Friday’s trading session saw stock uphold their bullish momentum despite a rather substantial miss in GDP. U.S. GDP for the first quarter of the year came in at 2.2, down from the anticipated 2.5. While this news would typically hammer markets, positive earnings kept the bull run alive and overshadowed this miss. The Dow closed the day with a 23 point gain while the S&P 500 jumped by a meager 0.2%; still a strong day with all things considered. Despite some volatility early in the week, stocks were finally able to post a winning week, but with earnings winding down, the next few weeks will be especially crucial [see also ETF Filings Frenzy Roundup].
Major commodities were relatively quiet on the day, as gold gained 3 points and crude tacked on about 0.3 points. For those who monitor Ag futures, corn had a very strong day, as its prices jumped by nearly 4.7% while commodity losers were lead by rough rice (-2.8%). Typically, we outline two of the most notable ETF performances on the day, with one loser and one winner. But today presented special circumstances, so this roundup will be a bit different. Below, we outline two of the biggest ETF winners on the day, as a number of funds were able to finish the session in the black [see also Forget Gold, Why Your Portfolio Needs Silver].
One of the biggest winners came from the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) which rose by 1.2%. This fund measures the consumer discretionary sector of the U.S. and as such, as a big stake in Amazon (AMZN). Yesterday’s report from Amazon beat Street estimates, boosting confidence in consumer spending; it also boosted the stock by more than 15% for the day. It is important to note that its results showed a 35% decline from the previous earnings, but the firm had wanred the Street to expect “a big decline in its operating profit for the quarter as it plowed money into businesses that it expects will pay off in the future, like its Kindle Fire device and new centers for shipping goods” writes Nick Wingfield.
The other major ETF winner came from the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG), which jumped but 3.1% for the day. Natural gas has been welcoming some much-needed momentum in recent days as the battered commodity seems to have finally found its footing. Today’s gains spawned from a weather forecast that shows a cooler-than normal Spring; this after a warmer-than average winter that dug NG’s hole in the first place. “Natural gas rose 6 cents to finish at $2.186 per 1,000 cubic feet in Friday trading. That’s up nearly 15 percent from April 19 when the price hit the lowest level in more than a decade at $1.907 per 1,000 cubic feet” writes Sandy Shore [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].
Follow me on Twitter @JaredCummans
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.