals Justify The Wall Street Rally?].
Stocks retreated as investors were less than thrilled about the lackluster economic data releases on the home front. The Case-Shiller home prices report was better-than-expected, but still disappointing; the figure came in at negative 0.8% versus the previous reading of negative 1.1%. U.S. consumer confidence also slipped, which eroded investors’ confidence; this figure came in at 70.2, missing analyst estimates of 71.5, and also falling short of last month’s reading of 71.6. With no major news from overseas, Wall Street largely took cues from the day’s less-than-stellar data releases [see aslo How To Hedge For A Market Correction With ETFs].
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the best performers, gaining an impressive 9.76% on the day, bolstered by resurfacing uncertainties and general weakness in the equity markets. Volatility spiked considerably today as investors expressed their concerns for future growth expectations following a down-tick in consumer confidence along with less-than-impressive U.S. housing market data [see ETF Laggards Struggling In 2012].
The Van Eck Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.42% on the day, as gold prices retreated alongside equities. Gold prices fell throughout Tuesday’s trading session as profit taking prevailed; futures prices for the precious metal settled near $1,680 an ounce, after peaking at $1,696 an ounce in the morning. GDX has lost close to 3% from a year-to-date perspective [see GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.